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Kjell Hoexum in Spot on Young Poets

Thuis. Nog een week. Weer een maand.' - video poem (Dutch spoken)


Writers Unlimited asked eight young people to write a poem on the theme of the online Winternachten festival 2021: It's up to us. All of them previously participated in the Spot on Young Poets programme for secondary school pupils in The Hague and reached the finals of the Young Campert Prize.

Kjell Hoexum is a young poet from The Hague who ptook part in Spot on Young Poets, the education project of Writers Unlimited, poet and poetry teacher Diann van Faassen and Museum Meermanno | House of the Book. During poetry workshops at secondary schools in The Hague, pupils are taught poetry writing and recitation. Kjell recited his poem during Winternachten festival 2017. At the time, he was a student of De Populier in The Hague; he now studies at the Nederlandse Fotovakschool in Rotterdam.

This year it was not possible to organize the poetry workshops, but Diann van Faassen walked with eight former participants through the parks and streets of The Hague and explored the theme with them. The result is an extraordinary series of video poems created by the young poets themselves. It is a poignant testimony of a generation, full of desire to express their perspective and outlook on life, but hardly able to do so due to the Covid-19 measures. With their imagination, they give a voice to their contemporaries that is usually under-represented in the public debate.

About their walk, Diann wrote, "Kjell is used to the digital world but has recently started shooting analog pictures. Now using his father's camera, he started looking at his surroundings differently. Kjell doesn't just want to make pictures, there has to be a story behind them. Something that, in turn, he can probably use when writing his poem.

His training stimulates him to look for the limits of what you can think up. 'It's up to us' doesn't necessarily fill him with hope now that we all have to stay at home. What can you do when your freedom of movement and contacts are limited? Our walk had the best possible conclusion with Kjell's words as we parted, "Now that we've walked here like this, I really feel like writing!"