Beit Sahour Backyard

Beit Sahour Backyard

Beit Sahour Backyard by aaronmaiden

A sound art piece composed in the context of my work in the sound production program in the Communications Studies department at Concordia University.

This piece weaves together poetry and prose by the late Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish. In Arabic, we hear the poem "To a killer", written as an imaginary dialogue between the poet and and an Israeli soldier who has just killed a Palestinian child. The poem, written during the seige on Ramallah in 2002, urges that soldier to reckon with the child's humanity, now stolen from him. In English, we hear some verses from Darwish's book "Memory of Forgetfulness". The passage was written during the Israeli assault on Beirut, Lebanon, in 1982, and the author, surrounded by bombs, hopelessly craves coffee.

The two pieces flow together, showing how everyday life, things we take for granted, are violently disrupted by war and occupation. Sometimes all we can find sanity in is a hot cup of coffee.

Many thanks to my dear friend Pennie, who holds it down in the struggle from East London to the West Bank. She introduced me to "Memory of Forgetfulness" while we were drinking coffee in our shared backyard in Beit Sahour, Palestine. Thanks also to Devon and Laith, and to the popular resistance in Palestine for keeping it real.

Devon Bate (guitar), Laith Marouf (Arabic vocals), Aaron Lakoff (English vocals, cymbal). Produced by Aaron Lakoff