Issue Project Room: Nomadic Signals
Friday, June 5th, 2020 Suzanne Fiol Curatorial Fellow Leyya Tawil presents the online premiere of “Your Wait Time Will Be,” her second program in the NOMADIC SIGNALS series. Presented in partnership with Poetry Project, the online piece is a new hybrid media work by poet Marwa Helal in collaboration with musicians Saint Abduallah. NOMADIC SIGNALS is a vessel for sonic performance operating in what Tawil refers to as the “diasporic imaginary,” a description of how sounds change in the diaspora: how they tether to their environment, accumulate, synthesize, and adapt.
Saint Abdullah and Marwa Helal—artists of similar but different haphazard migration patterns—present this meditatively noisy reflection on the intersections of pandemic and bureaucracy.
“Your Wait Time Will Be” trangresses notions of place and time-bound histories. It is a composed work built with sound, poetry, and archival footage from the artists global research. “Your Wait Time Will Be” references multiple nations; some home, some lost, some fantasy. With this program we reframe digital artifacts and enduring practices – such as archive – in order to signal forward to a future landscape.
Marwa Helal is a poet and journalist. She is the author of Invasive species (Nightboat Books, 2019) and winner of BOMB Magazine’s Biennial 2016 Poetry Contest. She has been awarded fellowships from Poets House, Brooklyn Poets, Cave Canem, and is a Jerome Hill Artist Fellow. Born in Al Mansurah, Egypt, Helal currently lives and teaches in Brooklyn, New York. She received her MFA in creative nonfiction from The New School and her BA in journalism and international studies from Ohio Wesleyan University.
Motivated by the history of Western misconception and opposition towards Muslims and the Islamic faith, Saint Abdullah began writing music to serve as cultural translators, with the goal of challenging stereotypes, and acting as a conduit between unnecessary enemies. Saint Abdullah is the project of Mohammad and Mehdi, New York based Iranian-Canadian brothers, creating sounds largely inspired by the religious, political, and cultural history of the Middle East.