life is hard in ger man eee
the last spoken word event i went to was at nuyorican. i was inspired to go mainly so i wouldn’t get clowned again for having not been. usually when i’ve gone to an event, the open mic ended up being more like an unintended stand up comedy routine than a scene out of love jones. at nuyorican, one man stood up in all seriousness reading a poem with the refrain: vegetables, vegetables, you gotta eat them vegetables.
i wasn’t sure what to expect at the dope spot. spoken word in any language would rank around oberstufe VI, a language level i have not quite reached in german. one of the hosts, flow, is a talented sistapoet from texas, in berlin on a fulbright, organizing events and researching the spoken word scene in germany. positive people doing positive things – you gotta support. it was still hard not to giggle. there was the spoken word team berlin from the national competition. the 4 men started out with a chorus in english, each enunciating one syllable of the phrase: life is hard in germany. over and over and over again.
next up, there was a pornochic poem in french, a poem about loops that kept making me think i need to recharge my O2 loop phone card, and one dude who skillfully integrated a ringing cellphone into his piece. i understood something about fish bones and grape seeds. it was too much to concentrate on for a saturday night. the dj, flow’s jam, and natural’s set were all tight and a break from the german listening comprehension test. if the dope spot comes back in 2005, take the time to check it out.
on sunday, i had the chance to visit The Collegium, a television program put on by the Black International Cinema group, directed by Prof. Donald Griffith. although i couldn’t stay to see the live show, i was able to observe how the show’s pre-production takes place at Offener Kanal Berlin, the public access channel. the show is broadcast live from 9-10pm, once a month, and then replayed on the following sundays. check, check, check it out.
life may be hard in germany but it’s definitely been a positive end to 04, coming into contact with other black americans in berlin doing their thing.