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Chanty Louis wins Martin Luther King Spoken Word Contest 2023

10 October 2023
On Monday, 9 October, a Spoken Word contest around the theme 'Why We Can't Wait' preceded the Martin Luther King Lecture. Chanty Louis was chosen as the winner on this evening filled with passion and creativity, in the spirit of Martin Luther King's ideals.

With the Martin Luther King Spoken Word contest, we gather a community of poets, wordsmiths, and enthusiasts of these art forms every year. Together, we celebrate the power of words, both within the VU community and beyond.

This year, we received an overwhelming number of inspiring submissions, showcasing the power of spoken word. From these, the jury - consisting of Elten Kiene, Uchaindani Watson, and Dave Ensberg-Kleijkers - selected Chanty Louis, Mattanja Gerritsen and Juneal Holder as finalists. They were invited to perform in front of the audience at VU Amsterdam on 9 October. Chanty Louis was chosen as the winner.

In addition to recognition and appreciation, Chanty also received the first-place prize money of 750 euros. The other two finalists each received an amount of 375 euros in recognition of their exceptional performances. 

Of course, this evening was not solely about winning. Spoken word is about voices heard, stories told, and shared emotions. That's why the jury also presented an encouragement award, recognizing the courage and inspiration evident in every submission. This was awarded to Tenzin Yangdotsang.