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The silence spoke in Taksim Square, Istanbul

The silence spoke in Taksim Square, Istanbul
24th August 2017 Cities and Memory

We’re off to Taksim Square, Istanbul today, and a protest from 30 March 2012 recorded by Jacek Smolicki, which has been reimagined into something impressive by long-time contributor Jeff Dungfelder from New York:

“I chose to use the field recording of Turkish women in Istanbul protesting at home because the sounds have a texture of urgency. The sound is a background rhythm and texture that seems to be everywhere theses days, especially in New York City where I live.

“It’s not the words themselves, but the sound waves that carry meaning for me. It feels like we are living in a dystopian future right now, very reminiscent of “1984”.

“I reimagined the sounds in layers, altered and distorted, to reflect how protest is expressed in the layers of the individual: what we think, do, act, witness, hear and see.

“I chose to base my sound submission on a protest poem by Jane Hirshfield called “On the Fifth Day”, and the title (The Silence Spoke) comes from that poem.

On the fifth day
the scientists who studied the rivers
were forbidden to speak
or to study the rivers.

The scientists who studied the air
were told not to speak of the air,
and the ones who worked for the farmers
were silenced,
and the ones who worked for the bees.

Someone, from deep in the Badlands,
began posting facts.

The facts were told not to speak
and were taken away.
The facts, surprised to be taken, were silent.

Now it was only the rivers
that spoke of the rivers,
and only the wind that spoke of its bees,

while the unpausing factual buds of the fruit trees
continued to move toward their fruit.

The silence spoke loudly of silence,
and the rivers kept speaking,
of rivers, of boulders and air.

In gravity, earless and tongueless,
the untested rivers kept speaking.

Bus drivers, shelf stockers,
code writers, machinists, accountants,
lab techs, cellists kept speaking.

They spoke, the fifth day,
of silence.

City version:

Memory version:

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