Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Stealing The Air and Talking Back

For this week, I found a pretty cool - academic! - article about spoken word that involves youth and why it is an important source of medial expression.

The article called "Stealing the Air" by Rebecca Ingalls features ideology from the movie "Pump up the Volume", and focuses on how spoken word was derived and the purposes it is used for now. Ingalls discusses how this form of art has been derived from hip hop culture as well as from poetry as a whole. The reason I picked this was because this piece talks about how teens and youths in general are allowed through spoken word to connect with peers in a way that entices an audience to actually listen. Spoken word puts an emphasis on the voice and presence of the person performing more than poetry does because of the specific ways in which the body is used to create a message.

Through this form of art, it is argued, youth create a space where they can interact with peers by use of social commentary on many of the things which are not discussed in the daily life of a teenager. The way spoken word is done allows for the focus to be on the presence and indeed the existence of the performer as living the words that are being said. Spoken word is also very good at allowing youth - who primarily engage in this art - to vent frustrations, anger, and ways of navigating through the socio-political environment.

I found this piece while looking for something to back up a piece that I had written for another class. This piece attaches very easily to the course assumption that media matters and that teens are not some alien life form. Within spoken word, we see teens and youth digest their social surroundings, including the media as well. They take on hard issues that mean something in their life. Spoken word acts as a kind of counter-media for mass media. It relates to the concept that teens are not some alien life form because we see that they really are attached and are affected by what happens in the environment. They are not separated from the culture at large, but also have something to say about it.

Kai Davis - "Fuck I Look Like"

Hiwot Adilow - "Hiwot"

Gay Marriage

I think that spoken word is extraordinarily important as a medium of expression for youth. I personally have engaged in spoken word a lot after my brother died of a heroin overdose in order to figure out why these things happened. For me, spoken word was a way for me to make sense of my own emotional capacity while searching for an audience to listen to me. I used spoken word for healing purposes and to try to make a personal connection to my audiences, to try to reach out and create a sense of solidarity between me and others who may be feeling similarly to this.

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