The Sounds of Restitution

A Radio-Feature by Khadija Zinnenburg Carroll and Deutschlandfunkkultur's Hans Trotha

I became interested in this project of observing ceremonies of repatriation in the ways that artists were being given a role of centrality in the ceremony, whether by making music or cleansing with smoke. Call it the aesthetic gestures, would drop the audience into something outside of a Press Conference. This seems particularly important for these repatriations. Reviewing the recordings of my material from Namibia, Mexico, Australia, Manchester, Vienna, etc. I see emerging a comparative view on the role of the artist in the repatriation ceremony itself – that is the gathering of people at the moment when there is a transfer, a shift between worlds, a movement of  property rights, a transition of states of being and a historical change.

In this radio program I begin to think through some of the recordings we have made, or archival pieces we have found and the ways in which those add this dimension of silence that surrounds the material, which is often seen to “not speak for itself”.

Die Rückgabe von Raubkunst ist eine Voraussetzung für Dekolonialisierung. Die Restitutionen hinterlassen aber auch akustische Spuren in den Herkunftsländern. Eine große Rolle spielen dabei die Gemeinschaften, aus denen die Schätze stammen.