Our second post in our series looking at regular gigs looks at the women’s only ‘Mother Tongue,’ another relatively new gig on the Melbourne scene.

Words by Fleassy Malay

185639_216714311798932_390570728_nMother Tongue aims to be more than just a spoken word night (as they all do I guess). It is, as far as I know, Melbourne’s only Women’s Spoken Word night. The set up is simple, 2 feature acts, 10 open mic slots, chai, cake and cushions. Only Women perform but men are more than welcome (and encouraged) to come and watch.

Our catchphrase, if it’s cool to call it that, is “Passionate, Powerful, Vulnerable and Honest” and this really does seem to set the theme of the night, it never fails to bring laughter, tears and a post-show sense of …”wow did that really happen?”

The original idea was to create a space with two intentions; 1. To provide a platform for women to inspire and be inspired, be them first time writers or seasoned performers and 2. To PAY. After years of performing internationally and feeling guilty even asking for expenses, the intention for Mother Tongue was to not only pay our Feature Acts for their passion and gifts but to also remind them that this is a symbol of their worth, and that they are doing important and powerful work… and to keep doing it! It’s a real community event and the warmth and sense of support from it is often felt days/weeks after.

The talent always inspires me and the courage of the women that get up and share their deepest truths in a creative way is amazing. It’s almost like a women’s group and a performance platform joined… There have been whispered plans of a Brother Tongue being set up and I really really hope I get to see that happen. The concept of the “tongues” is not to segregate but to create a space for our vulnerability to be witnessed and supported. The next one is 19th of April and I am super excited for it, so… see you down there!

Information and updates about Mother Tongue can be found at their Facebook Page. And the next Mother Tongue, featuring Michelle Dabrowski and Nicole Duchesne, is this Friday, the 19th of April from 7.30pm at Melbourne Physical and Natural Studio, 1/393 Smith Street, Fitzroy.

Benjamin Solah

Benjamin Solah

Benjamin Solah is a writer, poet, spoken word artist, activist and the Director of Melbourne Spoken Word. He grew up in Western Sydney before calling Melbourne home in 2008, where he's performed since 2010 around Melbourne's regular spoken word and poetry nights including Passionate Tongues, The Dan Poets, Voices in the Attic and House of Bricks as well as the NGV and White Night. He's released a chapbook, broken bodies, and two spoken word albums, Duel Power with Santo Cazzati and The World Doesn't Make Sense EP.
Benjamin Solah

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