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What is the role of citizens and local communities in preserving the sound of their region? Who decided what music and sounds are ‘worth’ being archived? And how should we engage with archives as sites of both remembering and forgetting?

As part of the ERC’s Beyond 1932 Research Project at King’s College London, sound artist and composer Hardi Kurda will launch his new project, Archive Khanah. The event is part of Space21 Festival based across Slemani (Kurdistan) and its artist networks in Lebanon, Cyprus and the UK. The evening will introduce the sound archive’s interactive and community-based approach to recording and archiving forgotten and excluded voices from the 1920s - 1970s in Kurdistan and Iraq by using computer game technology to capture and perform the sounds of the region.

Supported by AFAC (Arab Fund for culture and art) and British Council Northern Ireland.


  • 7.30-8.30 pm: Exhibition of Archival Materials from Slemani, Kurdistan

  • 8:45-9:45 pm: Sonic Archiving in Kurdistan (Film ’15 + Introduction to Video Game Technology)

  • 10:00-10:30 pm: Live Performance of Archive and Video Game

The residency series is organised by Rim Irscheid, curator and cultural anthropologist at King’s College London. The Beyond 1932 project is funded by the EPSRC via the UKRI/EC HE Guarantee ERC scheme (funder Award Reference: EP/X022749/1).

Hardi Kurda

Hardi Kurda is a composer, sound artist, improviser, researcher, and curator. Hardi’s works and performances involve suggestive, unusual sounds, unexpected moments, and noises that reflect his listening experiences to radio noises during his illegal journey to Europe. Therefore, the artist uses, among others, the radio to explore spectrum frequency as sound material and interact with the audience. Besides composing classical acoustic and electronic music, Hardi develops pieces in which music interacts with different art forms in new art spaces to create new listening experiences using found scores, a new listening medium he develops.

He performed at the Sonorities festival Belfast, the Borderline festival Athens, the Crater project Santa Cruz de La Palma, the Soundings Conference ADK Berlin, IKLECTIK Art Lab (2022), Café OTO London (2021), Nomos Museum Gdansk (2021), Irtijal festival Beirut (2019).

He composed “24/7 Everywhere” for the Listening Biennial Slemani, part of the Global Listening Biennial collaboration with SPACE21, where he is part of the curator collective and the radio Middle East PhoNographic Morning (2021). He became the fifth scholarship holder of the Radio Art Residency in Halle, Germany, where he created two experimental radio performances based on his illegal journey to Europe that revolved around illegality and the construction of legality. The radio programmes broadcasted on Radio Corax, Shift FM, Deutschland funk Hörspielmagazin, generation FM, and the live performance on Gallery Blech (2020). He develops the project on illegality in collaboration with Melos Collective in Vilnius (2022). The Magnified Face, the found score of the Kurdish carpet, is a telepathic performance during the symposium on the John Heartfield found footage ADK Berlin (2020). He received the residency programme from the Swedish Artist grant committee to compose the piece The Latest News for Ensemble Recherche Freiburg (2019), Between Me and the Others performed at the Berliner Festspiele Maerz Musik by Adapter ensemble (2013), Open Ensemble sound installation presented at the Sound Place exhibition (2015), Game Piece for Zurna at the Showroom London (2010).

He received awards and commissions from AFAC, the Arab fund for art and culture (2022), Brent Council London (2021), the Society for Swedish Composers (2019), the Department of Public Art in Gothenburg (2018), the Swedish Art Council (2018), the Goethe Institute (2017), and Västra Götaland Region culture prize (2015).

Hardi is a founder and curator of the SPACE21 projects for sound art and experimental music in the Kurdistan Region in Iraq. Since 2017 he has organised festivals, workshops, artistic research, publications, and the label.

Hardi is co-founder of Duo Moment with Khabat Abas, and they released albums “Broken Resonance” on Space21 Label and “Illegal Performance” (2021). His solo album Radiola Springs (2022).

Hardi is a visiting lecturer at The University of Winchester teaching Interaction Design, focusing on questioning the role of artistic practice in a social environment by creating another perspective on listening to sound.

At this event

Rim Irscheid

Postdoctoral Research Associate