Melbourne Spoken Word has had both Omar and Alia on our site before as part of the ‘Video Verse’ feature, but these two new videos deserve special mention. ‘Video Verse’ is about showcasing the Melbourne Spoken Word scene through video, as an accessible way to introduce people to poetry and spoken word, to defy the expectations of what they expect poetry to be, and to seek out more. Both Alia and Omar are the leading light in the use of video.
I’ve spoken about it before on my own blog. Through the use of YouTube and sharing links virally on Facebook and Twitter, video is essential when poetry is not on mainstream television. With preconceived notions of what poetry is about, it can be a barrier to venturing out one night to see a gig, but a short video from the comfort of your own home is easy.
We saw this year that both Sarah Kay and Phil Kaye attracted this pretty sizeable following basically off viral YouTube videos. American poets like Taylor Mali are much the same, and it’s something we can tap into. Both Omar Musa and Alia Gabres wow us with these latest videos, in terms of the quality of poetry, but also the professional quality of the videos and what it adds to the pieces.