Kariakoo (2013) is a portrait of Kariakoo, a vibrant neighborhood in Dar Es Salaam (Tanzania). With the chronological narrative structure of a diary, Kariakoo is built up like a triptych with three demarcated chapters, representing three different moments on a Summer day in an East African metropolis.

I On Congo Str. 11AM

Exterior scene: about noon

We are moving. We seek a path, through a sonic environment with alienating characteristics. Sounds appear and disappear in a predominant and omnipresent form.


II Hotel Sikukuu, Fifth Floor, 5PM

Interior scene: around sunset time.

We break into this new scene. We hear the same sonic environment as in Act I but from a different angle and slightly to the background. Something has just happened or something is seemingly about to happen.


III Lullabies Above Pemba Str. (Swahili Nocturne), 3AM

Interior scene: in the middle of the night

We are in the same neighborhood but in a new location. There’s a lot of sonic activity even at this moment of the day. But over time the previous sonic environment has gradually turned into a perpetual and repetitive musical gesture: both narcotic and rousing, awakening and lulling.

The radio silence between the chapters are essential to the narrative structure.

It’s hard to speak of one specific protagonist in Kariakoo since the superstar in this story is not a person but a geographical spot; not a single human being but a whole neighborhood, the whole community of individuals who are living or working, visiting or just walking accidently in and out Kariakoo: all together forming a highly unique polyphony of voices creating a sonic environment with a clearly defined identity. There are some voices that you may consider as singular characters but in fact they are reduced to the function of supporting actors, as if they were humanized props merely used like a vessel, to carry the narrative from one scene to another, or as a medium through which the story of Kariakoo gets transmitted or received, told or heard.

Kariakoo, Dar El Salaam, ph. Aurelie Lierman

Aurélie Lierman (BE/RW) is an independent radio producer, vocalist and composer. She loves to work on the border of these practices, adding very often theatrical or cinematic elements to her compositions and radio pieces. Lately Aurélie Lierman is trying new directions by fusing the art of radio and composition, being the main focus her personal field recordings: a large collection of unique sounds and soundscapes from rural and urban contemporary East Africa. Sound bit by sound bit she is transforming and sculpturing them into something she would call Afrique Concrete. She has a MA in Audiovisual Art at the RITCS School of Art in Brussels and she is currently studying composition with Yannis Kyriakides and Martijn Padding.


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