In this episode of The SpokenWeb Podcast, jamilah malika and Jessica Karuhanga talk about the sounds and sound-based practices that have informed their projects as recipients of the 2020-2021 SpokenWeb Artist-Curator in Residence Award. For her residency, jamilah is building an online archive highlighting Black women sound artists across Canada to provide inspiration and representation for future sound art from Black femmes across Turtle Island. Jessica is creating “a sanctified Black space in the form of a website that celebrates aural, visual and somatic witnessing” through shared audio recordings of personal stories.
jamilah and Jessica sit down – over Zoom – with producer Katherine McLeod to share two pieces of audio from past works that set the groundwork conceptually and methodologically for their current projects. As the producer of the series ShortCuts on The SpokenWeb Podcast feed, Katherine brings her approach of using an audio clip as the starting point for conversation. When talking with jamilah, they start by listening to the audio composition “Listen to Black Womxn” and, when talking with Jessica, they start by listening to the audio composition, “ALL OF ME.” In between these conversations, Katherine talks with SpokenWeb RA, poet, and spoken word artist Faith Paré about her work with jamilah and Jessica in listening to and searching through the SpokenWeb audio collections with their projects in mind. Questions of the archive and the archival impulse run throughout these conversations about the sound of sound art, archival recordings of voices speaking specifically as Black women and Black non-binary folks, the vocalic body in and as archive, and the agency of the listener. All of these questions start with talking, or, as jamilah says early on, “talking about talking.”