Archiving As Resistance & the ABC of Revolting
With Lara Baladi
Our project borrows the frame narrative, the One Thousand and One Night's method of storytelling, to structure interconnected narratives of revolution. Shahrzad’s persistence and strength against a tyrannical king is mirrored in the narratives people tell about their own revolutions. This structure lends itself to a presentation of content spanning geographic locations, cultures, and time periods, just as revolution does. Just as these stories cannot be pinned down to a particular geographic location or time period, revolution is a fluid, moving entity, changing and evolving constantly by actors within and without. 1001 nights or revolutions is a way to understand multiple perspectives serving different ideals and agendas. Revolutions are not deemed important based on their failure or success; it is the simple fact that they happened that deems them worthy of telling.
The video incorporates images and sounds from Koolbars, a group of Kurdish workers who transport goods across the Iran-Turkey border. It is illegal and dangerous work, which starts anew each morning.
This rap performance was inspired by British-Iraqi rapper Lowkey's "Fire in the Booth" radio performances, which similarly use words starting with each letter of the alphabet and cover revolutionary political themes. Six letters were selected for this performance. The instrumental was produced by Abed Hathout and samples a Kurdish song selected due to its melancholy tone and relevance to themes covered in another workshop project ("A Revolution//A Return to the Beginning").
Lyrics and Performance
Filmed and edited by
Created during a workshop with Lara Baladi on Archiving as Resistance & the ABC of Revolting
The Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies
New York University, Fall 2018
Helga Tawil Souri