2021, Thu, Oct 212021, Sat, Oct 23

Hani Mojtahedy & Andi Toma: Forbidden Echoes

Hani Mojtahedi | Photo: Saeid Mohammadi

Hani Mojtahedi | Photo: Saeid Mohammadi

Singing from the peak of Jabal Shirin: According to local legends, long ago, beautiful Shirin fled to a mountain to mourn her lost love. Later, the mountain range in the Kurdish border region of northern Iraq and Iran was named after her. Hani Mojtahedy reinterpreted Shirin’s lament as handed down in Kurdish at the site. Regardless of human border-making, she let her song resound through the valley where numerous victims of inhumane politics are buried. Her voice also reached the Iranian side of the mountain and the echo reverberated from there, where women are permitted to sing only in choirs, not alone. Together with Mouse on Mars member Andi Toma, Mojtahedy brings her singing and its reverberations to Berlin. Recorded with different microphones, Toma creates an echo chamber around her voice. Just as Shirin’s songs once resounded through the Kurdish mountains, Mojtahedy’s singing does so centuries later under the arched roof of HKW – not only as an installation, but also live on three dates. Sound and words can so easily overcome geographical borders. Can listening to them be a crime?