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Decolonization through Spoken Word Poetry: A Postcolonial Analysis of Emi Mahmoud and Safia Elhillo’s poetry

Journal: International Journal of English, Literature and Social Science (Vol.7, No. 6)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 44-59

Keywords : Culture; Decolonisation; Language; Liminal space; Performance; Spoken Word;

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Hip Hop has been a cultural wave creating and modifying the revolution started in the 1970s by Black people against systemic oppression, and while it manifests itself as a commodified narrativization against racism, sexism and other equally troublesome oppressive ideologies, it becomes a site for change through ethnographic performativity. Spoken Word poets have used this tool to bring marginal narratives to the center and challenge the heteropatriarchal lens, misogynoir and racist practices all around the world. Spoken word poetry has not been researched analytically or theoretically much previously, and even when it was, the research and statistics were limited to the technical aspects of performance. This paper deals with the idea of culture being a site for performance, and simultaneously performance being the action that precedes stereotypes and false representations of marginalized cultures throughout the global north. The spoken word poets use the stage as a liminal space for a multiplicity of cultures to thrive, and challenge the oppressive tools, including that of language, clothing, and voice used by mainstream cultures to oppress the said communities, and normalize their own traditions and morals. The paper reveals the performative tactics used by spoken word poets in order to deinstitutionalize systems of power, and establish a counter narrative of their own as a form of revolution

Last modified: 2022-11-19 19:26:11