Sjaan Flikweert – “Bridging the gap. Learning to listen”

TEDxAmsterdamWomen - Sjaan Flikweert

TEDxAmsterdamWomen does not only offer inspirational talks, but also entertainment with a message. The spoken word performance by Sjaan Flikweert, called “the choreography of the poem,” made the audience hold their breath. Sjaan started off quietly, walking up on stage creating a stunning rhythm with her movements and words. With her first poem she wanted to reach out to listeners through her desire to be heard. As she said, bridging the gap is about learning to listen”. In the second poem, called ‘motherhood’, she reflected on the definitions of a mother and the responsibility that comes with it: nurturing. Across all cultures, genders and ages nurturing is something we all do, everyday. She challenged us to become more aware of this, ending her poem by asking: “Aren’t we all nurturing something? Aren’t we all mothers?”.

It was clear from the start of her performance that her experience as a professional dancer gave her the skills to perform her poems rhythmically and melodiously. In a light, but honest, manner she spoke about topics that we can all relate to, such as, grief and sadness but also dancing and excitement. With her spoken word performance, Sjaan lived up to her aim: contributing to the development of oral traditions in the Netherlands. Since 2009, the dancer, poet and theatre-maker, has been performing her beautiful and raw spoken word poetry. We are so pleased we had the honour to listen to her on the TEDxAmsterdamWomen stage.