SeaWomen: audiovisual installation

An immersive audiovisual installation consisting of video chapters which depict the old women’s day at sea: diving deep from the rocks; selling and sharing their catch; returning from the depths to their coastal base, sorting their nets etc. The immersive twelve-speaker sound installation creates an experience with noises of a day at work. It is composed spatially triggering different physical sensations and submerging the audience in the divers’ immediate aural environment. The audio scenes include a rhythmic rowing work-song; the reverberant hubbub of the women’s communal baths and a sudden violent thunderstorm during a pearl-diving expedition and the sumbisori, which is the striking high-pitched and dolphin-like whistling noises of the diving women’s traditional breathing technique. At once alarming and joyous, the sumbisori punctuates each dive with a spontaneous whistle, and a series of gasps and calls, and forms an sonic blade marking the horizon between life and death. Often mistaken for noises produced by sea-mammals, this unique breathing technique is a transgenerational skill transmitted from mother to daughter when a new pearl-diver began her training at the age of eight. This soundscape, along with the women’s profession are on the verge of disappearance.