Listening in Lifta: HaKol Galui
HaKol Galui (Listen and you will see the whole picture)
In House Festival
Now live art peeps love their audio-art-walking-tour-thingys. I can't remember the amount of times I've popped on a set of headphones to eagerly (re)discover some kind of forgotten history of something or other.. the arty audio tour is such a simple and straight forward way of communicating a lot of different narratives and bringing their complexities to light. HaKol Galui really nailed this format.
The performative audio tour invited audiences to journey down a hillside and remember the stories from the abandoned homes of the village Lifta, whose residents were deported or fled during and before the war of 1948. It's a unique landscape- among the Palestinian villages inside the Green Line, Lifta is the only one that has remained intact. There is a quiet beauty to the site, the untouched buildings, the untamed nature and views of neighbouring hillsides. Lifta is also now a site for some pretty hefty development plans, with Plan No. 6036 outlining the construction of commercial venues and properties for the area. Plan which are currently being contested by various interest groups.
The performance is a very solitary one to experience, an alternative walking tour in which you a guided through the space accompanied, at times, by a range of voices and soundscapes that meld the past, present and future. And at times you walk alone, taking in the view, whilst in your own little audio-arty-bubble. You experience the personal stories, the political narratives. It shines light on the growing economic forces that are shaping the landscape and its future.
(Above: A couple listen to the audio recording - taking a rest and looking over the neighbouring hillsides).
The audio work invites you to turn your mobile phone into a "unique version of a stethoscope allowing you to listen to the site’s hidden voices, testimonies and snippets of conversation". There is something a bit magical and Pocahontas about listening to voices that will emerge out of rocks, fig tress and doorways. But this ain't Disney. It is however an experience of listening and seeing that will stay with you long after your walk ends.
(Above: A view of the landscape).
(Above: The audio guide asks me to look closely through the 3 windows and see how parts of the roof are missing. It's good to take time to really look at things).
(Above: We listen to the stories from this room. We hear about the family who lived here).