The Leftovers of the Sword

Design for Social Justice, Research-creation, Wearable Technologies

The Leftovers of the Sword

“The Leftovers of the Sword” is a sonic wearable that synthesizes sound and narration through magnetic fabric speakers to evoke an embodied commemorative experience by contextualizing Armenian Genocidal histories on the clothed body. Inspired from the traditional Kepenek – a Turkish shepherd’s outer cloak/tent, this work is a sleeveless large garment that is felted by hand and covers the whole body from head down. The lapels of the garment are adorned with soft switches that allow the wearer to trigger, activate and manipulate sound. As such, textiles act as an interface to mediate an intimate tactile and sonic experience that immerses the wearer in the universe of Hidden Armenians.
The interplay between textiles and the agential properties of sound creates a safe “space of appearance” to negotiate these hidden identities. Furthermore, hearing becomes an embodied form of listening activism as it exposes the interred cultural stigma. Sound and spoken word carry the invisible struggle of Hidden Armenians and articulate difficult truths otherwise not known and not apparent. 

Photography: Agustina Isidori
Model: Ceyda Yolgörmez


“The Leftovers of the Sword” is a research-creation project, part of my thesis entitled “Felt sentiments: The representation of invisible struggles through wearable sound“. My research led me to collect stories that embed notions of Armenian collective memoires of cultural loss, to illustrate the complex relationship between cultural identity, oppression and expression, as they negotiate hidden political information, ultimately to unveil unknown histories of suffering. Textiles enhanced with wearable technologies, become an archival interface that store tactile and acoustic material. In this project, tactility and sonification are used and intertwined to transform the clothed body into a space for cultural dialogue where narratives of social justice can be transmitted. As a result, alternative modes of cultural transmission are manifested by the marriage of the clothed body with fabric speaker technologies to elicit an emotional and immersive experience that accommodates representations of invisible struggles through wearable sound.

For more information:
Felt sentiments: The representation of invisible struggles through wearable sound
When sound art and spoken word meet for political action

Design for social justice making the Hidden Armenians


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