Omar Berrada – Defend the Dead (on NourbeSe Philip’s Zong!)

zongOmar Berrada offers a meditation on poetry when it holds on to the imperative of “defending the dead,” among the traumas of history and the silences of archives. He does so via recordings of performances by NourbeSe Philip, sampled with the help of Ambrose Bye.

“Zong! not only deals with an historical event (i.e. the massacre of enslaved Africans on board the Zong in 1784), but also speaks to contemporary times, in the sense that we are all contaminated by that event. Today’s speculative financing, for instance, has its roots in the trade in Africans… ” – M. NourbeSe Philip

Berrada is a writer and translator and the director of the Dar al-Ma’mûn library and residency in Marrakech. He is currently living in Brooklyn, and is at work on a text and performance collaboration with Caribbean poet NourbeSe Philip, provisionally titled “Documents from Black Morocco”.


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