Chorus of Zong sounds like a polyphonic choir accompanied by water noises. It is the voices of young Afro-Italians in dialogue with the echoing voices of their ancestors. The polyphonic chorus recites verses from the 2008 poetry collection Zong! by the poet M. NourbeSe Philip, in which she gives voice to the 150 enslaved people who were thrown overboard into the Atlantic Ocean by the crew of the ship that carried them across the ocean. The work reminds us that the voices of the African diaspora have been unheard for centuries, in Italy and elsewhere. At the same time, it also reflects on questions of identity, origin, and belonging that the young Italian Afro-descendant community is currently dealing with.
For the 2021 Ars Electronica Garden festival, TBA21–Academy presents a selection of works resulting from The Sea—Sounds & Storytelling, a collaborative two-day program organized by the Centre culturel suisse (Paris), Istituto Svizzero (Rome), Institut Kunst (Basel), and TBA21–Academy and hosted by La Criée Théâtre in Marseille as part of Les Parallèles du Sud, an initiative by Manifesta 13 Marseille – The European Nomadic Biennial in 2020.