Mother Language Day Poetry Recital at Dom Kulture, 25/02/2017

When given the opportunity to represent the English language, Ben leapt at the chance. As did Bonnie for the chance to represent Australian-English, and the great poets of her country. As avid poetry readers, the two Svitac (Firefly) volunteers found the chance to perform in their mother tongue – for an audience of language enthusiasts – was an honour and a privilege.

The producers of the event were with the two all the way from asking participation, to precise notes on the recital of Bonnie and Ben’s pieces. Offering much needed suggestions and advice on the performance. Also in aiding of the timing of the event, props that were needed, etc. The producers and poetry readers were in constant contact, which made Mother Language Day an easy event to be a part of.

Choosing the poetry that was to be performed was a thrill. Attempting to showcase Bonnie and Ben’s respective dialects was a welcome challenge to take on for the two language buffs. Bonnie chose the poem ‘My Love’ by Oodgeroo Noonuccal, and Ben chose poems by John Keats, and local poet Mak Dizdar. Again the producers gave full reign on what was to be performed, and for how long they were to be performed.

Bonnie gave a beautiful recital of ‘My Love’, with a thoughtful introduction to the piece – acknowledging the traditional owners of the land and the loss of language that came by colonisation of Australia. Ben read poetry by the late romantic poet, Keats, and by Stolac own, Mak Dizdar. Both poems spoke of hard times and woe, and the rebellious act of continuing on after the fact.

Svitac (Firefly) would like to thank Dom Kulture for hosting the event, and to all those who were part of making it a special evening for all ages, nationalities, languages, peoples.

Ben Owens, Svitac EVS volunteer



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