Portrait of Halim El Dabh

Halim El Dabh

© James Vaughan

Exhibition

Here History Began

Tracing the Re/Verberations of Halim El-Dabh

This exhibition focuses on an almost forgotten exponent of African and Arabic philosophy of sound: Halim El-Dabh – composer, electronics pioneer, scholar and teacher.

Programme details: savvy-contemporary.com

“Here History Began” pays homage to the Egyptian-American composer, electronic music pioneer, researcher and teacher Halim El-Dabh (1921 – 2017). A paramount figure in shaping African and Arab sonic philosophy, El-Dabh’s oeuvre has vanished into oblivion, despite the fact that his important work spans a period of seventy years and includes, amongst others one of the earliest works of electroacoustic music, “Taabir El Zaar” (1944). At the beginning of this two-year-long retrospective project, SAVVY Contemporary and MaerzMusik present an exhibition based on El-Dabh’s immense archive of tapes, scores, letters, texts, photographs and videos. Contemporary transdisciplinary artists and musicians have been commissioned to make new pieces, to relate and pay tribute to, get inspired by, and reflect on El-Dabh’s practices and positions within music history and beyond, to deliberate on what contemporary African and Arab soundscapes are today and where they stand within the genealogy and legacy of Pan-Africanism.

Works by

Halim El-Dabh (EG/US)
Theo Eshetu (UK)
Emeka Ogboh (NI/DE)
Sunette Viljoen (ZA/DE)
Aurélie Nyirabikali Lierman (RW/BE)
Yara Mekawei (EG)
Lorenzo Sandoval (ES)
Satch Hoyt (UK)
Leo Asemota (NI/UK)
Tegene Kunbi (ET/DE)
and others

Concept Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung & Kamila Metwaly
Curated by Antonia Alampi, Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, Kamila Metwaly
Communications Anna Jäger
Design Elsa Westreicher
Management Lema Sikod & Lynhan Balatbat-Helbock

Presented by SAVVY Contemporary, MaerzMusik – Festival for Time Issues & Deutschlandfunk Kultur.

Funded by the Federal Cultural Foundation
Logo Kulturstiftung des Bundes

With the support of Goethe Institut