Our Lines Are Now Open

What happens to language when violence provokes the act of speaking? When nation building silences a language or creates a new one? How does language shape our relationship to the future? How can we think gender through literature? How can words be smuggled, banned and recreated?

Our lines are now open is temporary radio production house that looked at the tension between silence and speech; it was a series of interventions that aims to look at reading and writing in its different forms, using radio as a means of exploring the poetics and politics of language. The series was launched during Home Works 6, lasting four days in an abandoned storefront facing 98weeks Project Space.

Each day saw live audience participation through a studio visits and phone-ins. As well as being able to listen online and participate live, each event was produced as short 15 minutes radio programs edited by Rayya Badran and Lawrence Abu Hamdan and broadcasted through Ziad Nawfal’s Ruptures show on radio Lebanon 96.2 FM.

You can listen to the series of four radio edits on Radio Papesse, on August 26th and 28th at 2.00 pm and on September 2nd and 4th at 2.00 pm:

Reading the diaries of others – Rayyane Tabet – A reading of a text constructed from the diaries and notes of known figures that use the first person to narrate their quotidian. The reconstructed text becomes a re-appropriation of different “I”s that melt into a singular voice.

SpeakWriteRadio – Lawrence Abu Hamdan – Airwaves were dedicated to broadcasting banned material and smuggled literature in combination with voice recognition dictation software to create a publication out of all the combined readings, phone-ins and audience participation.

On the Politics of Silence and Speaking – A live conversation moderated by Sidsel Nelund with Nikita Dhawan and reading group participants on the idea of silence and speaking and how they have been used as strategies by feminists. Reading group beforehand was live broadcasted and with an open studio audience. This was the first installment in a series of reading groups and public programs titled “on feminism” by 98weeks project space.

How to be in the future – Nora Razian – Panel Discussion with Tarek El-Ariss (Moderator), Yazan Al Saadi, Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige, Sophia Al Maria, Ahmed Naje. The panel discussion explored constructions of the future, the politics of imagination and the poetics of projection. The discussion was preceded by readings of science fiction novels by Nihad Sharif, Mahmoud Mustafa and Youssef Izzedeen Issa among others.