between a whisper and a cry
Alberta Whittle

HD Film , Stereo sound, 41 mins, 2019
Sound Design and Mix by Richy Carey

between a whisper and a cry speaks of memory, trauma and tensions between the land, the sea and the weather, revealing the precarity and privilege of geography. Featuring a collage of archival and filmed footage, Whittle’s work summons the ever-present ghosts of colonialism, the transatlantic slave trade, and the climate crisis as she maps the entangled histories of empire and environmental catastrophe across bodies and borders. In its narrative and presentation, the work references scholar Christina Sharpe’s book In the Wake: On Blackness and Being, undertaking her description of anti-Blackness as a kind of “weather”—an atmosphere in which we all live. 

The soundtrack and visuals seek to evoke the feeling of being caught and submerged within a wave and was composed in collaboration with Alberta, using a mixture of her own found sounds alongside my own designs, and recording her narration in the studio.

between a whisper and a cry was commissioned for the 2018/19 Margaret Tait Award.