Cures: Songs of Spirits

A people are as healthy and confident as the stories they tell themselves. Sick storytellers can make nations sick...Stories can conquer fear, you know. They can make the heart larger.

Ben Okri

The project CURES challenges the perceptions of “cure” and its promises. Accompanying its exhibition,the INVOCATIONS programme, titled SONGS OF SPIRITS, [1] is an incantation, a voicing out and a voicing towards the path-opening powers of release within distress. It is a convergence of ideas that considers the im(possibility) of a lasting cure to our systemic fractures. We imagine pathways within and beyond these fractures, driven by creative forces and common struggles, in search of solace. 

The pulses of the exhibition's premises, which traverse wound, mothering, and chaos across geographies and generations, are echoed. We ask: How can the generative lessons and powers of mothering, chaos, and wound-repairing processes within artistic and collective practices attain life-nurturing dreams of utopias within dystopias? The programme's tapestry is woven with artistic proposals and methodologies that invoke stories, spiritualities, and calls for emergent transformations against authoritarian systems of control. 

Alongside poets, activists, scholars, artistic practitioners, and our public, we seek to foreground rituals that attend to practices of communing and persisting, with a vulnerability that listens closely to varied scars. We invite songs of spirits that encircle the world, to summon alleviation to everyday lesions; songs against (neo)colonization, for the calling of spirits aiding our fights towards dignity and supporting the resistance to the still present (neo)colonial dominations. We ask: What if cures – like decolonization – produce no cure? How do we imagine decolonization beyond the remit of cure? 


Yoichi Yamada, Songs of the Spirits: An Ethnography of Sounds in a Papua New Guinea Society. Institute of Papua New Guinea Studies, 1997.