Original work by Abdullah Miniawy

First letter pronounced in human history

This is a short extract. The full piece is 2'12".

This beautifully intimate work explores the sonority of the Arabic language, in which long oral traditions have left a trace in contemporary poetics and spoken word poetry. The guttural phonetics and verbal delivery of the poem mimics the written content, which dismantles the structure of a family. The push and pull from all family members, and a lament of the mother sends an alarm to warn readers to stop reading.

The poem questions a new birth as visiting evidence of the unknown. It asks where the first word came from, what is the origin of life. Focusing on the Arabic language, using letter sounds that are universally felt, although rarely pronounced in Western parlance such as ق and ع, both of them originating “where the uvula gores the throat”. The artist explains “I believe the question of existence comes with anatomy and sound. Anatomy here is a map for the universe. Sound has been a key to unlock the codes of this map.”

“I draw a portal and I meet all the people I wished to meet one day in it. So I will continue even after my short reality.“ As a writer, the artist's lyrics were sprayed as graffiti during the Arab spring, notably in Yarmouk camp in Syria.

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