BY SANCINTYA MOHINI SIMPSON
AND ISHA RAM DAS
New Old Prayers is a collaborative project between siblings Sancintya Mohini Simpson and Isha Ram Das which reframes colonial histories and perspectives on Indian indenture in the colony of Natal (now KwaZulu–Natal, South Africa) through an interactive sound installation and experimental sound performance.
Simpson and Das address this colonial archive, by creating what we consider to be a new archive, around a culturally specific framework that is based on the oral traditions, rather than written or photographed by a colonial lens. As oral histories a key cultural framework, they are interested in creating an oral and non-oral archive of sounds – and developing both an experimental performance and interactive sound installation based on this. This archive will be made from songs sung during indenture, the sounds labourers would have heard, and other environmental elements. They are new prayers, songs and rituals, that create a space for another perspective to view these histories through.
Norman Park Substation