To Tell an Impossible Story Saraab (Omer Wasim and Shahana Rajani)

This conversation between Saraab (an ongoing collaboration between Pakistani artists Shahana Rajani and Omer Wasim) and Niyati Dave (curator at Khoj, New Delhi) guides us into the winds that blow from desert to sea in Pakistan along the route of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor—a massive infrastructural project that threatens displacement and environmental degradation. Building on ideas exchanged in the making of Safarnama (2020), Saraab’s sound piece on st_age, the conversation considers what the air holds. It asks how we can listen and lean into an affective attunement that regards jinns, sufi practices, and alternate ways of knowing as antidotes to the violent and flattening effects of colonial archives and artifacts, as well as statist narratives of progress. Saraab draws on Black academic Saidiya Hartman’s idea of critical fabulation, a practice that allows gaps and silences within official archives to be animated by those whose voices are often unheard—the non-human and more-than-human included. The title of this conversation invokes her words: “I intended both to tell an impossible story and to amplify the impossibility of its telling.” Access the audio file HERE.

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The Planet in Transformation
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16/12 2020
  • Sustainable cities and communities
  • Climate action