Sogokuru my new performative installation and part two of my series (Non) Humanism & Animism will get premiered early 2019 at CTM Festival in Berlin. Sogokuru literally means grandfather in Kinyarwanda and will be an ode to the incredible resilience and wisdom of my nearly 109 year old Rwandan grandfather: a HAPPY BIRTHDAY WISH, loud and proud, for everyone to be heard!
live worldpremiere jan/feb CTM 2019, Berlin (DE)
2019 – 2020 other tour dates in Germany, Benelux and beyond will follow
March 22nd 2019 radio premiere via Deutschlandfunk Kultur (DE)
Spring 2019 re-broadcasting via ORF, Vienna (AU)
+ other EBU Ars Acustica partners
Sogokuru is the winning project of CTM Radiolab 2019, realised in the framework of “CTM 2019 – PERSISTENCE“, and is a co-production with CTM Festival and Deutschlandfunk Kultur. It is co-funded by Deutschlandfunk Kultur and ORF.
iota mikro was first aired in April 2012 at Studio I, Den Haag (NL). It won the Third Prize in the Short Form category at the Grand Prix Nova 2013, Bucharest (RO). iota mikro is dedicated to my adorable then still two year old Rwandan Belgian godchild, Jerom Dom.
iota mikro in my own words:
In Summer 2011, I travelled for four months throughout East Africa, following my ears instead of following roadmaps, freely walking around and hunting for sounds as if they were endangered butterfly species. It’s then and it’s there I got the idea to start an ongoing personal archive of field recordings, and I baptized my project “Africa on Tape”.
Back in Europe from that epic trip back in my studio, I experimented with all the field recordings from my Africa on Tape archive, and my first opus became iota mikro in 2012. There is no real synopsis for iota mikro as it’s leaning towards abstract sound art. Translation is also not needed as most of the Rwandan words are used as pure sound poetry and non-semantic abstract sound bits, distorted or manipulated in another way.
I’m Belgian by adoption, and Rwandan by birth. I was born in a tiny traditional canopy hut on the foggy and chilly slopes of volcano Karisimbi and the Virunga mountains of Rwanda, far away and in big contrast with the sterile white maternity hospitals as we know them in the West. Curious about a specific sonic environment in which I spent the first period of my life, I back to the spot where I was born in 2011. Good to know, back in 2003, I already had made Nyrabikali, a realistic radio documentary about my first trip back to my roots in Rwanda. So on my trip in summer 2011, I no longer felt a need to make a veracious reconstruction of my past.
This time I got way more interested in an artistic reflection on my complex identity and a meta reconstruction of my life experience. iota mikro is set up like a dream sequence balancing between haunting flashbacks, desired and imagined memories. All sounds in iota mikro are completely derived from my field recording sessions in Rwanda in 2011, crafted together through a very old school straightforward analog editing technique. It was my wish to fuse both my passions and professions, radio and composition into one composition. ‘iota mikro’ is Greek for small iota. Iota is the smallest letter in the Greek alphabet, and ‘mikro’ just means small but could also refer to a microphone. And since my real paper birth certificate in Rwanda is actually missing, I created, with iota mikro, my own sonic birth certificate.
Two winning projects have been selected from an open call for the CTM 2019 Radio Lab. The organisers would like to thank everyone who took the time to submit their proposals, which totalled 175 entries from 43 countries, and collectively addressed the call’s themes and challenges from a wide and interesting array of perspectives.
Awarded by Deutschlandfunk Kultur – Radio Art/Klangkunst and CTM Festival, in collaboration with ORF musikprotokoll im steirischen herbst festival, Ö1 Kunstradio, and The Wire magazine, the CTM 2019 Radio Lab open call sought unusual explorations of the artistic possibilities of radio and live performance or installation mediums, while also addressing the CTM 2019 – Persistence festival theme.
With (Non) Humanism and Animism, Aurélie Nyirabikali Lierman researches (modern) forms of animism, and how animistic worldviews have managed to survive in spite of severe oppression through heavy colonization. Herself born in Rwanda but raised in Belgium, Lierman takes direct inspiration from a series of life-changing encounters with her 108-year-old grandfather, one of the last living Rwandan traditional hunters and doctors that has seen the pre-colonial country of his childhood pass through two colonization events (German and Belgian), the 1950s revolution for independence, the genocide and post-war massacres of the 90s, and the country’s present-day turmoil. Lierman’s family visits have resulted in an ongoing investigation into the soundscape of contemporary urban and rural East African, and of her native region of Virunga in particular. The Wire‘s Phil England comments: “(Non) Humanism & Animism will give festival attendees and radio listeners a unique perspective into a contrasting cultural perspective, one that we hope will transport listeners into another reality while providing an insight into a colonial past that needs confronting as well as a powerful, living example of persistence.”
“Persistence in Mexico, as in other parts of the world, or rather, throughout the world, today, is not a choice or a possibility: it is a condition to be able to survive, to be able to imagine a different future … contributing substantially to critical thinking and resistance throughout the world” writes Mexican sound artist Israel Martínez. With Love and Rage, the artist proposes a tribute to the persistence of resistance via a series of powerful, intimate performances that give “a very strong sonic statement on political activism in Mexico, resonating with many forms of persistence around the world.” Marcus Gammel (Deutschlandfunk Kultur).
The winning works will be premiered at CTM 2019 Festival in Berlin (25.01. – 03.02.2019), with radio versions to be broadcast via Deutschlandfunk Kultur (spring 2019). The works will also be presented by the Österreichischer Rundfunk (ORF Austrian Broadcasting Service) via one of their platforms: the ORF Zeit-Ton or Ö1 Kunstradio shows, or the ORF musikprotokoll im steirischen herbst festival in Graz in autumn 2019.
The jury consisted of:
Cedrik Fermont (independent artist and researcher)
Elisabeth Zimmerman (Producer, ORF Kunstradio)
Jan Rohlf (Artistic & Managing Director, CTM Festival)
Marcus Gammel (Curator, Deutschlandfunk Kultur Radio Art / Klangkunst)
Philip England (The Wire)