Samandari Ehsaasat/
Oceanic Feelings

On SAVVYZΛΛR, we follow the waves of our new exhibition INDIGO WAVES AND OTHER STORIES through the first three parts of Zahra Malkani’s four-part series "Samandari Ehsaasat/Oceanic Feelings: All Water is a Portal to Water". The series is an audio research project moving through the aquatic landscapes of coastal Sindh and Balochistan, where the sonic and the sacred come together at sea. The sounds encountered emerge from spaces with long, rich histories of oceanic exchange and connections – spaces now devastated by development, militarism, and the Pakistani state’s infrastructural nationalism.

The term Oceanic Feelings refers to the affective experience of religious and spiritual rapture: a moment of ego-death where the dissolution of one own’s boundaries moves into an aquatic, divine, and infinite unity. From field recordings at protests and occult rituals by the beach, to folklore and anti-colonial epics, these sounds threaten and entice with ecstatic border-crossings and boundary-breakings strung of sacred ruptures. The subtitle, All water is a portal to all water, is borrowed from an epistolary exchange between Alexis Pauline Gumbs and Christine Sharpe.

These sonic portals, individually and collectively, map out an aqueous, unruly cosmography: a kind of ecopedagogy from the shadows of militarised, extractivist, occupational infrastructure.

Samandari Ehsaasat/Oceanic Feelings #2 was first aired with Karachi Community Radio. #3 was first aired with A Thousand Channels.

Zahra Malkani’s research-based practice spans multiple media, including text, sound and web. She explores the politics of development, infrastructure and militarism in Pakistan through the lens of dissident ecological knowledges and traditions of environmental resistance. She is a co-founder with Shahana Rajani of Karachi LaJamia (2015-present), an experimental pedagogical project exploring new radical pedagogies in connection with ongoing struggles in Karachi. Zahra is also an Assistant Professor of Practice at Habib university, Karachi and is currently a fellow at the Jan Van Eyck Akademie, Maastricht.