Ayesha Hameed’s sound work takes the raw materials of the transatlantic slave trade as its starting point. We hear the artist telling of her encounters, through museums, archives, abandoned warehouses and the sea itself, with the material traces of the violent extraction of humans and natural resources along the African coast. The artist’s simultaneously factual, corporeal and hauntingly poetic readings of glass, pearl, sugar, gold, bone, and iron found at the bottom of the sea release traces of the materials’ past into the present, where parallels to contemporary migration can be drawn.
Ayesha Hameed’s moving image, performance and written work explore contemporary borders and migration, and visual cultures of the Black Atlantic. Her projects Black Atlantis and A Rough History (of the destruction of fingerprints) have been performed and exhibited internationally. She is the co-editor of Futures and Fictions (Repeater 2017) and is currently the Programme Leader for the MA in Contemporary Art Theory in the Department of Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths University of London, UK.
The work A Transatlantic Periodic Table can be accessed through the GIBCA app and website. We recommend you listen at the designated spot on Packhuskajen in Gothenburg Harbour, which was built in the seventeenth century as Sweden’s “window to the Atlantic” and national port for trade with the East and West Indies.
A Transatlantic Periodic Table
Courtesy the artist; sound design by the artist and William Saunders; commissioned by Knowbotiq for the project Swiss Psychotropic Gold
Image: Ayesha Hameed, A Transatlantic Periodic Table, 2019. Photo: Hendrik Zeitler