I visited the Pueblo Chilies distribution company in Santa Fe, New Mexico. At the back was a room where there were various performances going on. However, I had gone there specifically for the spoken word presentations. During the day, this place doubles up as a distribution center for New Mexico’s chilies which are often entered into competitions and festivals. The dress code was casual, considering the clientele were simply looking to interact with those who had similar interests in the arts. Night time is usually the best time to catch these performances; away from the bustle of traffic, heat, and work. I went to see the performance with a friend who had recommended it for my project. I am not well conversant with the area so she was a big help in locating it and finding out what times it opened and the safety precautions I needed to take. I discovered that most of the women there were dressed in slacks or jeans and ankle-length shoes, probably to protect their legs from insect bites. The spoken word is a form of poetry that works with word play to communicate social issues and to create awareness or even to entertain. This oral art is not only rhythmic but it is also applicable to all forms of the verbally-expressed arts. It focuses on voice inflection and intonation to communicate with the audience. This is different from poems which often follow a specific pattern and poetic innuendos. The manipulation of sound in the spoken word gives it body and effectiveness. The performer highlighted the emptiness that young people feel and the racial discrimination that still exists despite advances in technology. She reiterated that we are responsible for saving the universe while at the same time we are misshaping it. ‘?The past predicts the future, while the present speaks of the past in the spoken word’ reiterates Gwilliams (Gwilliams, Linzen, Poeppel & Marantz, 2017). This performance when placed within context shows how far the current generation has gone in a bid to get wealthy while ignoring their social responsibilities. Watching this performance helped me fully understand and appreciate the spoken word. The performer had the audience captivated as well evidenced by their response while addressing what ails the current generation. The most captivating moment was when she identified human pretense in attempting to attain happiness while having a vacuum which they attempt to fill with financial gains at the expense of others. The humanities explore the tenets of human culture which is passed down through generations. The application of this is the use of words to express the feelings of an individual who exists within the same age group and I would like to find out more about how to change the young mindset, if possible. The fluency and mastery of this art is evidence of the evolution of the humanities from mere monotones into pieces that are not only memorable but applicable to a specific audience and within every time frame. The use of familiar language enables audiences to identify with what the performer is speaking of. In the words of Roy and others, ‘the spoken word has the ability to transcend the speaker, creating a historical link in itself’ (Roy, Frank, DeCamp, P., Miller & Roy, 2015).
Gwilliams, L., Linzen, T., Poeppel, D., & Marantz, A. (2017). In spoken word recognition the future predicts the past.? bioRxiv, 150151. Roy, B. C., Frank, M. C., DeCamp, P., Miller, M., & Roy, D. (2015). Predicting the birth of a spoken word.? Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,? 112(41), 12663-12668.
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