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Martin Luther King Spoken Word contest

Language has many voices. Some are still heard too little. During the Martin Luther King Lecture 2021, held on 28 October, we were able to listen to untold stories, hidden histories and suppressed heartfelt cries. One of the elements of the programme of the lecture was the Martin Luther King Spoken Word contest. Noë van Leeuwen, Anna van Doorn, Dina Bousbaa, Tasha Mhishi and Kwan Suppaiboonsuk were invited to perform their entries live on Black Heritage Night. It was Tasha Mhishi who was declared the winner with her entry 'No title'.

The Martin Luther King Spoken Word contest took place for the third time. From over ninety entries, the expert jury, consisting of Babs Gons, Dorothy Blokland, Onias Landveld and Dave Ensberg, selected five nominees who were allowed to perform their entry live on Black Heritage Night: Noë van Leeuwen, Anna van Doorn, Dina Bousbaa, Tasha Mhishi and Kwan Suppaiboonsuk.

The five nominees were praised by the jury for their beautiful and powerful words. "We were looking for hope, like Martin Luther King expressed his hope. We were not necessarily looking for happy endings, but for the small cracks through which the light shines. Wraiths little snippets or small pieces of dream between the lines", jury member Babs Gons said. It was Tasha Mhishi who eventually won the Martin Luther King Spoken Word contest 2021 with her entry 'No title'. 

Watch the entries of the five nominees of the Martin Luther King Spoken Word contest 2021 and the jury report here:

Noë van Leeuwen - 5 voor 12

Anna van Doorn - MLK 

Dina Bousbaa - Opa

Tasha Mhishi - No title 

Kwan Suppaiboonsuk - More than just a number 


Jury report

(Foto: UPI/From the film poster: A Filmed Record. Montgomery to Memphis)