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Sunday I went to see a poetry performance at a theatre: AC! En nos âmes et consciences (“In our full conscience/honesty”) – Since the audience don’t participate and perform their own texts, it’s not slam, as the two poet performers explicitly told us yesterday. The distinction between slam sessions (democratic and interactive) and poetry shows is important and stressed by many artists. However, many of the recent newspaper articles on slam don’t seem to get this distinction for some reason. –
Except from this important point, a lot of the show reminded of slamming: the personal – not intimate, but somehow authentic…–expressions, texts about politics, love, the importance of sharing the spoken word and particularly the enthusiastic and somehow anarchic vibe. I find a strong element of popular resistance in the slam sessions; there is an urge to express oneself, to create a space, to fight back… I don’t know exactly how to describe it in words yet. We discussed yesterday if the play was optimistic, and we concluded I think that it wasn’t (the political situation at the moment is not really optimistic…), but it is however full of willpower and joie de vivre.
A couple of weeks ago I saw theatre play in Norway, at the fringe theatre Black Box: God hates Scandinavia by the group Sons of Norway (English on myspace here). The two plays have nothing in common, except that they were written and preformed by two young people: two young men in Paris, two young women in Oslo (despite the masculine ring of the group name), and that both echoed important aspects of the socio-political atmosphere in the two countries. I had a hard time yesterday trying to explain how two whores in hell discussing various grotesque ways to die could be a metaphor of the feeling one sometimes can get in the petroleum bubble that is my native country. I did not succeed in my explanation; perhaps it’s a question of sentiments not easily verbalised. The same is of course the case with the anarchic and enthusiastic sentiments one can be part of at the better of the slam soirées: I’ll have a hard time putting this atmosphere into words on a piece of paper.
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