12th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art

Sound #1. Faire Famille [Making Family]

Somewhere between Saint-Denis, Montreuil, Cape Town, and Marseille

This sound work is part of the podcast series Museum of Breath. 

With: Ousmane Cissé, Hassan Abdallaye, Souleymane Soumah, Barbara Manzetti, Nicole Koffi, Sabrina Pennacchietti, Caroline Sébilleau for the Family Rester. Étranger (voice, texts, and “recipes”), Olivier Marboeuf (poems, voice, recordings), Victor Donati (recordings, editing and sound design), Asher Gamedze (drums), Ntone Edjabe, Benjamin F. Kollie and Blessing Tony (voices), Liz Young (voice and translation)

With the support of Ateliers Médicis

The absence of home is home

The absence of family is family

I speak because

I am the guide

I speak because

I am the storyteller

I did not choose

to be the guide

And I did not choose

to be the storyteller

For I have no language to tell

The absence of language is my language

I have no language to tell the racism

And humiliation

I have no tongue to lower my eyes

I have no language to say fear

And anger

I speak in the absence of language

Of humiliation

And fear

The anger in my belly

speaks with my mouth

And speaks with my skin

The absence of the tongue is my home

I want to speak here

And I want to speak and remain a stranger

I am the eye and I am the mouth

The mouth is my home

And the eye is my secret home too

I am the eye of the one who was made a guide

I did not decide

I was angry that they called me the guide

Because I didn’t know what to do

With my fear

Of my bones

With my anger

With my sweat

And with the absence of my tongue

My absence of language is my home

I made a place for myself in the language

I carved out a place in the language

And this place is the house

where we remain strangers


And language and the absence of language

is the family

where we stay strangers


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