K. Eltinaé is a Sudanese poet of Nubian descent, raised internationally as a third culture kid. His work has been translated into Arabic, Greek, Farsi, and Spanish and has appeared in World Literature Today, The Ordinary Chaos of Being Human: Many Muslim Worlds (Penguin), The African American Review, Muftah, among others. He is the winner of The 2019 Beverly Prize for International Literature (Eyewear Publishing) and Muftah´s Creative Writing Competition At Home in the World and the recipient of the Visionary Arts Memorial Reza Abdoh Poetry Prize 2021, He is also co-winner of the 2019 Dignity Not Detention Prize (Poetry International). He currently resides in Granada, Spain. His debut collection The Moral Judgement of Butterflies is forthcoming this spring from Black Spring Press. More of his work can be found at: https://www.instagram.com/k.eltinae.
“Volatile Grounds” is an auditory installation which is part of a performative installation entitled The Great Report, which took place in Kampnagel, Hamburg (2020).
“Volatile Grounds” embodies the privatisation of lands and the mismanagement of waste. The incessant neglect in which our hand in nature and lack of respect towards the environment caused this situation to escalate, and is one that requires our urgent attention. We have already reached a critical point where the repercussions of our actions have led to mass suffering, such as high levels of food and water contamination, medical setbacks, and further detrimental effects towards the people. We cannot continue with this downward spiral lest it leads to the further demise of the entire country and its citizens.
“…we hear from time to time that someone got into the hospital and was cured getting out he contracted a virus so this virus contracted is due to the storage of the psychotoxic that’s in the hospitals and there are some apartments within Beirut where are stored these kind of psychotoxics” — Anonymous
The soundscape is composed of interview material collected in 2019 from anonymous activists a few months before the start of the revolution in Beirut, Lebanon. The content centres around the waste management crisis and land reclamation issue present in the region. The raw and manipulated field recordings work as metaphors to convey the constant disharmony present in the country. For instance, crow sounds are used to represent death and the abyss. On the other hand car horns describe the sonic environment of the country and that change needs to happen in order for it to stand back on its feet. The sonic score maintains a high level of density throughout most of the composition, similar to how the country’s citizens have been honking at the politicians for years. Coincidently during the early production phase of the project in October 2019 the revolution broke out in the country, which unveiled concealed truths that these anonymous activists had shared in the interviews.
We give thanks to all the anonymous activists that have contributed their time to “Volatile Grounds” and The Great Report.
Nour Sokhon is a Lebanese interdisciplinary artist based in Beirut, Lebanon. Her creative practice is centered around exploring different methods of working with artistic research including interview material, field recordings and recorded material from an organized site specific intervention. The research is then translated into sound/music compositions, performances, interactive installations and moving image work.
In 2014, Nour achieved an undergraduate degree in Fine Arts from the American University in Dubai, and in 2017 she culminated a large scale project; a documentary entitled ‘People on Sound’, as part of her Master’s degree in Sound for the Moving Image at the Glasgow School of Art in the UK.
In 2019, Nour received the Emerging Artist Prize at the Sursock Museum in Lebanon, for a moving image piece entitled ‘Revisiting: Hold Your Breath’. She is currently completing the Sound Art 2020 scholarship that she was awarded by Lower Saxony and the University of Fine Arts in Braunschweig, Germany. Nour has exhibited her artwork in Beirut, Dubai, London, Glasgow, Paris, Hamburg, Madrid, Zurich, Juterbog, Sellasia and Beirut. She has also performed in Frankfurt, Berlin, Beirut, Dubai, Paris, Montreal, Melbourne, Sellasia, Bern, Soustons and in different festivals such as the Al Quoz Arts Festival (Dubai, UAE), the Other Worlds Festival (Blackpool, UK), the Network Music Festival 2020 (online) and This Is Not Lebanon (Frankfurt, Germany). She is a member of two sound collectives, Tse Tse Fly Middle East and Heya.
Interview Material: Moritz Frischkorn & Nour Sokhon
A train, loaded with pesticides, overtakes pedestrians
Some of whom curse the train,
Others have no choice but to bow their heads
And curse later
A journey – captured in one take – that goes back along part of the phosphate road to the city of Gabès, located in the southeast of Tunisia. Gabès is unique in that it is both an oasis and a seaport overlooking the Mediterranean.
Since its establishment in the 1970s, the chemical complex has caused environmental damage to the city of Gabès, where phosphate is processed for export to Europe. Every day the complex pours tonnes of its toxic waste into the sea by the city’s bay.
Intissar Belaid is a filmmaker and visual artist based in Tunisia. She explores different techniques in the fields of cinema and arts. Her work revolves around tackling concepts like perception and time, human and nonhuman history, as well as collective and individual memory, through an artistic approach that adopts divergent points of view.
Intissar investigates a variety of disciplines in order to question a generation in relation to its memory in a current socio-political context. Through this questioning, she traces what remains of an event, an era, a history.
It feels crucial now to reach out and remind us that we are all we need. Our salvation lies within us: within our systems, our cultures, our indigenous ways of life. We are told that we must exist within systems created to destroy us; that we need these systems to survive. This is a lie. Now, how will you act upon what you know?
Juliana Yazbeck is an award-winning actor, writer & musical artist. As an actor, she is best known for her roles as Niqabi Ninja in Sara Sharaawi’s play Niqabi Ninja, Roza Salih in Glasgow Girls (National Theatre of Scotland) and Yara in the Emmy-winning series Shankaboot (BBC World Service).
Juliana’s debut record SUNGOD was awarded PRS Foundation’s Women Make Music Award. Juliana recently played a sold-out show at London’s Electric Ballroom (2020). In 2019, Juliana played London’s ULU alongside Sudanese icon AlSarah, headlined the National Theatre River Stage and Liverpool Arab Arts Festival, and was nominated for the Arab British Centre’s Award for Culture.
Juliana also writes regularly. Her words feature in gal-dem magazine and on Medium.com.