The work with the title “irritating borders” consists of the one sound work entitled “Waterly (waterways)” and one drawing with graphite on paper. The sound work is based on a poetic text with the same title which I wrote especially for the sound piece. “irritating borders” was created especially for the exhibition House of Kal which took place at nGbK in September 2023. I am connected to House of Kal since 2021.

House of Kal is part of the transoceanic platform, a language where yesterday and tomorrow are the same word. Founded in 2020, by a group of artists and activists, kal is nomadic place for listening, music and movement, for practicing vocabularies at the crossings of art, anticolonial feminisms and eco-politics that articulate radically different ways of being alive together in entangled futures, pasts and presents. The artistic and activist positions interconnect modes of survival and reimagination that emerge from water bound ecologies around the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea, the northern Atlantic and the River Spree. Together they propose an anti-map of ecologies of practice invested in collectivity, resistance, worldbuilding and imperfect solidarities, with a focus on queer, migrant and decolonial relationships between the Global North and South across time and space. House of Kal is collectively cared for by Aziza Ahmad, Promona Sengupta and The Many Headed Hydra (Aziz Sohail, Suza Husse, Emma Wolf-Haugh).

In the same week when Aziz Sohail invited me to take part in the "House of Kal" exhibition, the shipwreck of Pylos in Greece took place. The deadly tragedy caused 79 victims, 104 rescued and hundreds missing bodies, all migrants, mainly from Pakistan. This tragic event proves that the European anti-migration policy of push-backs is turning the Mediterranean into a watery grave.
'Waterly (waterways)' is a poetic and sonic journey around criminal watery borders. The work interweaves readings and thoughts about water as a symbiotic network. Criminal waves meet joyful underwater creatures shaping watery bridges. 'Waterly (waterways)' focuses on water's capacity to remember.

Janine MacLeod argues that “The water we drink and touch is the same water that erupted as a stream at the origins of the earth. All of the moments of the past have this same water as their witness.” The work poses the question: What happens to our memory when the fluids that flow through our body, the fluids we swallow, the fluids that nurture our bodies connect us to other (more-than-human) watery bodies?

The text combines English language with Urdu, Greek and Turkish words. The sound work makes use of voices, multiple beats, field recordings of bodies of water, harmonies and modular synthesis. In doing so, it interweaves narration and sonic waves into a polyphonic multilanguage sonicscape. Voice shapes the words anew to transform them into sonic materiality. Small fragments of speech become beat or melodic patterns.

The drawing with the title “irritating borders” invents an imaginary border as a bridge. Inspiration fields for “irritating borders” are the coastline of Greek borders and the outline of animal hides. “Irritating borders” is the "in-betweenness“, what Gloria Anzaldua calls ‘Nepantla’. It is the liminal space, a space where we are not this or that but where we are changing”

The sound work is based on the following poetic text, which I wrote especially for the project.

Excerpt of the sound work "Waterly (waterways)"
Total duration: 17 min 25 sec
Excerpt duration: 05min 33 sec

Waterly (waterways)_Excerpt 5 min