A Homotopia Commission
UK, USA, RSA
Marlanda Dekine-Sapient Soul
These chain recordings would originally be made on cassette tapes where families and friends would record a few minutes of messages, well wishes, poetry, music and singing for loved ones all over the world.
Our Space have created an audio experience, Silsilad Gabay, as a reflection of our individual and collective need to hold space for each other in difficult times for creative expression and caring interactions. It is particularly important to us as QTIPoC creatives to use this time to bring together creativity, accessibility and community through our art.
Sayang and Dahab of Our Space worked with eight artists across the globe in creating Silsilad Gabay. Commissioned by Homotopia, the project enabled us to explore our individual thoughts, creativity and emotions in response to each other.
As part of Silsilad Gabay, you can buy the audio experience and accompanying artwork. All profits from these sales will go towards local black and brown gender affirmation and surgery fundraisers in Leeds, and supporting Our Space workshops and events.
He / Him
Dahab, part of Our Space duo SAYANG and Dahab, introduces you to Silsilad Gabay, the aims of the project and the incredible participating artists from all over the world.
As part of his introduction, Dahab plays the song, Sodewow by Muryan Mursal, which means welcome.
Sodewow by Maryan Mursal
They / Them
Axelle is a Black, queer non-binary activist and spoken word poet based in Leeds. They create spaces where queer and trans people of colour can celebrate the freedom that comes with community. They also support Black women and non-binary people through events where they can hold space for eachother. Axelle is interested in liberation through spiritual means and revolutionary activism that wields an intersectional lens.
Axelle continues the chain with their response of a series of original poems paired with music taking you through a journey of thoughts, ideas and sounds.
Healer by JNE william feat. Theophilius London
Healer by Sampa The Great
Wrestlemania 20 by Westside Gunn feat. Anderson Paak
No Evil by Mpho Sebina
Sink or Swim by Jacob Banks
Home by Ila J
She / Her
IG+ Twitter: @Monthati_m
South African born (and soon to be Birmingham based) composer, Monthati Masebe is a bold and vibrant African who embraces fluidity in countless ways. A classically trained pianist, she's also a performer of a variety of southern African indigenous instruments. Her work has included archiving, digitizing and transcribing South African indigenous songs which were at risk of being lost and sheet music archive at SAMRO (The Southern African Music Rights Organisation). She's also worked with Pitika Ntuli and her mother Florence Masebe for an art installation piece resembling ancestry and spiritual transcendence, as well as an ensemble of black women artists in South Africa for a homage to gender-based violence entitled lamentations of mothers and daughters.
Monthati’s response includes original music, speech and instrumentation, using her voice as part of the musical composition.
CW: Brief mention of gender-based violence
Original music and vocals by Monthati Masebe
Find Mothati under the alias Ruby Proxy on digital streaming platforms
He/ Him / They / Them
Maroodi is a creative director of visual art based in the US. They tell the stories of people like them through images and writing. Maroodi uses their art to give folks like them, who are Somali, Muslim, Queer, and Gender Non-Conforming, representation and fulfillment. They are also an activitst and online community organiser as part of @Lgbtq_somalis on Instagram, creating space to celebrate and connect LGBTQ+ Somali people all over the world
Maroodi’s response explores their relationship with gender through poetry, in Somali and English, using music from his culture.
CW: gender discomfort / dysphoria
Somali folk music including baraanbur, a form of poetic expression used by women, and embraced by queer people of all genders and another folk dance traditionally performed by masc people.
Marlanda Dekine-sapient Soul
She / Her / They / Them
Marlanda Dekine-Sapient Soul is a poet, social worker, and fourth-generation descendant of Black land stewards living on family land in Plantersville, South Carolina. She is the author and recording artist of 'i am from a punch & a kiss'.
Currently, Marlanda serves as 2020 Healing Justice Fellow with Gender Benders and as a Temporary Gallery Assistant. Currently, Marlanda is pursuing her MFA in Poetry and creating in collaboration with others.
Marlanda’s response consists of original music and poetry by Marlanda and a rendition of “Go Down Moses” by their friend Jazmin Black Grollemnud, a soprano vocalist based in Belle Isle, France.
Go Down Moses by Soprano Jazmin Black Grollemnud IG: @sopranomund
Music by Marlanda Marlanda Dekine-Sapient Soul
Go Down Moses originally by Marian Anderson
Vijay Patel is a performance artist based in London. His artforms are interdisciplinary, ranging from: live art, performance art and cabaret. The work he makes predominantly surrounds cultural identity, making autobiographical/political statements around being a queer, British/Indian, working-class, person living with Asperger's syndrome. Vijay centres his lived experiences/identity throughout his practice to advocate/uplift/raise awareness of marginalised communities.
Vijay Patel's response is around navigating a protest with neurodivergence, as a brown person, whilst in a pandemic.
CW: Black Lives Matter protests, loud noises, mental health, neurodivergence, COVID-19
She / Her / They / Them
Nahi Mitti (b. 2018) is a creative practitioner (and artist) who makes work as a means of working on (and against) discourse around her (and their) brown transfeminine body (and mind (and spirit)). Concerned particularly with queer virtuosity, her (and their) recent research (and practice) sits with (and follows around) broken character(s) and (their) potentialities for worldbuilding (and how to do that from a margin (basically)).
Nahi’s response can be listened to as an audio or watched as a video.
Nahi describes her response as “a polyvalent meandering around corporeality, vocality and the clumsiness of a White world meeting a body.
A sample of "Asia Travel Company", by Takenobu Mitsuyoshi, Yuzo Koshiro, Takeshi
Yanagawa, Osamu Murata and Ryuji Iuchi, from the Shenmue Passport Disc.
Nahi Mitti video response for Silsilad Gabay
They / Them
Yas Lime is an artist-curator, and co-founder of SAAC (South Asian Arts Collectiv) based in Birmingham. They work with paint, mixed media and photography. Their hobbies include; being a thorn in the side of racist arts organisations, cooking, creating community and interviewing people. Making art comes naturally to them. Yas would like to thank their Mum for being the best human.
Yas chose to respond to the previous audio in three parts; at 1am, in the afternoon and just before midnight.
CW: Black Lives Matter protests including the names of people killed by police brutality, loud sounds
The Moon and the Prince from the Katamari Damacy Soundtrack. All credit to Namco. Music and lyrics by Akitaka Tohyama. Vocals by Kenji Ninuma and Fumina.
He /Him / She / Her / They / Them
IG+ Twitter: @nidaaro
Nidaaro is a queer, non binary, Somali creative based in Houston/Minneapolis USA. They write poetry to illustrate, explore, heal from, and release my experiences and trauma, "because I am more than just my experiences".
Nidaaro’s piece is titled “Some Poems Are Not Meant To Be Read”. They wrote this poem to express their frustration with the inaccurate displays of queer africans and queer Black people.
CW: Anti-Black racism & colourism.
Performance by Afro-Peruvian artist and activist Victoria Santa Cruz titled “Mi gritarone negro (They called me black)”
Traditional Folklore southern somali dance called “Gabley Shimbir”
Wedding/war dance called “Siday ‘iisaha”
They / Them
One half of Our Space, Sayang, creates a response that explores connectivity and fluidity between the previous artists. Sayang uses water as a tool to channel energy and the transfer of thoughts and human interaction in this piece.
Using field recordings from Ipoh’s Kek Lok Tong temple and emulating the sound of water droplets using semi-modular synths and audio manipulation, they convey their emotion and response to the art before them. Titled 'Call me, repeat' the piece moves through feelings of peace, quiet, nervousness, overwhelming, love and inspiration.
Silsilad Gabay concept / direction by Dahab
Silsilad Gabay production / co-direction by Sayang