Aurélie Nyirabikali Lierman and Pedro Oliveira grapple with colonial legacies, finding potential pathways towards agency and persistence.
With Sogokuru, 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 Africa, and of her native region of Virunga in particular. The piece takes its name from the Rwandan word for “grandfather”, an honorable, loving term used in the country’s pre-colonial gerontocracy. The work was one of two winning projects selected for the CTM 2019 Radio Lab, which sought unusual explorations of the artistic possibilities of radio and live performance or installation mediums,
Through A Series of Gaps Rather Than a Presence, artist and sound researcher Pedro Oliveira will offer an artistic, decolonising framework for investigating what he calls the “colonial politics of sonic biometrics.” Oliveira examines acts of collecting, ranking, taxonomizing, and normalizing vocal traits and their subsequent weaponization in the border-industrial complex. Through vocal performances using content from voice recognition and accent recognition databases, Oliveira builds a new form of anti-archive sonic insolence.
Oliveira is accompanied by vocalists Enana, Mariana Bahia, and /Lio.DIC/.
Aurélie Nyirabikali Lierman is supported by the CTM 2019 Radio Lab, an initiative by Deutschlandfunk Kultur – Radio Art/Klangkunst and CTM Festival, in collaboration with ORF musikprotokoll im steirischen herbst festival, Ö1 Kunstradio, and The Wire magazine. Pedro Oliveira is supported by Deutschlandfunk Kultur Radio Art / Klangkunst.
Pedro Oliveira is a researcher and artist in sound studies, born in São Paulo 21 years after a Coup d'Etat in Brazil, and 31 before another one. Through performance A Series of Gaps Rather than a Presence at CTM 2019, Oliveira will offer an artistic, decolonising framework for investigating what he calls the “colonial politics of sonic biometrics.”
Rwanda-born, Belgium-raised Aurélie Nyirabikali Lierman is an independent radio producer, vocalist, composer, and artist. As one of this year’s Radio Lab winners, Lierman will be premiering a new work for CTM 2019, entitled Sogokuru.