Katya Berger

Contemporary Art & Documentary Producer

+1 917 891 3575

One Thousand Voices is an immersive sound installation, produced by Owanto, in collaboration with Katya Berger, which amplifies an ensemble of voices collected from around the world. It is a collection of audio testimonies from Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting survivors. Using various languages, some speaking anonymously, most testifying openly, the installation projects sounds and stories of survival and resilience. The voices weave together to create one collective narrative. 

The ensemble brings to light the complex issues surrounding FGM/C. The mélange of voices, accents and languages derive from 33 countries in Africa, parts of the Middle East and Asia, and the ever-growing diaspora, and tackle the very taboos that often leave others silent. 

The piece is composed like a symphony — voices are recorded on a smartphone and sent via WhatsApp– with several movements, elements and choruses. The use of analogue and digital creates a bridge between the past, present, and future linking the archival images from the Flower Series (2017) and the audio installation from One Thousand Voices (2019). The monotonous crackling undertone of a broken record alludes to the coming of a new age - as said in the french idiom “change de disque!” which translates to “change the record!”.

In addition to this transcultural narrative, it is important to merge the artistic and journalistic forms. While the flower poetically plays a healing role and attempts to metaphorically change the narrative in Flowers Series —from victims to heroines— the collective voice of women and girls united to say “no more” in One Thousand Voices breaks the silence and literally changes the narrative.