Sound commission: In the Background – Alia Hamdan

In this piece, the artist tries to sonically sketch her past location in the neighborhood of Mustashfa el Roum, overlooking the port of Beirut. The daily sounds she uses come from idle video shots she took of the Silos and port view, between 2015 and 2020, from her balcony. What these shots mainly captured was the overall noise of the neighborhood, with its share of generators, constructions and birds. This noise acts now as a sort of swamp, as a degree-zero memory that covers the rest. The piece can thus be seen as a composition in and of the background. The micro-sonic events we hear call for some attentiveness, as they point to life and to a passage of time before the explosive site.

Alia Hamdan is an artist and researcher based in Lebanon. Her practice revolves around choreography and visual arts. Her trajectory intertwines philosophy, performance and urban studies. She has been teaching in universities in Beirut.

Rami el Sabbagh: sound editor
Thanks to Maissa Maatouk