My ceiling fan morphs into a helicopter
My ceiling fan morphs into distant gunshots
My ceiling fan morphs into the dense soundscape of a city in rebellion
Endless construction noise
A sonic invasion from the past
The habitual soundscape of the city is disrupted by the recurrent insistence of sirens, preachers, birds, generators, nomadic announcements by the state, and political parties
These sounds become all the more ubiquitous as the city is calmer, as the electricity cuts more frequently, as the pandemic becomes ever more insistent, pervasive, with Easter Sunday on the horizon.
Vicariously living through the sonic intervention of the human, animal, and machinic other, embedded in a city at rest
The ambulance sirens now pierce the air with an unprecedented intensity.
On April 4, 2020, my best friend’s partner burned his hand while cooking a late night snack
A month later on May 4, 2020, I realized that I was not leaving the country for my fellowship abroad.
Two months later on June 4, 2020, I was unable to leave my bed from excruciating menstrual pain.
The nights leading up to July were sleepless, hot and dark. There was barely any electricity. Except for the concrete walls surrounding me, it felt like I was camping in my own home.
On July 4, 2020 I went to the Chouf valley to get some fresh air.
On August 4, 2020 at 2:00 pm, I started recording a voice over for a film with a poet. We shut down all the windows to block out the city noise. We finish at 5.30 pm. She leaves and I order a fried chicken burger. The windows are still shut.
At 6:08 pm, a bomb explodes at the port. It’s 2750 tons strong
Six years in the making, if not thirty
An earthquake perhaps
A rocket maybe
A suspension of the audible
A suspension of time
A suspension of the suspension
A sonic boom
Not so distant cries
Lighting up of the sensory cortex
Sensation overtakes information
Fight or flight
A high pitch
Ringing in the ears
Ringing of phones
Voices breaking up
Still no information
No signal The sight of the ceiling fan never evoked anything until I heard it.