Gardens Speak is an interactive sound installation containing the oral histories of ten ordinary people who were buried in gardens rather than formal cemeteries across Syria. Each narrative has been carefully constructed with the friends and family members of the deceased to retell their stories as they themselves would have recounted it. Each story tells an individual life of hopes, dreams, future plans, past mistakes and thoughts about a revolution. The sound pieces are compiled with found audio that evidences the martyr's final moment or their burial in a garden. 

The audience are invited into a "garden" space, they dig in the fresh soil to get closer to the sound. They lie on earth and listen to stories being whispered into their ears. When the stories are told, the audience write a letter back to the dead. The letters are buried in the garden and eventually shared with the surviving friends and families of the dead. 

 

These letters were written by audience members who experienced Gardens Speak in Melbourne, Australia. 

 

 

TANIA EL KHOURY

 

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