During the first lockdown, Steph Holl-Trieu invited Pedro Marum and i, to ruminate on the pandemic and to consider how to orient ourselves once more within our communities and consider the new challenges that we would face when protesting. Not long after recording, the death of George Floyd sparked global outrage and heightened urgency of combating institutional racism. We took this time to listen, reflect, and leave digital space for more pressing urgencies; Black activists, voices, and resources.
Nonsilent Protest became the first episode of Haus of Commons on Cashmere Radio. HoC undertakes a collective inquiry into identifying the various current social movements and aims to foster connections between these splintered groups.
For this episode, we had initially intended to expand the idea of “Silent Protest”, asking what channels to activate or reactivate in times in which we can’t be out on the streets. This was during a time in which we were avoiding public space almost entirely. It was important for us to assert how silence out on the streets does not mean that we are remaining silent about the social issues the pandemic was magnifying. From the very beginning, Silent Protest was not a demand to mute our voices, but to orient ourselves to the sounds of protest which grow louder as public life calms down. However the protests and rebellions of this past week have shown how “Silent Protest” had been an unserving title for our conversation all along. We needed to rehearse into our own vocabulary what has always been true: that silence is complicity.
You will hear the conversation between us 3 recorded at the end of April. Our voices are interspersed with audio recordings collected by Natalia Domínguez Rangel as part of her series “Acoustic Ecologies”, where she asks people from around the globe to record their surroundings and interpret the way they are listening through the days of social distancing. From afar we can also hear revolutionary songs, protests, or the laughter and dancing feet of the drifters guided by Maria Scaroni, the initiator of “Techno Drift”, an open-source collective choreography, for dancing through nature, ruins or while invading public space alone, together, during the pandemic.
Nonsilent Protest is generously supported by Berlin Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa and organised by Steph Holl-Trieu on behalf of Ashley Berlin, an independent, non-profit exhibition space founded in 2013. For now, remaining closed to the public in a Hinterhof on Oranienstraße.
Full conceptual text can be found in attached PDF
playlist: Recording from the 31st of May, at Hermanplatz Black Lives Matter Protest Berlin
Recording from the 25th of April, in Berlin, by Pedro Marum
Recordings from the 25th of April, in Lisbon, by João Reis Moreira
Recording of Techno Drift session with Maria Scaroni, by Pedro Marum
Recording of Techno Drift session with Maria Scaroni, by Lou Drago
Read excerpt from Techno Drift, by Maria Francesca Scaroni
Natalia Domínguez Rangel - Live set for TONSPUR Kunstverein Wien
Zeca Afonso - Grândola, Vila Morena
Steve Reich - It Has Been A Honeymoon-Can't Take No Mo'