Sound piece, 23:00 mins

with Omer Wasim (Saraab)

Invoking the presence of jinns to explore the textures and toxicities of air, Safarnama activates natural and sacred worlds to pay attention to the intimacy of toxic colonialisms. The sound piece traces the journey of a jinn traveling through the emerging, extractive infrastructures of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. We turn to these otherworldly beings to disrupt colonial protocols of seeing and knowing, to rewire our senses and experiential modes, and to stretch open the possibility of witnessing at a time of heightened policing and repression. Subsisting below the threshold of official state narratives, the jinn attunes us to the entanglements between sacred, human and ecological worlds.

This project was comissioned by TBA 21 and Khoj India for St_age. Listen here.

Saraab is an ongoing collaboration between Shahana Rajani and Omer Wasim. Saraab envisions their practice and its nomadic formations as part of a living organism: part mythical, part real, which can be called upon through invocations, rituals, and critical fabulations. Such organisms have always existed in militarized and heteropatriarchal orderings of the world, yet they have been systematically made to disappear. Given impermeable borders and the right-wing swing in global politics, this organism can ripple and swim their way through bodies of water, moving through landscapes and ecologies, under and over nationalisms.

Saraab—meaning mirage or nazar ka dhoka—is a quiet, amorphous entity that can go undetected. Unapologetically sensitive to their surroundings, their movements and formations work slowly and quietly to unsettle existing restrictions and regulations. They seek to create new, kind, tender infrastructures and ecologies that utilize the gaps and crevices of existing systems and spaces. Every time they recoil from a hostile touch, it is not a withdrawal, but a practice of drawing strength from inwards to open up new spaces and new possibilities for being transformed by each other.