This soundwork has been selected via the Süden Radio #2 - Call for soundworks.
Still sleeping is a sound poetry piece by artist Meira Asher.
Here is how she describes the piece in her own words:
In June 2016 I was invited to create a piece to be played at a specific valley in the forest of Jerusalem. I wanted to initiate a sound-walk to the other side of the forest where the 16-year-old Palestinian boy Mohammed Abu Khdeir was burnt alive by a Jewish settler and his two teenage nephews in July 2014.
The curator asked me to stick to the valley allocated for the Soundart event. I compromised on a stereo enhanced scruffy car to be placed in a dark spot at the end of a path because this is how Mohammed Abu Khdeir was led to his death in this forest.
When I travelled with my children to the South Sinai desert a month later (we visit there often in spite of the official travel warnings) I realised that my motherly fears are now leaking through my steady mindset and my ability to suppress them is clearly dropping.
Still sleeping was first commissioned by Eyebeam NY, for the Site Specific Soundart exhibition Acoustic Infrastructures curated by Jamie Allen. Still sleeping contains field and body recordings, electronics and voice. Asher used special microphones designed by scientist Noam Gavrieli to record her body,and grouse mountain, silent forest - a field recording by Frank Schulte for Radio Aporee.
Soundscape: a burning boy in a forest
Precisely the Jerusalem forest
The Sound between his mother and me
The Sound where we mothers sink [sync]
My sound FEAR
my children are sound asleep
I delve into the sound of the Sound:
Soundproof forest amongst right wing neighbourhoods
Car stops by, a man with a big head talking ‘is everything okay?’
I stand where the boy was set on fire
The man must know where I stand
I stand in the sound FEAR of all mothers
I say ‘who are you?’
Man says ‘We’re watching over you, are you okay?’
See the small stones on the ground?
Here they set the boy on fire
Her boy my boy your boy our boy.
Who the hell sets a young boy on fire?!
Soundproof chamber amongst soaring mountains
My children are sound asleep
under the stars
I sit still by the stairs to the chamber
My head surrenders to visions of horror:
Abduction. Someone’s descending the mountain behind, coming here, lifting my daughter, running away.
She cries Ima Ima... [cont]
My eyelids start drooping I fall asleep not knowing
what will my eyes encounter tomorrow
Will they all be here?
What if one will be missing, taken to the mountains to a temporary base camp, tortured, set on fire, alive?
Soundproof skull chamber of grey matter
Blasting, shrinking, push it push it push it ALL
to the back of my head
GOOD MORNING SUN
GOOD MORNING MY CHILDREN
You’re all here Still Sleeping Still alive.
Meira Asher's research areas include activist social documentary and the amplification of the human body. She is co-founder of the Bodylab Art Foundation in The Hague (2001-2011), lecturer at the University of Haifa, curator-presenter of radioart106fmon KolHaCampus106 FM in Israel.
Selected works are Spears into Hooks (about the Israeli occupation 1999), Infantry (with Guy Harries, about child manipulation and child combatants 2001), Face_Woman See Lot of Things (multidisciplinary project about female ex-child combatants in Sierra Leone 2004-06), One blanket lost (the trafficking of girls for prostitution in Europe 2010), Myelination 2 (with JC Jones about Multiple Sclerosis and the myelin sheath 2013), and refuse: military (radio works with youths who refuse to serve in the Israeli army 2014 - ).