Slam Poetry as a tool to strengthen bonds in Trafaria

 Universidade NOVA de Lisboa organizes a series of Slam Poetry events in Trafaria

Since its origins in Chicago, in 1984, the Poetry Slam has been expanding in many countries, namely the Portuguese speaking ones, addressing topics of great actuality. In order to create engagement with the local community of Trafaria and communicate the T-Factor project, the local coalition launched a Slam Poetry workshop and contest last June.

Together with the neighbors of Trafaria, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa organized 3 Slam Poetry events, held in Casino Trafaria during the 3 last weekends of June. The activity was open to any person willing to participate and included prizes for the best performances. The aim of this activity was to create engagement with the young population of Trafaria through the introduction of creative processes, while keeping a language that is relevant to the community. At the same time, the initiative was intended to bring awareness to T-Factor project and the IAT to the local community.

Prior to the competition, there was a 3 day Slam Poetry workshop offered by Slam masters for local students, amateur poets, actors, performers in general and many other interested candidates. The artists showcased their work and teach the fundamental relations between words, voice and body in the workshops. Those sessions were led by the FCSH team (Professors Paulo Monteiro and Carla Fernandes, together with a PhD grantee student, Miriam Freitas), Slam poetry trainers and EDA.

Participants of all ages, from 12 up to 70 years old, and from all social classes participated in the events, including the local population of Trafaria but also people from all over the country that came to take part in the competition.

Slam Poetry participants in Trafaria

Insights and outcomes of the event

  • Relational: Increasing shared value, developing relationships and networks among the communities.
  • Operational: preservation of communities’ intangible cultural heritage, dissolving the walls between academia and communities.
  • Strategic: expanding notions of cultural heritage by creating alternatives to the authorized heritage discourse (AHD).

The activity revealed that there are institutions, organizations and associations (eg Casino Trafaria, Parish Council, Gandaia and the promoters in Trafaria’s social networks) that are interested in promoting cultural events in the Trafaria Community, and also demonstrated pro-activity in contributing to the success of the project, especially, Casino da Trafaria.