An Ariadne’s thread?

Souleymane Diamanka at Café Culturel in Saint Denis in the suburbs outside Paris

Haven’t I claim that French slam poetry can be seen as a commentary on and/or a representation of French society? Yes, certainly I have. From my very first slam session, I’ve felt that there was a strong connection between scene and society. And then, when I was exploring further the relations between anthropology and literature I wrote about in the previous post (and which I’ll come back to soon), I made a giant step forward in getting to grips with the relationship. Suddenly, I saw a clear connection between the slam scene in the years 2006-2007 and the riots in the autumn 2005 and the deepest oppositions in French society. All thanks to the ritual and performance theorist who for a long time has been looming in the background, or rather in the middle of the heaps of books I’m building my project upon. This is not to reduce the artistic element of the slam phenomenon. On the contrary, good ol’ Victor Turner conjoins the two – theatre and social drama – on a deeper level and shows how the two actually feed off each other.

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