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  • Writer's pictureBalkan Art Scene

Maribor's MKC to host European Poetry Slam Championship

The Maribor Youth Cultural Centre (MKC) will organise this year's European Poetry Slam Championship, which will be held online for the first time due to Covid-19. The organisers said the event will feature the creme de la creme of the European slam poetry scene.

Slam poetry has been a very popular form of poetic expression abroad for several decades and in the last few years in Slovenia as well. It originates from Chicago, where poet Marc Kelly Smith launched the first such evenings at the Get me High jazz club in November 1984, at which it was desired that poetry should be interpreted in the most performative way possible. From America, this form of performance has spread to Europe, and today France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Spain, Austria and the Czech Republic are recording particularly lively events, and recently slam poetry has become increasingly popular in the Balkans. Slovenian cities where slam performances and competitions have been held regularly for the last five years are Kamnik, Ptuj, Celje, Ljubljana, Kranj and Maribor, and attempts to organize the first slam events date back fifteen years. The Slovenian organizers are connected to the network of SiSlam partners and included in the European Slam Poetry Network.

The European Slam Poetry Championship was first held in Antwerp, Belgium in 2012, with the first winner being the Spaniard Dani Orviz. For the last four years, Slovenia has also been participating in the championship with its champions, as the first Slovenian slam champion Nina Medved was the first to compete in the championship in Leuven, Belgium, in 2017 the Slovenian colors were represented by Mišel Ristov in Brussels, Belgium. Neža Prah Seničar took part in the European Slam Championship in Hungary, and at the beginning of March this year the championship was planned in Milan, Italy.

The Youth Cultural Center Maribor, as the coordinator of the Slovenian network SiSlam in 2016 in Brussels, successfully applied for the seventh European Slam Poetry Championship in 2020. Despite the fact that the accompanying program of the championship and live performance, which would have a great opportunity to see live performances of the most successful European slammers and slammers at the moment, the pandemic has prevented it, and the organizers are preparing a two-day online event in which 19 competitors from nineteen European countries will compete in the form of video performances.

The championship will take place on 4 and 5 December 2020 in online form with a live broadcast on the Facebook page and YouTube channel of the Maribor Youth Cultural Center, the events will be moderated by Mojca Frim and Juš Milčinski, prepared by Nina Medved, who is executive producer alongside Petra Kolmančič.

In two pre-final rounds and in the final performance, following artists will compete:

Treize Accordée from France,

Juozas Ališauskas from Lithuania,

Alexander Delphinov from Russia,

Panagiotis Drakopoulos from Greece,

Ondřej Hrabal from the Czech Republic,

Jovana Ilkić from Serbia,

Eva Kokalj from Slovenia,

Michal Krakovský from Slovakia,

Solja Krapu from Finland

Kaisa Kuslapuu from Estonia,

Argyri Loizou from Cyprus,

Julie Lombe from Belgium,

From Lucerne to Moco from Portugal,

Lasse Nyholm Jensen from Denmark,

Olza Olzeta from Spain,

Richárd Sárközi from Hungary,

Dino More - Tremens from Croatia,

Igor Trpčevski from Macedonia,

Beau Williams of Ireland.

All champions are presented in more detail on the website.


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