Yasmine Nasser Diaz: the sound of your voice is home

222 E Harvard St, Glendale, CA, 91205
Jun 11, 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM — ends Jul 23, 2022
Inspired by a family practice of exchanging audio cassettes between Chicago and Yafa, Yemen, Diaz’s latest installation invites visitors into a space of ritual, gathering, and listening. The setting, an 80’s era kitchen, is a nod to her childhood and a time long-before the ubiquity of cell phones. Communicating with family in the highlands of southern Yemen from the U.S. was challenging. Only one house in the family’s village had a telephone, making access and coordination difficult. In lieu of long-distance calls, her family would gather around the kitchen table to record lengthy audio messages on cassette tapes. The messages included updates on the health of relatives, news of engagements, pregnancies, births, and the latest local scandal.

The sound of your voice is home, pays tribute to the evolving ways communities of diaspora maintain connectivity and affectionate exchanges while separated by time and distance. Upon entering the space, visitors will hear a collection of audio recordings in different voices and languages, playing on a loop. The clips have been gathered from immigrant friends, acquaintances, and family, and include recollections of different familial practices as well as clips from actual voice messages between relatives. The stories shared reflect varying temporalities, from the past and present, further evoking the importance of storytelling in producing and maintaining communal memories. The physical setting pays homage to the kitchen as the heart of the home and the core domestic space for conversation, nourishment, reconciliation, and care.