This is Sarah, our spoken word programme manager. She is a spoken word artist herself!

"I have been writing for as long as I can remember and am passionate about music. As a child, I stuttered for a long time. Only when I was alone in my room listening to Michael Jackson or Prince could I express myself uninterrupted. Still, it took a long time before I could muster up the courage to sign up for a rap workshop. After I spit my raps, the facilitator said, "I notice you can write, but this is not rap: your sentences are too long. Up here is the slam poetry workshop going on: go knock on the door there." I then did so with slight reluctance, but eventually I did find myself in spoken word. I overcame my fear of speaking with it. Had you told me before that I would earn my living by speaking every day, I would never have believed it."

Specific to spoken word: the text is written with an eye on its performance. And there is a difference between slam poetry and spoken word.
"Slam poetry is spoken word in competition form. Just as, say, rock is a musical genre, slam poetry is also a spoken word form. In spoken word, emotion is central - how you present it. A sermon my mother used to preach, that was actually spoken word too (laughs)."

The things Sarah writes about are a reflection of her life and society.
"I started performing at 15. For example, that's when I wrote the poem 'I am black', about stereotyping. "How come you're not adopted? Then how come you speak Dutch so well?" Such prejudices made me want to prove myself extra hard. I have a great sense of justice, which is why I am studying Pol&Soc at VUB."

Finally, Sarah shares what she hopes to achieve at VIERNULVIER.
"I want to bring the spoken word community closer together and show what spoken word can be, as the genre is still evolving. Theatre is also no longer purely what it was 50 years ago. What can grow on this humus?"