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Free to Express Everything through Poem in Unspoken Bali Poetry Slam

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Participants expressed a lot of their personal experiences and feelings that had been restrained and rarely spoken.

BULELENG, NusaBali
Saturday (09/29) afternoon, a house located at Pantai Indah, Singaraja, seemed crowded by young people who wanted to show their ability to read poem. Apparently, at the house known as Mahima Community Learning House, an event titled ‘Unspoken Bali Poetry Slam’ was held. Taking the theme ‘Unspoken Freedom,’ participants were free to express whatever they felt and rarely spoken by a poem.

Previously, the Bali Poetry Slam was a movement to spread viruses in making poetry in Bali which was adapted from America. Then, by 3 young people, namely; Virginia Helzainka, Doni Marmer, and Trifitri Muhammaditta, Poetry Slam were developed in Bali with the judging method, which is different from the role in America which is only in the form of open mic (red: reading poetry in public without being assessed).

According to Virginia Helzainka, one of the Founders of Bali Poetry Slam, she and other founders wanted to hold Poetry Slams in Bali because Poetry Slam is a unique activity and can encourage the productivity and originality of connoisseurs, activists, and poets in Bali.

"Why do we want to make it in Bali because the Poetry Slam is unique, then it encourages the productivity and originality of artists, from poets as well. So, we want to have poets in Bali. Then, why do we make the name Unspoken, we want it not only as a poetry stage, but also as a place for anyone to express themselves. So, here is a place to discuss things that are ‘unspoken,’ things that are rarely discussed," Virginia said when met by NusaBali on the sidelines of the event (29/09).

March 2018 Bali Poetry Slam held its first debut, which was held in Irama Indah, Denpasar, with the theme 'Unspoken Anxiety', and the second round was held at Rumah Sanur Creative Hub, Denpasar, with the theme 'Unspoken Lust.' Meanwhile, this September, the third round was held with the theme 'Unspoken Freedom' at Pantai Indah, Singaraja, which was attended by 19 participants from various backgrounds, both from outside and inside Bali. In the end, two people with the highest scores in each round will compete at the top of the Unspoken Bali Poetry Slam in November and compete for the throne of 'Slammer of the Year.'

This event was also packed with a Poetry Workshop which was filled by Putri Minangsari, who was a Poet, Dancer, and one of the initiators of the Unmask Poetry Open Mic based in Jakarta. Putri shared about how to compete poetry in a Poetry Slam. She also viewed that the Bali Poetry Slam program was a good event held and was a good tool for mental health because of all the feelings that could be expressed by poetry.

This time too, the Unspoken Bali Poetry Slam collaborated with URWF (Ubud Readers and Writers Festival) and Minikino, which the third round winners would each receive prizes in the form of Mahima published books and free pass tickets to the Minikino Event and URWF 2018 which will be held this October.

From the successful third round Bali Poetry Slam, Viriginia also hoped that the event could become a forum for people to express themselves through poetry and not be afraid anymore to speak it. *ph

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