The Insurrections Ensemble felt that it should craft a sound and word audio commemorating a historic walk led by the Césaires 80 years ago. The result is Of Wounds, of Hands crafted from their diaries, accounts and poems. During that Spring, Suzanne Roussi/Césaire, Aimé Césaire and Rene Menil hosted a walk with many of the “degenerate” artists from Europe who’d made it out on the last ship from Marseilles escaping Nazi power. There were Wilfredo Lam, Andre Breton, Andre Masson, Anna Seghers, who shared a passage with Victor Serge, and Claude Levi Strauss as well. They all left art, poetry and diary notes about the encounter. That anti-fascist moment involved the spirits of negritude, afro-cubism, surrealism, social and socialist realism. The indebtedness of our work to the Césaires has been marked by prior work; our indebtedness now is about his poetic insistence that our wounded raised hands are still open to all wounded hands on earth. In such moments of rising neo-fascism we need to say, we still bear witness – Hum Dekhenge.
It was first broadcast at the Kerala Literature Festival on 28 May 2021, and later presented by Chimurenga through a broadcast on the Pan African Space Station on 8 July 2021.
Phillippa Yaa de Villiers
Astrid von Kotze
Reza Khota (composition & performance)
Kathyayini Dash (composition & performance)
Ronan Skillen (performance)
Dean Henning (soundscaping)
Sumangala Damodaran (composition)
Ari Sitas (composition)
LISTEN TO THE AUDIO FOR OF WOUNDS, OF HANDS
Of Wounds, of Hands
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