With Tiokasin Ghosthorse

Indigenous Songkeepers, Wisdom and History

In the last episode of our 4-part commission, First Voices Radio’s host Tiokasin Ghosthorse talks first with Oquilowqwa, Kim Recalma-Clutesi, about the quantum physics of her people’s indigenous music and how it used to interpret the microtones of all sentient life within her region of Alaska, as well as Northwestern North America / Turtle Island.

A conversation with Mari Boine follows, about her upbringing amid the Indigenous Sami world, where she was taken away to the boarding schools of the western colonial world’s religion. She reminisces of the times when she was able to see a path of rejuvenation and clarity through her music. This interview was conducted as part of First Voices Radio’s 28 years of archives.

OQWILOWGWA, Kim Recalma-Clutesi is of the Qualicum First Nation of British Columbia in Canada. Oqwilowgwa is a cross-cultural interpreter, teacher, researcher and writer on topics of Ethnobiology and tribal history. She is also a nonprofit director, political organizer, and award-winning videographer and film producer. Oqwilowgwa is a co-author of “Indigenous song keepers reveal traditional ecological knowledge in music” (The Conversation, Jan. 2, 2020).

MARI BOINE is a Sami musician from Norway known for having added jazz and rock to the joiks of her native people. Boine (born in Finnmark) grew up amid the Laestadian Christian movement as well as amidst discrimination against her people. She was asked to perform at the 1994 Winter Olympics to bring a token minority to the ceremonies. In the strict Laestadian milieu, joik was viewed as the devil’s work. “I am not Christian today”, she says, “But I have a holistic religion. I think this [perspective is prophetically] gaining ground world wide.”

17:00 - 18:00

In the second hour of this week’s SAVVYZΛΛR, Jasmina Al-Qaisi brings us a re-woven configuration of her sound installation “Bine Biene” (2020), where genealogies of care serve as a starting point. The piece is a result of a self-reflection going into her artistic work through a voiced long-poem. Built for the gallery space alte feuerwache in Berlin, she combines reflections on her past with stories of women close to her and implied anthropomorphisms: mixing the information with facts about the Apidae family of insects.

“Jasmina asked women (memories with & from Despina Ilinca Maria Iorga, Smaranda Ursuleanu, Sina Kerschbaum, Olga Konik, Natalia Acevedo Ferreira, Adela, Ioana, Sasha Nicolae and Ligia Popa) whether and (if yes) what expectations, obligations and burdens they encounter in the face of intergenerational relations and affective cultural transmissions, and in what ways they avoid them. In the material of her research, the figure of the tireless host – as a distorted archetype of female identity (“the busy bee”) – is constantly present.” (Ulrike Gerhardt, translated by bellu&bellu, for the show New East Poetistas curated by Patricia Morosan)

Jasmina Al-Qaisi is a writer and archivist. She writes as she speaks in her own English, caught between sound and visual poetry, often stepping out of ordinary norms of form. She investigates intersections between body politics, intimacy, digitally mediated relationships, voice and memory, homes and aways, often in close communication with her grandmother. She recently inaugurated the archival methodology for performance and radio format Behind Shelves as part of the art and project space SAVVY Contemporary, Berlin and published the poesie album Archival Regrets. She transfers poetry in performative acts and sound with gastronomy into radio formats, most frequently she conducts an on-going radio and culinary research titled Bites. She often makes waves on free, independent, temporary or mobile radios. She co-authors diverse audio actions with the artist Ralf Wendt. She joined the artistic research project Research and Waves, where she writes, thinks and researches on various themes. As an art writer, she employs poetic and alternative forms to critique and conceptualization. She publishes in Revista ARTA and often develops concepts for independent art and culture initiatives.