Soundphiles is an experiment in the practice of listening. It emerged as a conversation between artists, filmmakers and radio practitioners. The first edition of Soundphiles was curated for the 10th IAWRT Asian Women’s Film Festival in 2014. Since then it has been a regular feature of the festival and has travelled to other contexts including the Dharamsala International Film Festival (2014), Transmissions 3 (2015) and IAWRT Asian Women’s Film Festival Kathmandu (2017).
The International Association of Women in Radio & Television
IAWRT is a global organisation of professional women working in electronic and allied media with a mission to strengthen initiatives that ensure women’s views and values are an integral part of programming and to advance the impact of women in media. The India chapter of the IAWRT was set up as a non-profit trust with a network of members across the country.
The main activity of the chapter is to organise the annual IAWRT Asian Women’s Film Festival held every year around International Women’s Day in New Delhi. It showcases works by women directors of Asian origin ranging from animation, non-fiction, short/feature fiction, experimental and student films.
The festival was launched in 2005 and has grown in strength and popularity with film makers coming from all over the world to participate. Soundphiles was curated as part of the 2017 edition.
Playing Order :
Neuro-ICU, 05:28 min
War from 1980 till today, 04:36 min
Farz-I Muhal/As If, 04:47 min
Sonderfrooh, 4:41 min
In A Sea Of Other Voices, 3:19 min
kabariiiiaaaaa, 06:32 min
Swimming Pool, 4:02 min
Jeep Mein Beep Dil Mein Dhak, 7 min
Bhoepae Antakshari, 7 min
Threads As Yet Undone, 05:00 min
Number Unreachable, 05:00 min
2017/Artists: Reshma Pritam, Tenzin Kunchok (India)/7’
One of my earliest memories of hanging out with my newly found Tibetan friends, in the late ‘90s was a giant poster of Madhu Bala next to a tiny altar with a picture of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, benignly smiling down upon myfriends as they played antakshri. The first time this happened I was leftbemused. I listened hard trying to detect a hint of irony or a note of parody butthey sang in earnest, melodiously enunciating all the ‘foreign’ Hindi words. Andtheir repertoire far exceeded mine. ‘Bhoepae Antakshri’ or Tibetans’ Antakshri, is a lyrical slice from an evening spent at a café, with a new set of young Tibetan friends, in the same place where I first heard my old Tibetan friends sing Hindi film songs all those years ago.
Farz-I Muhal/ As If
2014/Artist: Nazli Deniz (Turkey)/04:47
A woman has a dream every night. Then she thinks about her dream and tells us. Do childhood memories, family and growing up have impact in her life? Is it a dream or real life or her subconscious?
In A Sea of Other Voices
2016/Artists: Namrata Mehta & Prerna Bishnoi (India)/03:19
As you lift your hands up for security check, swipe your smart card across the turnstile, walk down the stairs, or up the escalators and stand by for the train to come; as you mind the gap, stand away from the doors, sit in a designated space, and refrain from eating, taking photographs or talking to strangers, remember to listen closely. Tongues touch the top of the palette to create sounds that become words that become sentences, recorded and repeated – for you – to listen to, rely upon, act in accordance to and embody over time. In a Sea of other Voices, you will come to recognise the construction of instruction in one of Delhi’s most familiar soundscapes – the Delhi Metro. It was created using interviews with Rini Simon Khanna and Shammi Narang, the voicers of the Delhi Metro, as part of Listen Up! Delhi, curated by Diana Campbell Betancourt.
Jeep Mein Beep Dil Mein Dhak
2017/Artist: Agents of Ishq (India)/7’
“He winked at me in the rear-view mirror and I was overcome with shyness.” Once Chandni meets this jeep driver and their love story gathers speed, it is heart-in-the-mouth romantic twists and turns and the speed breaker of respectability cannot slow it down. A story of passionate romance from Banda, UP. A podcast from the Agents of Ishq series Love Sex Aur India created in collaboration with Khabar Lahariya.
2014/Artist: Rashmi Kaleka (India)/06:32
Kabari Walla is India’s inherent voice that lends to the recycling of waste collected from door to door in every urban city.
2014/Artist: Sindhu Thirumalaisamy (India)/05:28
Field recordings from a neuro-ICU are layered with voice-notes of the artist and of the patients’ family members–about the act of recording one’s own voice, of speaking with the hope of being heard.
2015/Artist: Usha Rao (India)/5’
A big plane with hundreds of travellers aboard went missing in the early hours of 5 March2014. It disappeared leaving a host of speculations in its wake. In the long days that followed, the 10 digits of a phone number were my only hope of contact with a beloved friend who was on that flight, the sound of a ringing phone the only tangible trace that was suggestive of her. The piece loops together the sounds that create a presence, and brings together a past and a hope of the future. The phone plays the role of an emissary that attempts to put me in touch with her, who is now unreachable.
2016/Artist: Aruna Rao (India)/04:41
How was language formed? How did meaning become? Where were the sounds and how did they come together? This short piece attempts a narration through words that already have meaning, and through utterances and glitch and noise. It is a journey from the known to the incomprehensible to the understandable. It is a playful poetry-like take on breaking sense, creating distortions and disturbances and bringing sounds together to (perhaps) make new sense. We face this constantly in language, as older words are pushed out of memory, and new compositions of syllables start a rampage in colloquial spaces. As more people start understanding, the stronger its territory becomes. It’s kinda like a rad way o’ pushin one’s plume inta the urban fray, nay?
2015/Artist: Madiha Aijaz (Pakistan)
Swimming Pool is a radio short which is a portrait of a middle-aged swimming instructor who is single, spirited and at ease with herself and her body. Once a local swimming champion, she tries to make a difference in the community of housewives in her own little way by teaching them swimming at a small community pool. A glimpse into her story is also a glimpse into the middle-class neighbourhood of Gulshan in Karachi – a melting pot of different ethnicities and dialects. It is also an intimate portrayal of a swimming instructor whose experience of ageing and conformity eventually overshadows her passion for swimming as she falls prey to her own unrealized desires.
Threads As Yet Undone
2014/Artists: Ruchika Negi, Amit Mahanti (India)/5’
In Malegaon, you measure time through the beats of the loom. Rhythms push thread into cloth, a picture begins to form. Asynchronous, a flicker, snatches of a film you saw last Friday. The sheer whiteness of cloth blinds your eye. You hear the voice in your mind. You fix new thread in an empty spindle. How far could it wander?
War from 1980 till today
2016/Artist: Shiva Sanjari (Iran)/04:36
War between Iran and Iraq started suddenly with an attack from Iraq in 1980.The Iraqi army intruded from the south of Iran, and the people in the south were first affected by the war. They lost their homes and families in a very short time. The war went on for 8 years on a daily bases and after that, Iran was always on the news, expecting to have another war with the US or Israel and that made the lives of people stressful. They worried about facing and repeating the same bitter experience again, every moment until now. The films narrates how we have lived these years, with real war and the shadow of war and, in fact, we may have slowly got used to it. We tried finding our peace somehow, even in war, with the help of the mothers, who were strong enough to handle this most tragic time with their children, in war.