Freedom from Speech is a sound installation focused on the primacy of voice and testimony in the legal construction of human rights, rightlessness, citizenship and dispossession. Its positioned as an interruption to the legal and theoretical strictures that prioritize the voice as the sign of humanity and speech as the key to human rights.
In a frontal arrangement, a DJ booth is put together with gear facing away from the audience, as if they were backstage. A hybrid sound collage / DJ set plays on loop three times, with no performer entering the stage.
This piece uses vocal excerpts from interviews with Alexander Weheliye and A. Naomi Paik done by Leopold Lambert for the Funambulist podcast, among other sources. These interviews, as well as Weheliye's books and lectures, have changed my life. Find Lambert's interviews here and buy Weheliye's books here. Click here or here to stream some of Alexander Weheliye's lectures.
Freedom from Speech was originally produced in January 2018 and shown at FROM BREATH TO MATTER, a Berlin event series focused on vocal dance.