Curatorial Statement

…being together, in community  


Spurred on by the acuteness of current global events, we are raising our voices in solidarity with the oppressed, the tortured, the silenced, and the unheard. While humanity is at stake, and our values are on trial, in moments of despair, rage and endless grief, acts of solidarity are needed more than ever. The events that shake Palestine and Israel are resulting in an ever-tighter spiral of violence and desperation. They are a horrific wake-up call that brutally brings the precarious situation on our planet to the fore. The humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza, and Israel’s collective punishment of Palestinian civilians are intolerable. On top of that, the military actions threaten the lives of the remaining hostages in the Gaza-Strip, and even more innocent people in Gaza. 

Looking at armed conflicts and acts of systematic oppression around the globe, taking into account what’s happening in Russia/Ukraine, D.R. Congo, Myanmar, Sudan and Haiti, China/Taiwan/Hong Kong, Iran, Turkey, and so many more places, it becomes clear that fascist, violent regimes, and repressive, reactionary, imperialist, authoritarian forces are on the rise. In Austria and elsewhere, extreme right-wing movements are rapidly gaining power, while racism, antisemitism, islamophobia, and nationalism become even more overt. 

As we have always dealt with sound as a political category, our activism is based on listening and focuses on the revolutionary potential that is inherent in the sonic. Under the banner of Sonic Agency we want to enforce a sonic activism of opposition and resistance. The artists involved are advocating for social and political transformation. Their sounds lend themselves to global emancipatory struggles, and fights for freedom and equality. The featured sounds aren’t complicit in the silence that surrounds us. They are furious, desperate, crying, paralysed, compassionate and rebellious like us. There is a message in sound that cannot be negated.

Listening is not neutral.
Listening shapes the reality we live in.
Listening is shaped by ethics and politics and leads back to it.
Listening is directly linked to memory and identity.
Listening is as important as speaking.
Listing is an active act.

We want to establish new ways to think and act collectively via sonic means. Sound’s ability to touch the listener, to involve them via emotional and physical affection, turns the sonic into a partner in the fight for a more just world. Sonic Agency is led by urgency and the pressing need for articulation. It is an effort to enable and reinforce transformative processes in our societies, while critically questioning hegemonic systems. Sonic Agency opens up space for a caring community of equals. Sonic Agency is grounded in the sonic’s ability to introduce the feeling of connectivity, and the possibility of community – a community yet to come. 

We stand in global solidarity with the part of our societies that has no part.
We are raising our voice for those who are silenced, unheard and rendered invisible – dehumanised.
We are advocating for peace, justice, equality, and freedom for every human being on this earth.
We protest collectively against oppressive systems and systems based on exploitation, authoritarian regimes, fascist ideologies, and reactionary governments everywhere on this planet. 

Sonic Agency privileges the acoustic to create a platform for further exchange. We endorse the emergence of new ideas, new alliances and the crystallisation of direct action. The politics we are supporting are based on dialogue and mutual respect. Dialogue is enabled when speaking and listening are valued equally. By enabling activist listening, entering dialogue and taking seriously the plurality of voices involved, we want to run counter to the continuous monologues of dominant narratives, and acknowledge and amplify the multifaceted reality we are living in. Sonic Agency is promoting the sounds of resistance, compassion, empathy, care, grief, and hope.


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