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A Wise-versa Slam!

DECCAN CHRONICLE | SOUMASHREE SARKAR
Published Dec 11, 2015, 1:46 pm IST
Updated Mar 26, 2019, 6:59 pm IST
Get set for the city’s very first slam poetry fiesta on December 18.
Zoya Mohan
 Zoya Mohan

Sharp are the words that fall from their tongue, slicing through the air, through the ears of the audience and through the dogmas of practices that they seek to slam, till they are destroyed. Slam poetry may be new to India but the ones who bear it on their shoulders are old souls with a wisdom that comes from the jarring reality of our times. After taking Delhi by storm and discovering new talent whose videos have swept social media away, the Delhi Slam is all set to reach Bengaluru for the city’s very first slam poetry fiesta — the Verses PlayOff Festival on December 18 at The Humming Tree. 

With performances by the legendary Alok-Vaid Menon, followed closely by the likes of songstress and spoken word wizard Zoya Mohan and the unforgiving and opinionated Shivani Gupta. Managed by the quiet genius of Saumya Choudhury, the Bengaluru leg of SlamIndia will see the first slam festival of this magnitude in the city. Saumya says, “I was working at the very famous Vancouver Slam when I realised that the amount of political and social chaos that India is in right now, it could really do with a space where poets could come forward and speak their mind. A slam entitles youth to speak of their situation in a personal sense in front of an audience which will accept them. So four months back we went national and Bengaluru is our second stop after Panjim. It’s really exciting to be selling out so fast.”

 

The city show is the very first India tour of the famous transgender poet Alok-Vaid Menon, who along with Janani Balasubramanian, forms the poetry group DarkMatter. Freddie Storm, a poet herself who is looking forward to travelling down to the city to organise its first poetry slam, says,”I too was working at the Vancouver Slam when Saumya shared her vision of starting an initiative in India. After working for film and television shows, I thought why not help her with this? Even though I write, I have come to realise the theatrical background that should come with slam poetry is a very different arena of performance that new poets aren’t familiar with. We want to give Bengaluru a taste of this.”
 
The maiden poetry slam for the city could be the first of many where opinionated youth could find space to vent their creative instincts. Singer and spoken word artist Zoya Mohan, who performs in the US and is all set to do her set in Bengaluru, says, “After performing in cities like Los Angeles and New York, I am just glad and tremendously excited that this is happening in India! I look forward to meeting new poets and will be singing a little bit as well.”

 

 

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