Finally a slam poetry video: Ucoc at L’Atelier du Plateau

L’Atelier du Plateau is a little neighbourhood theatre on top of hilly Belleville, near Parc Buttes Chaumont. After going down a narrow, cobbled-stoned cul-de-sac, one enters one, large white painted room under a high ceiling. A bar and a small kitchen (serving for the occasion quiche lorraine, vegetarian pizza, each for 3€, massalé de fruits de mer 7€ and gateau chocolat, also 3€), occupies a corner of the room, while low chairs circling red, oriental carpets marking the “stage” take up the rest of the space.

Every sixth week or so, the slammeur and rappeur Dgiz hosts a slam poetry session here. Last Monday – the blue, blue day after the elections – it was packed, with more people standing than sitting. While many presented newly written texts about the elections or at least made reference to it, the example I will give here did not. (The lyrics of “Destiny” ).

Ucoc was one of the first slammeurs I discovered. Late a Friday night in early June 2006, I was standing in the open doorway in the tiny bar Plex y Glass in Rue Oberkampf, when a screaming man fought himself through the crowd right towards me. I had just returned to Paris after an adventurous trip in the suburb Fontenay-sous-Bois (find the post here), where I had attended my (second) first soirée slam. Ucoc’s colère (anger) convinced me instantly that finally, after many months of searching, I had found a focus for my research. As I post more videos here, it will be clear that Ucoc has a very particular style… Enjoy, or bon courage.

The saxophonist is the jazz musician Louis Sclavis. (The cellist Vincent Courtois did not play on this track).

Ucoc’s Myspace site can be found here and OMind, his cooperation with Chantal Carbon, here (with more videos). He is also a frequent contributor to the site www.generationslam.com

The introduction to slam, I can thank a person I had just met on a punk concert, just around the corner from where I lived at the time, in support of the accused after the anti-CPE protests (labour law) some months earlier. After discussing the protests for a while, he said – despite having participated in them himself – that he would like to introduce me to something that was far more important than street protests: poetry! (after quite a few months of dissatisfaction with this incomprehensible society, I had finally started to like it, so a comment like that pleased me immensely). A few days afterwards, he, a friend and colleague of him and the anthropologist headed for the suburbs and back to town again – and since then I haven’t been a week in Paris without attending at least one soirée slam


Comment from: Åsne [Visitor]

Yeah, that was a pretty intense piece… interesting!

2007-05-10 @ 23:31
Comment from: [Member]

Åsne, what a great reader you are! 5 minutes after I’ve posted the video, you’ve seen it :-) Thanks for the comment!

2007-05-10 @ 23:36
Comment from: Sylvainkimouss [Visitor]

Hi there !

Just to stress out the pleasure for having see you “slaming". Your french is awesome !

By the way, we edit with Sania a whole site dedicated to slam vids :

> www.slamophone.com

Would you like to be one of the first “foreign” poet to show up in our collection ?

Cheers Cécilie


2007-05-18 @ 16:03
Comment from: [Member]

Thanks for for your generous comment :-)

And feel free to include my franco-norvégien slam on slamophone if you’d like to. What an archive you’ve got there!

take care


2007-05-18 @ 23:39
Comment from: aleksandra [Visitor]

wow, you´re so brave, cicilie! couldn´t see the whole video because of a really bad connection here (I wouldn´t understand much anyway:), but it allready seems amazing! Congratulations!

2007-05-21 @ 21:27
Comment from: [Member]

Thanks for the comment, Aleksandra! I hadn’t really planned to do it, but then the maître de cérémonie introduced me and I didn’t have much choice… But participation is of course an important part of our participant observation approach - the first time I slammed I learned a lot about what nervousness can do to the concentration of the listeners.

Hope it’s going well with your own fieldwork. The last months are often the most intense and fruitful. Let’s hope we both can do the most of it. Good luck!

2007-05-23 @ 00:54
Comment from: antoine [Visitor]  

others slams GREAT on the website


(sKetches for the videos)

2007-10-19 @ 23:48
Comment from: Sania [Visitor]  

Salut Cicilie !

Désolé de pas avoir ramené quelque bonne nouvelle pour ta photo. J’ai eu une petite piste mais ce n’était pas le bon gars en fin de compte. J’espère que tu t’en es quand même sortie ?

De mon côté, je suis sur un site en ce moment qui rasseble le maximum de vidéos de slameurs différents pour montrer la diversité de la scène slam ici, et pour inspirer d’autres vocations peut être. Il y a quelques gens qui se font assez rares et que j’ai aperçus sur ton site. Verrais-tu d’un mauvais oeil que je les intégre sur mon site ? Passe voir à quoi il ressemble, je crois que tu le connais un peu (myspace.com/slamophone) mais les archives commencent à peser ! Et puis ensuite tu me dis ce que t’en penses d’accord ?

A tout bientôt j’espère


2007-12-12 @ 15:46

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