Translated by Sofia Saldanha and Amanda Booth
Sofia Saldanha is an award winning audio producer. She started her radio adventure in Portugal at Rádio Universitária do Minho, has a masters degree in Radio and is a graduate of the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. Sofia is part of In The Dark, a non-profit organization based in London, that presents audio documentaries from around the world to live audiences. In 2018 she started In The Dark Lisboa. Sofia is the author of a documentary series that tells the story of the Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa.
This short documentary was the winner of Tempo Documentary Festival‘s Short Dox Radio award in 2019.
Fredrik Ramel is a radio journalist and graduate from the Stockholm Academy of Dramatic Arts. Currently producer and host for the podcast P3 Dystopia for Sveriges Radio, a show about the dangers facing mankind, and how to prevent a dystopian future.
Made in April 2020, Las Raras recorded this episode in their apartment in Santiago de Chile during the mandatory quarantine to prevent Covid-19.
This episode features soundscapes recorded in Barra de Valizas, Uruguay, in Robinson Crusoe Island and in Coihueco, Chile.
Las Raras is a Spanish-language non-fiction storytelling podcast that features people who resist norms, who work for social change and challenge the status quo.
To date, Las Raras has published 26 episodes across 4 seasons. The 20-30 minute episodes include first-person testimonials, field reporting, soundscapes, sound design and original music to make it a unique documentary-style podcast in Latin America.
Las Raras has been recognized with various awards and grants, including funding from the IWMF and was chosen among thousands of applicants to be part of the inaugural Google Podcasts creator program.
Co-Creator, Host and Content Director: Catalina May is a journalist from Chile who worked for more than a decade in press and in academia before creating Las Raras.
Co-Creator and Sound Director: Martín Cruz is an experienced sound engineer, musician, and aerial cinematographer.
During the drought the road is dry features the voices of Jan Gola (Poręby village), Magda Maksimiuk (film critic), Paulina Mirowska and Ola Czerniawska (activists from Earth Strike), Anna Andrzejewska (hydrologist, Kampinoski National Park), Wiktor Kotowski (wetland ecologist, University of Warsaw), Ewa Rudnicka (linguist, University of Warsaw).
“Susza wywarła wielkie spustoszenie” (the drought has exerted havoc)— this sentence is one of the best known in Polish cinematography. In the movie Rejs by Marek Piwowski, where it appears, it means almost nothing but creating a kind of surrealistic situation.
But “The drought has wreaked havoc” is real now. I explored the language we use and used to describe lack of water/dryness/heat. It’s a new situation many of us face for the first time in our lives. The language didn’t change at all, but some old words put in a new context begin to resonate.
BARTOSZ PANEK is a radio feature documentary maker and reporter with almost 20 years experience. He is the winner of Polish and international awards, including the Prix Italia for best radio documentary. His work has been highlighted in competitions in Italy, France and Croatia.
A stipend holder from the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, his first book— on the Polish Tatars— was published in the summer of 2020.
CONSTELLATIONS is a sound art and experimental narrative collective that illuminates international artists making sound works that convey meaning through evocation and abstraction. They curate and produce a podcast, live events and publish sound materials.
‘What is your greatest desire? It’s a question I asked the women who were present on the day of the recording. Along with their answers, I recorded their breath. Our willpower and our desires are what make us breathe, what moves us, what keeps us alive.’
‘Will’ was created as part of the ‘Audio Storytelling’ workshop in the ASA program run by Oi Futuro and British Council Brazil in 2020.
Laura Canabrava is a Brazilian singer, songwriter, actress, dancer and multi-disciplinary artist from Rio de Janeiro. She graduated in music from UNIRIO and the dance faculty from Angel Vianna. As a singer and composer, she combines different artistic languages in her performance. On digital platforms, you can find your first album AIYE, the recently released EP WILL and other singles, all mixing sounds with Brazilian rhythms, added to jazz, pop or electronic.
‘When you‘re sleeping, I’m awake’ (Kun nukut, minä valvon) explores the darkness and temporary insanity of sleepless nights.
The documentary is the winner of the 2019 Finnish Shortdox competition and Nordic Shortdox competition. The piece won the jury as well as the audience award.
Nordic Shortdox is an annual competition in which the winners of Shortdox competitions in the different Nordic countries compete against each other in producing the best, short radio documentary. In 2019, the Faroe Islands, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark participated.
Suvi Tuuli Kataja is a Finnish director. She is working with new and experimental audio storytelling.
“There’s a picture from a time when you are wearing a short-sleeved striped shirt and with a plastic cup in your hand are toasting with a friend. You’re smiling and have the same gap in your teeth on your left as I have now. I checked all your photos for our similarities and collected them together. For a long time you existed only in pictures, until Marc sent me this recording…”
Amelia Umuhire tells the story of Innocent Seminega – her father – as a young student, teacher, husband and parent up until his death at the hands of the Hutu extremists in Rwanda. Tracing her family history as she addresses him, she weaves together threads from his love of linguistics, his romance with her mother, parenthood, and life lived amidst violent conflict – until unfurling her own story of her childhood and movement between countries – critiquing the white gaze which might try and frame her family’s story.
“They called these violent outbreaks, when the President was overthrown by his cousin, Juvénal Habyarimana, the ‘winds’. That’s how the Rwandan language is sometimes. Pogroms become winds, humans become cockroaches. Man-made violence becomes a force of nature and, like a bad harvest or other natural disasters, it comes and goes.”
Amelia Umuhire is a Rwandese filmmaker and artist based in Berlin. She wrote, directed and produced the award-winning web series ‘Polyglot’,which won Best German Webseries at the Webfest Berlin in 2015, the award-winning short experimental film ‘Mugabo’ and the Prix Europa nominated sound piece ‘Vaterland’ (Fatherland). Her work has been screened at the MOCA LA, MCA Chicago, Victoria and Albert Museum, 10th Berlin Biennale, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and many more. She is a current laureate of the Villa Romana Prize in Florence, Italy and completing her first feature film.
Pointing At Canopus was composed by Arif Mirbaghi and edited by Michelle Macklem and Jess Shane. It was made with the voices of over a dozen friends. Special thanks to Michael Eckert for his pedal steel improvisation and Parva Karkhaneh for her patient guidance.
The tortoise, you know, carries his house on his back. No matter how hard he tries, he cannot leave home. – The Anvār-i Suhaylī or Lights of Canopus
Pointing At Canopus is a meditation on the nature of home, not in the brick-and-mortar sense, but the broader idea: a place of rest. Children of immigrants often separately compartmentalize these ideas. Home is a place we live but heritage is a space we occupy. There is a daily pivot between the cadences of interaction with our family and those of our friends or co-workers. Inevitably the lines blur, and as individuals we find ourselves on different points along a gradient.
Coming to Iran reversed this pivot for me. The language of my home life suddenly spilled out in the streets, flooded my conversations, my day to day. For the first time I was utilizing Farsi beyond the comfort of my family home— I became a Farsi speaker.
At the same time, English became a place of thoughtful saudade. I would be lulled to sleep by audiobooks. The meter and ornamentation of the language felt familiar but distant like a kind of reverb— I became an English listener.
Pointing At Canopus explores the waxing and waning of home and heritage. I hope to evoke in listeners a sense of transit. A feeling neither here nor there. The idea that home is the pivot, not the point. Sounds of moving vehicles. Extra-lingual umms & ahhs while a speaker connects sentences. ‘Here’ is a space, but ‘there’ is a mythology, a fable. We orbit our fables like atoms around a nucleus. Wherever we go, there we are again.
ARIF MIRBAGHI is a Canadian-born composer & arranger based in Tehran. He has performed with dozens of ensembles throughout the world, in styles varying from folk, jazz, progressive rock, and beyond. His work explores the relationship of disconnection and reconnection for communities in the diaspora. More from Arif on his Soundcloud and on Spotify.
A lonely walk in the dark, skeletons and floating body parts caught in the beam of a flashlight… in the ‘The Night Watchman’, Detroit-born Stephen Schwartz pioneers his landmark interview technique known as the ‘moments interview’ or the ‘full Schwartz’. You can learn more about it here.
Stephen Schwartz was awarded the Prix Italia for features in 1982 and 1992. He passed away in 2013.
Made in collaboration with DR – you can listen to The Night Watchman (Nattevægteren) and more montages on their archive website.