Hana Miletić
Tenir Paroles


10 x 18 cm, 50 p, ills b&w, paperback, French


edition of 100
November 2014

First edition out of stock

parole (French): speech, utterance, voice, tone, language, word, sentence, saying; word of honour tenir sa parole: to keep one’s word

Hana Miletić explores the experimental potential of poetry and hip hop through an ongoing collaboration with a collective of young rappers from Brussels, La Frénétick (age 17 and 18 years). Miletić has been working with La Frénétick since 2012 when she met the rappers during photographic workshops that she organized together with the non-profit organization Foyer in Molenbeek, Brussels. The outcomes of these workshops led to the previously released LP The Molem Collective, (APE#026, 2013).

The title of the brand new publication, Tenir Paroles (APE#046, 2014), considers the artistic and political potential of poetry. Departing from a background in documentary photography, Miletić started wondering whether words could also act as images. And what could the role of poetry be then in this world of appearances? The artist recalls Hannah Arendt’s thinking: that words are increasingly not just the medium in which we think, but the medium in which we live. Miletić believes that poetry can be an ally, or “a barking dog to a revolutionary reconfiguration of human society – a revolution which would destroy all social roles, that of the poet included” (quoted from a lecture by Marina Vishmidt, Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam, April 2014).

In close readings of La Frénétick’s lyrics, Miletić discovered multiple poetic moments. In addition to their textual sensibility, the songs often reference a figure which can be understood as the classic cursed poet (‘le poète maudit’), the artist who lives outside of society as an outcast, such as Baudelaire, Mallarmé, Rimbaud or Verlaine.

Until recently La Frénétick had never performed live. All of the rappers’ activity happened almost exclusively online, on YouTube and Facebook. As a way of representing La Frénétick’s writing in physical form and of expanding the reading beyond a merely online temporality, Miletić started editing the original raps into a collection of poetry. Simply by bringing parts of the rappers’ lyrics to the surface, the fragments began to function as aphorisms and short poems. The editing process was done in close consultation with a co-editor, Ibrahim Khayar, who was also enrolled in the Foyer workshops and had been part of the Molem group. The poetry book Tenir Paroles, is the fruit of all of these multiple, long-term relationships.