Sven Gatz launches Slam Contest for Brussels youth

Brussels Minister Sven Gatz, responsible for the promotion of multilingualism and the image of Brussels, is launching a new poetry contest for young people up to 25 years old: the BeTalky Slam Contest. The assignment is simple: describe how beautiful Brussels is in ten lines and in several languages.

The BeTalky Slam Contest is aimed at young people in Brussels who like to be creative with languages. They are challenged to write a slam poem praising Brussels in up to ten sentences and 150 words and in different languages: Dutch, French and English. Words in home languages are also allowed.

"With this initiative, I want to give our youtha taste for the beauty of the super-diverse city they are growing up in," says Minister Gatz, who is also responsible for Dutch-language education in the Vlaamse Gemeenschapscommissie. "In addition, I want to challenge them to be creative with languages, Dutch, French and English of course, but also their home languages. After all, the future of Brussels is multilingual and the format of slam poetry connects to the urban youth culture, as rap and hip-hop do in music."

Philip Meersman, chairperson of the jury of the multilingual slam contest: "The winner will be invited to share the stage with 40 slammers from all continents during the World Slam Championship, at the end of September 2022. In a slam poem, everyone's voice is heard, everyone can express passion, drive, a clear opinion or a dominant feeling. From a multilingual dada poem via a surrealistic trip or a futuristic vision of Brussels. Every voice is valuable, every word a step towards understanding the other."

An international jury will read and judge all the poems and announce the winner. The winner will then have the opportunity to read the winning poem in front of all the members of parliament in the Brussels Parliament. The winning poem will be given a special place in the Parliament after the award ceremony. 

Poems must be submitted by 18 February 2022 at the latest. The winner will be announced next year on World Poetry Day (21 March). The poems must not have previously been awarded, selected or nominated in other competitions.

More information, the rules of the poetry competition and the names of the judges can be found here:

Story image
Eva Vanhengel Woordvoerder / porte-parole, Kabinet van Minister Sven Gatz
Peter Dejaegher Woordvoerder / porte-parole a.i.
About Sven Gatz

Sven Gatz
Brussels minister voor Financiën, Begroting, Ambtenarenzaken en Meertaligheid
Vlaams minister van Brusselse Aangelegenheden
Avenue des Arts, 9
1210 Brussels