راديو الغواصة 

Radio Submarineacknowledges memory as a record of keeping the spirits of the past alive, engrained within the relationality of sound. Radio Submarine is a dive into African sonorities: across times, traditions, technologies, and music. Reverberating with the aims of SAVVYZΛΛR, Yara Mekawei recollects dispersed memories to create counter-cartographies interconnected through sound.

 With Radio Submarine, Mekawei infuses active listening into the mixing deck, as it becomes an archival tool and a connector bringing voices of the distant future to life through manipulations and transcendences of time. The sessions trace African societies through their music, listening to various musical styles played at gatherings and special occasions and spoken across languages. The musical traditionals vastly embodied throughout the continent areis intertwined with new musical impulses, bridging the old and new as spaces of continuous throbs of African sonorities.

Radio Submarine can also relate to the notion of the sub, the very low frequencies that are felt rather than heard. Travelling in the forms of vibrations through the air and water, sub-frequencies traverse across materialities and spaces: the sub implying a felt notion of an experience unheard, a language shared beyond words and occupying terrains of the infra-sonority resonant in the body. The (sub)marine then becomes a place of tracing and navigating through connectivity. 

In a conversation with Kamila Metwaly from 2019, Mekawei expressed: “Africa is a continuation of what is considered an abandonment of spirit, as something that has left us behind. On the contrary, starting from Egypt and crossing to South Africa, our music is in fact based on a spiritual consciousness of relationships we carry through time. The music might be produced with new tools and technologies that are considered ‘modern’, but at the core of it, is an invocation of what multiple spiritualities are and mean across the vast geopolitical space we know to be Africa.” 

Thinking through the movement of water, the sonic submarine dives into auditory phenomenons and aurality as a means of accessing embodied archives and possibilities of sharing and resonating tactile knowledges through sound. 

Follow the ongoing waves of this long-term project also through the RADIO SUBMARINE website.

Yara Mekawei is an artist and scholar, her sonic bricolages draw inspiration from the dynamic flow of urban centres and the key infrastructure of cities. She is interested in the philosophy of architecture, social history, and philosophical literature. Mekawei implements the optical transactions from musical conversations and transfers sound waves to visual forms. Her work is based on sound as an essential tool of vision, the philosophy of composition is shaped by sophisticated practices that convey messages of the conceptual dimension to the public. 

Mekawei’s research-based practice intimately connects mythic pasts to the developed technologies of the eternal present. She uses the research literature specializing in the social philosophies in her concepts and follows her projects through research points inseparably uniting her works, which show intangible and expansive aspects of her cultural identity and feminine placements in an East African society and beyond.



18.07.2021  Northern Cocktail

Yara’s first session with SAVVYZΛΛR, traverses a kaleidoscopic range of music from Northern Africa through the veins of rap, hip hop, and R&B.

29.08.2021  Nigeria  

Yara’s second session airing on SAVVYZΛΛR traces Nigerian popular music and its varieties of styles from palm-wine to high life and jùjú. In the 1920s, the styles erupted in Nigeria and nearby countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Ghana. Work songs, a common type of Nigerian music created to help keep the rhythm of labor, are interspersed through the session. Therein, we can hear songs by women, who would use complex rhythms in housekeeping tasks, grounded in highly ornamental music. With Mekawei we travel through Nigeria’s folk and popular music forms, where styles of folk music are related to the multiverse of the country’s musical techniques, instruments, and songs.