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Invoking the presence of jinns to explore the textures and toxicities of air, Safarnama (2020) activates natural and sacred worlds to pay attention to the intimacy of toxic colonialism. Borrowing its name from and referencing the history of travel literature produced in the Islamic world, Safarnama traces the journey of a  jinn traveling through the emerging, extractive infrastructures of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. We turn to these otherworldly beings of air and fire to disrupt colonial protocols of seeing and knowing, to rewire our experiential modes, and to stretch open the possibility of witnessing at a time of heightened policing and repression. The jinn that we seek challenges the state project of erasure. Subsisting below the threshold of official state narratives, the jinn attunes us to the entanglements between sacred, human and ecological worlds.

Sound piece, 23 min 20 sec

Original sound design and audio mixing by Mudassir Sheikh; two-channel sound design at Khoj Studios by Baan G.

Music played by Taj Mohammad and Abdul Hameed Baloch

Wall Illustration at Khoj Studios by Mohd. Intiyaz

Commissioned and produced by Khoj International Artists’ Association and Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (TBA21) for st_age

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