Amal Alhaag: A Sonic Gathering (Live Radio)

Rene Boer

Mercy & Other Diseases is a collaboration between various Debby Downers – the person who always and everywhere has a critical, uncomfortable comment – and consists of a long-form experimental essay, a living mixtape and a sonic gathering at the Oude Kerk. This threefold presentation is a proposal to playfully (dis)engage with the concept of mercy without suffocating in its positive nature, universalities and historization at the dinner table, funding party or within the fabric of society in the Netherlands or elsewhere.

Rolling Eyes — Kissing Teeth — Touting Lips
Does the feminist, person of color, refugee, queer or Muslim body negate mercy by exposing the blindfolds of the current affairs in #forteu or kill other ‘people’s’ mercy by showcasing bad experiences, anger or refusing compassion? Does one destroy other people’s joy by pointing out moments of racism, sexism, phobia and other isms?

Mercy & Other Diseases uses the pop-culture phenomena of Debby Downer as guidance – off beat priestess to estrange and complicate questions of how we relate, reflect or look at the notion of Mercy in times of many other cultural, societal diseases in Europe. Specifically, it looks and listens through a multitude of voices and lenses at our relationship to border politics, the sonic & visual language around the ongoing “migration crisis” and how it affects, (dis) infects and complicates our realities and relationships.

Mercy & Other Diseases: A Sonic Gathering is a collaboration between Amal Alhaag and befriended artists, guests, collectives whose practice, ideas or thoughts speak, mimic or use a Debby Downer approach to being in the world. The Sonic Gathering also plays with presence and absence of contributors, donators and partners in crime by bringing the collective mixtape to life at the Oude Kerk, and inviting three fellow Debby Downers such as writer Flavia Dzodan and Em’kal Eyongakpa to join for a conversation that explores the above mentioned questions, contribute, listen and consume The Merciful Bread baked by a baker for this specific occasion.

The Sonic Gathering was broadcasted live by online radio for the arts Ja Ja Ja Nee Nee Nee and can be listened as a podcast below.

Contributions by:
– Em’kal Eyongakpa
– Jabu Arnell
– Anna Frei
– Romy Ruegger
– Maria Guggenbichler
– Simone Lagrand
– Flavia Dzodan

** A Merciful Bread by Eline Ex

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