Paper – The Little Girl in Belgrade

The Hungarian writer Kinga Tóth reflects in her sound poetry performance Paper on the traditional roles of women and the unusual use of the color blue. The piece was presented at the Rečotrrrč / Wordrrrun performance festival in Belgrade/Serbia this year.



Visual and sound poems are place related. In this project, my main research field is the connection between manipulation and language, where I also use my studies and research in communication studies and literary and language theory. Nowadays wall writings, graffiti, advertisements, and placards are proverbial idioms, sayings. They create new fairy tales for new generations. They are the sentences people encounter first, not the tradition, not the stories and fairy tales our grandparents told us. In the modern world, these sentences create new tales, new traditions. Wall writings also show how we work and »talk« with community spaces, as with a train station in Havirov/Czech Republic, streets in Germany, or waste containers in Slovakia.

The project Paper questions and criticizes the traditional roles of women. It is based on a poem of mine which was inspired by signs for waste bins in Bratislava. On these signs, a nice little girl with a plastic bag symbolizes the role of women to be tidy and responsible for cleanliness. The sign’s text is blue. In the performance, I too, as the author, am in blue. I use a blue trash bag as an instrument – which also refers to the election in the post-war period of populist parties in Hungary, where people received blue tickets from the party to vote for them, indications of a manipulated voting system and totalitarianism. Last October was the first time I performed Paper. I began the performance by playing sounds, wearing the pioneer scarf made from the blue trash bag to allude to the socialist background of the scarf and this plastic, as this was also the material of our uniform in the totalitarian dictatorship.



„PAPIER. Noviny, casopisy, kartóny, knihy.”
Papír. Újságok, magazinok, karton, könyvek.
Paper, newspapers, cardboard, magazines, books

i am the waving little girl
my pony tail reaches the bottom of my ears as they bind it
the most diligently i pull the cart
the class gets food tickets for that
we can choose from two blue containers
in the candy shop
blue is our team blue is our uniform
ours is baggier our breasts not to be seen
equal sex are these blue cardigans
we collect the batches to the trash bin
these old books tell no real news
we sort the ones which do not fit out
i am the cheerful little girl
right to my ears it reaches
as they bind us