Thursday March 20


  • 11.00 – 12.00   H.EAR ME – VAV’s frst year and exchange students
  • 12.30 – 14.30   Introduction to the day’s program with Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Ali Kaviani, Niall Moore, Haytham El-Wardany & Maha Maamoun
  • 14.45 – 16.45   Noah Angell, Tom Rice, Screening of Gregory Whitehead’s The Pressures of The Unspeakable, Short roundup and intro to session after the break by Lawrence Abu Hamdan
  • 17.00 – 19.00   Anna Kipervaser, Kobe Matthy (Agency), James Parker.

RODE ZAAL 11.00 – 12.00
Frühschoppen – Frühschoppen is a mixed program of performances, discussions and reflections  for and among students and participants of the VOICE ~ CREATURE OF TRANSITION.

VAV’s first year and exchange students present H.EAR ME – performance created and developed during the yearly GyMPerformanceProject at VAV- Audio&Visual Department, Gerrit Rietveld Academie. The world you enter is a rough cut of group and individual performances, found voices & lost habitants of a red balconied debut de siècle Salon / square.

Creators / Performers: Corine Baas, Arta Balina, Anne Barlinckhoff, Danit Elgev, Michela Filzi, Clément Carat, Sophie Friedrichs, Tjeerd van Heerdt, Berber Humalda, Real Jin Myung Lee, Hanna Monola, Anna-Dorotha Radzimirska, Yulia Ratman, Lucía Sanchez, Jozef Smidt, Marilou Stive, Marja Vink. Special Assistance: Rodrigo Albornoz. Vocal Assistance: Jessica Tucker. Coached by Monique van Hinte & Mariken Overdijk. Special thanks to Johan Luijmes, Orgelpark Amsterdam

EXPO ZAAL 12.30 – 19.00
The Right To Silence
Curated and presented by Lawrence Abu Hamdan

With contributions by Noah Angell, Ali Kaviani (Silent University), Anna Kipervaser, Maha Mamoun and Haytham Al Wardany, Kobe Matthys (Agence), Niall Moore, James Parker and Tom Rice.

A daylong exploration of how voices are both heard and silenced. During the course of the day listening itself will be interpreted in its many forms and affects, allowing us to understand the frontiers of the voice and the tireless battle to govern and contain it.

The Right to remain Silent is a speech act that initiates a special mode of listening in which anything you say may be taken down in evidence against you. When uttered by an officer of the law it serves as a warning that your voice has been placed into custody and that you have crossed the threshold between normal conversation and liable speech.

This event at de Brakke Grond is a daylong exploration of not only the voice but also the forms of listening that govern the way voices are both heard and silenced. The day consists of a series of presentations, performances and listenings by artists, filmmakers, anthropologists, activists and academics that deal with the multiple ways in which our voices resound through the disciplines of medicine, politics, law, ethnography and theology.


12.30 – 14.30
The Right To Silence will kick off with a lecture performance by choreographer Ali Kaviani, who as one of consultants for The Silent University project will present an alternative way of amplifying the loss of skills and knowledge experienced in the process of seeking asylum.

Artist and writer Niall Moore will return to a little known story of censorship in Northern Ireland. His presentation explores the relationship between issues of silence and the role of the voice in the context of media censorship in the country during the
late 1980s.

Haytham El-Wardany & Maha Maamoun will create interwoven connections through their respective works on the act of eavesdropping and the status of the listener.

15 min BREAK

14.45 – 16.45
We will carry on with Noah Angell’s reading of The act of silencing, built upon a selection of ethnographic field recordings.

Anthropologist Tom Rice will use the legacy of the stethoscope to understand the construction of the modern ear.

We will go on with the corporeal by screening Gregory Whitehead’s 1992 audio essay/documentary/fiction about the Institute of Screamscape Studies: The Pressures of the Unspeakable.

15 min BREAK

17.00 – 19.00
In our final session three different presentations will address the ways in which voices are governed today. Anna Kipervaser will present footage from her upcoming film about noise legislation applying to the call to prayer in Cairo.

Belgian artist Kobe Matthys will present Agency – an initiative that investigates legal disputes about the authorship of specific vocalisations.

Legal scholar James Parker will look in detail at the trial of Simon Bikindi, accused by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda of inciting genocide through his songs.


London-based artist Lawrence Abu Hamdan is a part of the research team Forensic Architecture at Goldsmiths College, where he is also a PhD candidate and lecturer. His recent solo shows include The Freedom Of Speech Itself (2012) at Showroom, London, The Whole Truth (2012) at Casco, Utrecht and most recently Tape Echo (2013) at Beirut in Cairo. His works have been part of exhibitions at the Tate Modern, MHKA Antwerp, the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (2014), Lisa Cooley New York and HKW Berlin (2014) among others.

Ali Kaviani is a choreographer. He studied Natural Sciences at Cambridge University and obtained a PhD in Astrophysics from Imperial College London before training professionally in contemporary dance. He is an academic consultant to the Silent University, a project initiated by the artist Ahmet Ögüt. His experiential lecture performance describes an analogy between movement in the body and concepts in cosmology, with the aim of developing an embodied understanding of those concepts.

Niall Moore is an artist and writer based in London. He contributed to the establishment of the non-profit artist-run gallery 126 in Galway, Ireland and is a graduate of the MA in Aural & Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths University.His current work attempts to uncover and outline pre-emptive modes of production, with a particular emphasis on the blurred intersection between art and politics.

Haytham El-Wardany is a writer, born in Cairo, who lives in Cairo and Berlin. He recently published Daydream, a collection of short stories (Merit Publishing House, Cairo, 2011), and How to Disappear, a series of texts (Kayfa Ta Editions, Cairo, 2013).

Maha Maamoun is a Cairo-based artist whose work moves between still and moving image and text. Since 2009 she has developed a succession of projects that take listening and listeners as their point of departure. Her work has been shown in exhibitions and biennials worldwide. She has also co-curated several exhibitions and art projects. Maamoun is a founding board member of the Contemporary Image Collective (CIC) in Cairo.

Noah Angell was born in the United States in 1980, and is currently based in London. He has had solo exhibitions at KARST projects in Plymouth and Oksasenkatu 11 in Helsinki. Recent exhibitions and events include Anomalies and non-representative instances at Central Saint Martins, and Crying in the ethnographic field recording at both The Freud Museum, London and the University of California Riverside. He is currently editing a collection of science fiction short stories by Sam Basu and is working on the forthcoming film Lux Imperium.

Tom Rice is a lecturer in Anthropology at the University of Exeter who specialises in auditory culture. His work focuses in particular on the sound environments of institutions. He recently published a book entitled Hearing and the Hospital: sound, listening, knowledge and experience (Sean Kingston Publishing), which is based on his research into the ways in which auditory knowledge is used and applied in the hospital setting. He writes and teaches about sound and also produces audio pieces, the most recent of which is a documentary for BBC Radio 4 about the relationship between music and water entitled The Art of Water Music.

Gregory Whitehead is a creator of radio plays, documentary essays, voice works, castaways, soundscapes and acoustic adventures that have roamed the American psyche for the past twenty-five years. He is the co-editor of Wireless Imagination: Sound, Radio and the Avant-Garde, and the author of numerous essays that explore radio dramaturgy, poetics and philosophy. He is presently working on a major project exploring voiced memories of the American dream and a number of plays for radio and the stage.

Anna Kipervaser is a Ukrainian-born artist. Her multi-platform project documenting the Muslim call to prayer in Cairo encompasses a multimedia installation, an online interactive experience, a sound archive and a feature film. She is the founder and director of the mobile artists’ space Manual Productions and of the independent production company On Look Films. Anna is currently pursuing her MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts at Duke University.

Agency is a Brussels-based initiative founded in 1992. How are values to be changed for survival? Agency constitutes a growing list of things that resist the split between the classifications of nature and culture. These things are mainly derived from judicial processes, lawsuits, cases, controversies, affairs and so forth, related to intellectual property (copyright, patents, trademarks, publicity rights, etc.). Agency calls things forth from its list via varying assemblies. Every assembly poses a different speculative question. These questions explore the operative consequences of the apparatus of intellectual property for an ecology of art practices in a topological way, by paying attention to different agencies than those valued by intellectual property.

Dr James Parker is a lecturer at Melbourne Law School, where he is also director of the research program Law, Sound and the International at the Institute for International Law and the Humanities. He is currently completing the monograph Acoustic Jurisprudence: Listening to the Trial of Simon Bikindi (OUP, forthcoming). James is also an active music critic and radio broadcaster. At present he mostly writes for Tiny Mix Tapes. Since 2011 he has presented a weekly radio show dedicated to experimental sounds on the Melbourne independent broadcaster PBS 106.7FM.