I wrote a piece a while back alluding to whether there was a shift in Port Moresby’s art and culture scene, and I believe I got to experience another bout of this bubble at the Moresby Arts Theatre over the hosting of the 9th Human Rights Film Festival.
Spoken Word Project was kindly featured at the 9th Human Rights Film Festival hosted in the spiritual home of art and culture in Port Moresby, the Moresby Arts Theatre.
Following a day of insightful and thought-provoking films, a small and intimate crowd cordoned off the theatre foyer to partake in our 6th event. Only this time it had a sweet twist.
We’d toned down the furor of past performance stages to connect with our audience, to which we were pleasantly met with a resounding response of approval.
Several performances from regular poets and new storytellers gave the audience something to savour and reflect on with topics ranging from social issues to identity. I will make mention of two particular young talented writers who I am hoping to see more of on the circuit. Their writings represented a young Papua New Guinean conscious voice that I had been hoping to hear for a long while.
But the twist to the night came in the form of an impromptu panel led by our fearless lady leader from Stella. Raise a smirk if you must, but it was her idea to lead a panel that exposed a set of really important insights that added a new dimension for the Spoken Word Project.
We explored the creative process the poets and storytellers went through, which, surprisingly were all more or less the same, citing spontaneity as a starting point.
I wasn’t surprised though when the follow up threading question was about publication of our works where several had published works in newspapers and journals while some, like myself, put our work up predominantly online on blogs (including Stella Mag Online).
Perhaps the only other topic I was drawn to was prompted by a question from the audience asking about the use of Tok Pisin in writing.
I am a big believer in discovering a channel through which we can tell Papua New Guinean stories and communicate ideas of how we see ourselves. I spent a bit of time talking about that and perhaps later I may write to this a bit more but I will leave for now with a part of the conversation that is sure to set the course for the next step in Spoken Word Project’s journey.
It was during the panel question-and-answer session that an audience member brought up the possibility of having the project brought into schools. I cannot say it is something we have not discussed at great length. We are very much interested in exploring the idea.
Through the enthusiasm showed by some of our younger poets and performers, we are carefully considering how to take Spoken Word Project out to our schools.
But I’ll leave with a single reflective thought that the Spoken Word Project was created simply to be a stage for like-minded artists, from the extroverted performer to the reclusive painter, to have a safe space to practice their craft. We’ve been incredibly blessed to still be able to do this. So blessed!