Photo: Noga Ehrlich.
Photo: Paul Vreeswijk.
The poematon is a live poetic juke box. She will recite poems for you, in your language and in many, many others.
How are foreign languages perceived in the public space?
As an irrelevant blur, a source of curiosity, a symbol of cultural wealth, a threatening harassment?
During the event, a paper-clad character recites poems, prayers and short stories in many different languages. The texts have been collected from perfect strangers in the street, in public buildings and also by mail. They were caretakers, cleaners, builders and also academics. Most of them met the demand with sympathy and that first recitation led directly to a whole conversation.
The audience is invited to listen, ask for a language, recognise another and meet the sounds of our streets.
Concept, design and performance: Gabrielle Neuhaus
My thanks to all who taught me a poem.