21 Mar 2024

The Voice as Resistance

00:00 / 00:00

Vivienne Griffin & Helen Cammock explore the enduring power of group singing and how it can embody resistance

The communal voice has a long history within the resistance movement, from African American spirituals, to the protest songs of the civil rights movement and the current pro-Palestine marches. In this episode we explore the enduring power of group singing and how it can embody resistance and resilience with Turner prize winning artist Helen Cammock and artist and Somerset House studios resident, Vivienne Griffin.

Vivienne's sound work often centres around the voice, both her own and those of small choral ensembles. For their piece for Assembly they are drawing on the voice of the harp as a symbol of resistance within the history of British colonialism. The work will be performed by Northern Irish harpist Úna Monaghan alongside a mechanised harp created by Vivienne, who will together interpret a text score.

Helen Cammock works across film, printmaking, performance and writing. Her work explores the role of the voice within the creation and maintenance of power structures as well as how the communal voice can subvert the dominant narratives of history. Here Helen unpacks how her work with communal voice has interrogated the idea of the voice as a site of resistance and the body as resilience.


    Commissioned by:

    Somerset House Studios


    Alannah Chance


    Eleanor Ritter-Scott

    Series Composer:

    Felicia Atkinson


    Harry Murdoch

    Supported by:

    PRS Foundation’s The Open Fund for Organisations, John S Cohen Foundation, Kitmapper, The Wire Magazine and Goethe Institute London.

Not Strictly Speaking Series

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A three-part podcast series exploring different manifestations of the voice, produced in conjunction with Somerset House Studios' Assembly.