The Future: A Between Two Islands Soundscape

Friday 1 October - Sunday 14 November, All Day

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Spoken Word

The year is 2121. The sea levels have risen and swallowed the land. You are an adventurer returning to your ancestral home. Your boat travels for a day on the green-blue seas, to reach the place where Bahrain once was…

Audiences are invited to enter a vision of the future in this free, bilingual digital audio experience exploring a seascape of a future Bahrain. Featuring poetry and narration by seven Bahraini poets, it has been set to music and sound designed by Yussuf Maleem.

In January–February 2021, fourteen Bahrainis living in the UK, amongst them second-generation immigrants, migrants, students and diasporans, came together to write poetry exploring their experiences as a community far from their heart’s homeland. Funded by Arts Council England, the workshops  were facilitated by poet Amina Atiq and resulted in the publication of the Between Two Islands anthology, the first Bahraini community arts publication of its kind, and the creation of this soundscape.

Featuring the voices of the anthology poets, with works from the anthology and two new poems, the soundscape journeys through the shared heritage of Bahrain, the Gulf, and all coastal people – grasping at what we risk losing in the face of climate breakdown.

The Between Two Islands project asserts a Bahraini voice to the UK’s arts scene. Featuring poems in both Arabic and English, the poetry explores symbols of the sea and the date palm. Appeals to ancestors clash against economies of fintech and fossil fuels, as the poets adventure deeper into the sea, in search of the pearls of the past.

Listeners are invited to join the Between Two Islands poets in their journey.

The soundscape is best enjoyed wearing headphones with minimal distractions.

Produced by Ali Al-Jamri. Featuring the voices and words of Fatema AbuidreesTaher AdelJenan AlhasabiFatima AlhalwachiZainab Al-Khawaja, Ali Al-Jamri, and Mohamed Arab (in order of appearance). Sound design by Yussuf Maleem. Artwork by Fatema Al-Fanar. Special thanks are given to Amina Atiq who worked with all the poets in our workshops and supported the early development of the soundscape. Deep thanks are also given to Arts Council England, Young Identity, Commonword and the Arab British Centre without whom the project would not have been possible.

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