02:59:46 pmCategories: Spaces, Music, literature, arts...

Back in Belleville! (and le monde writes about the slam scene)

I’m back in Paris for 9 days, and this time I’ve settled right in the heart of Belleville, in the Tunisian Jewish neighbourhood (where they’re just about to celebrate Yom Kippur, I think…). A few blocks from the hotel, I’ve found a café with wifi – a café where they also arrange slam sessions, which of course fits perfectly with my intention to get some intensive fieldworking done while I’m here. So, now I sit blogging right at my favourite boulevard :) (Café Cheri(e) is undoubtedly quite trendy now, and it has in fact it's own blog...).

And talking about intensive fieldworking; while I’m here I can keep myself occupied every night with going to various slam sessions, and these 9 days of intensive focus on slamming started really well as I opened Le Monde (1-2/10/06) on the plane and found that they had dedicated a whole page to the French slam scene!

The article focused on very much the same things as I’ve noticed myself or read elsewhere: “Rare are the places where so many different ages and ethnic and social origins are gathered”. They also trace the genealogy of slam to poets in the Antiquity, Occitan troubadours, West African griots (story-tellers), the American beat generation, and rap as well as to some other references.

These are some of the things the slammers said:

“I want to be a writer, a poet at the same time as I’m with the people. Slam allows this utopia” (Frédéric Nevchehirlian, organiser of slam sessions in Marseille).

“Slam to me is a citizen/socially aware (citoyenne) way of approaching life and the issues the newspapers don’t talk about” (Katel, 20 years, student in journalism and of Cameroonians origin).

The organiser Tsunami talks about the pedagogic aspect of the slam seen and tells that local townhalls in the suburbs ask slammers to rebuild the social ties in the community: “I explain to the kids that I’m a poet, not a cop, vigilante or shrink. I’m not there to tell them that they shouldn’t break things, but to make them understand that they can express what’s bothering them through a text, a poem.”

Digiz, who calls himself troubadour poet citizen, says: “It’s my way of shouting out my freedom. (…). I love that it’s free (la gratuité, the exchange of listening, it’s a poetry of proximity”.

I’d like to translate the rest as well, but I think that would do for today.

My three first hours in Paris has been cold and warm, sunny and rainy. And just now the rain stopped and the sun returned…! I watch people on bikes pass on the cycle lane and I miss my funny little green vélo. Except from that (and perhaps the conditions in the quite dusty hotel I’ll stay in, we'll see) I think it’s very nice to be back. It’s nice that people greet you with de rien (“you’re welcome”, au revoir (“good bye”), bonne journée (have a nice day!) just because you’ve asked them about the way or because you’ve bought a newspaper. And it’s a lot of other things that are very nice as well, but I’m sure I’ll have the chance to get back to that…


Comment from: harveymolloy [Visitor]

Hi Cicilie, I’m writing to you from NZ. I’ve recently started to read your very interesting blog. I have noticed that sonetimes when I try to read the blog I get an ‘access forbidden’ notice and I wondered if you knew that was happening.

05/10/06 @ 03:35
Comment from: [Member]

Hi harveymolloy, I’m the “webmaster” of this blog. What kind of error message do you get? Is it this one here www.antropologi.info/403.php or another one? Do you remember in which cases you saw these error messages? Only on specific computers? When you visited a specific page? Thanks!

05/10/06 @ 09:41
Comment from: [Member]

Thanks for the comment, harveymolloy, and thanks Lorenz, for trying to sort it out, because I have really no idea what it could be

05/10/06 @ 13:36

Form is loading...

« Back in the fieldSome French slam poetry web sites »