Project: Constant_V

Noises I could not ignore

“As a person immensely fascinated by accents and sounds, I have never imagined that one day I would discuss the negative impacts of sounds in my life.”

From 24 May until 22 September, Yared Yilma’s soundscapes will come to life in the window of Constant. You are welcome to the opening on Thursday 23 May from 18:00 on.

Yared Yilma attended the Open Design Course organised by KIOSK and Kask, School of Arts, Ghent where he was introduced to audio recording and the free software sound editing tool Audacity. Documenting and editing quickly became instrumental to release the sound afflicted trauma that he had to endure as a refugee.

Noise is a sound that all humans learn to ignore. Each and everyone of us masters ways to tune out sounds from our environment, and to turn them into background noise as we wish.

Then, Yared became a refugee and faced noises that couldn’t simply be ignored. Some noises possess a power to cut through one’s inner flesh and, in his tumultuous stay at the refugee centre, Yared was countless times stabbed by sounds that felt like daggers. While the particular shrill whistle leaves its scar indelibly, some noises tend to be less sharp on the edge, but are insistent enough to cut deep into one’s inner calm. 106 people: children, teenagers, men and women of different cultures bumping into each other in one space can produce so much noise.

Most of the refugees in the centre have endured a grim past and deal with many inner dialogues individually. But the most striking thing about the centre is the amount of atmospheric noise it produced. To Yared, the centre felt as a secluded dystopia, where universal deafness is considered a sane option.


@ Constant

Rue du Fortstraat, 5 Brussels