Khamoosh: Residents in autumn 2023
Khamoosh participated in Ja Ja Ja Nee Nee Nee's radio residency in Autumn 2023. During this time, Khamoosh reflected on and researched previous ongoing projects that initially started from a trip that two members of Khamoosh had made to Gouran village on Qeshm Island, located in the south of Iran.
LISTENING TO GOURAN
How can we engage with local knowledge by listening to the sounds of Gouran?
During the journey to Gouran village, Khali and Panjool participated in a mangrove plantation ceremony and documented various moments and gatherings through field recording. These recordings encompassed a variety of sounds including conversations in the Gourani dialect, various soundscapes and local ceremonies. This annual gathering, organised by the local community of Gouran and Studio Chahar, is dedicated to the plantation of mangrove trees. The primary aim of this ceremony is preventing land erosion, specifically focused on the Sarzurzuma area in Gouran.
Listener: I wonder if they are singing together outdoors, on the streets, by the sea or possibly indoors?
To activate the sounds recorded from Gouran collectively, Khamoosh has engaged in various group activities, such as listening together, engaging in conversations, and creating new sounds. Specifically, we have organized collective listening sessions and conducted several one-on-one meetings to reflect on and delve deeper into the exploration of the collected sounds from the Gouran region. This is part of an ongoing process of further conversations and research.
Can listening transform an emotional resonance of trauma into pleasure?
For part of the listening sessions, a diverse group gathered online and at Rabt space, a curatorial studio located in Tehran, to collectively listen to a sonic narrative created by Khali and other sounds recorded during the trip. The purpose of these sessions was to bring together individuals in a shared experience, discussing familiar and unfamiliar sounds.
By listening together to the sounds of Gouran and continuously expanding on these conversations, we were able to spark new perspectives on shared histories and collective memories. These discussions explore various topics including language, dialects, rural/urban lifestyles, gender and religion.
Image 1: top left: Qeshm Island, bottom left: Sarzurzuma region (Harra forest), top right: Land erosion in Sarzurzuma, bottom right: Harra forest, courtesy of Studio Chahar
Image 2: Different stages of planting mangrove trees, courtesy of Studio Chahar
RE-LISTENING TO GOURAN
How can we listen to silence?
During our one-on-one conversations among Khamoosh members, we have had discussions about places, people, and species. The experience of listening and replaying recorded sounds from Gouran allowed our minds to wander into the depths of various subjects that seemed to reside silently in the backdrop of those sounds. One such topic that fascinated us was the relationship between the wind and the lives of the Gouran community. We discovered that this community, like many other communities close to the sea, follows a distinct calendar, intricately intertwined with their natural surroundings.
"Our house is built in the traditional Gourani style and is located near a grove and mountains, which means we coexist with a variety of insects, allowing us to learn the names of numerous insect species which we didn’t know or even have in our mother tongue language… For instance, there isn't just one name to describe a bumblebee: there are several ways to differentiate between them. Unfortunately, many of these names are slowly fading from the memory of the younger generation due to various factors, primarily related to lifestyle changes.”
Continuing these shared experiences, Khamoosh members are collaborating in diverse ways to explore how their work can contribute to the local community of Gouran and revitalise cultural confidence. As part of the radio residency's production, Khamoosh has contributed to a sound glossary. Notably, Sasha and Panjool are currently in the process of designing and developing a glossary that documents the Qeshmi language, specifically focusing on the Gourani dialect. This collaborative effort aims to preserve and showcase the linguistic heritage of the region.
Image 1: Kaghor House in Gouran Village, near a grove and mountains, courtesy of Khamoosh
Image 2: Translation process of Hormozgan/Qeshmi calendar
Image 3: Part of Gourani sound glossary, made by Sasha and Panjool
LIVE BROADCAST AND COLLECTIVE LISTENING
Broadcasting online through collective listening and video calling, Khamoosh members alongside other listeners and participants, gathered together. pantea performed live readings, and at the end of the session, we spoke about our listening experiences during the weeks of our residency.
Khamoosh is a participatory transdisciplinary research community that mediates conservation and restoration by exploring the sonic heritage of Iran through recorded sounds of everyday life; sounds less heard or even silenced. This process-based work aims to build an interactive archive of sounds and to exchange, resurrect and decolonize these sounds using artistic methods. Read more about Khamoosh here.