Sounds From Home

Sounds from Home is an hour-long mix aired on Dublin Digital Radio, in which Joselle Ntumba, and Beulah Ezeugo conceptualize the Éireann and I archive project and explore black memory, migration, and DIY archiving. This show features music and poetry from FeliSpeaks, Denise Chaila, Baloji, Blo, Connie Bell, and Decolonising the Archive.

View Transcription

Title: Sounds From Home 

Speakers: Beulah Ezeugo, Joselle Ntumba

Date of Release: 11.08.20
Location Of Recording: Ireland

List Of Acronyms: BE=Beulah Ezeugo JN=Joselle Ntumba

[Begin transcription 00.00]

[Earth Sounds / The Healer is Here] 

BE:Okay Hello, my name is Beulah Ezeugo


JN :My name is Joselle Ntumba. 

BE: And we are both curators of the Eireann and I archive that sound was called earth sounds the healer is here. And it comes from a mixtape from Decolonizing The Archive, and it draws connections between the women of Central Africa and the women of the Caribbean. And sort of discusses how their cultural ties manifest and how we live something they call a living archive. And I think that idea of a living archive is, I suppose, part of what we’re exploring. And so Eireann and I is a digital repository. It’s a community archive on it is a space to honor memory, specifically black Irish memory as it exists with us before us. We’ve just completed a virtual residency with the science gallery where we’re able to sort of fill out the idea of digital archiving, and we’re still filling out the space but as it stands, we’re collaborating within our community to collect documents, stories that center 


BE: Activism and heritage practices and art from the past and present, I don’t know, I guess the project has come from conversations between ourselves and people we know and other people in our community kind of talking about how we have made our homes here on how we take up space here and what we do. Like, whether that be through activism or you know, music or art. And we are such a small diaspora. We’re part of like a really, really big diaspora, but we’re sort of like a tiny little nugget here on this island.


BE: And that’s not to actually minimize, you know, what we build for ourselves here. But I think that it’s important that we sort of take on the role of preserving. Yeah, our lives here and preserving our own experiences in Ireland. 

JN: Yes, I. I agree. Yes. So we  definitely had some conversations about our lives in Ireland. I think


JN: My earliest memories actually come from direct provision. And I remember, my mom had kind of, had an idea for a church in direct provision, in our center. So she kind of started a church alongside the pastor who is Nigerian and we’re Congolese. So we got a group of Christians within the center, who are also African to join us and have a weekly prayer meeting. when looking back at it. It’s really how we started to build community. 

BE : I remember church being a like, a huge part of actually just making friends and actually just getting to know other families and getting to know what was up, especially if you were new to the country. 

JN: Exactly. Yeah. I remember that no one liked the Catholic Church.


JN: It’s so rigid and because they were so used to being free flowing in like their prayer and their music. Yeah.


JN:  and they were able to dance, pray out loud and  not have to whisper or silently think about things. And so having that space where they could just, you know, bring their own culture to Ireland was really freeing for them and liberating and allowed them to really explore how their culture could look like in Ireland as well. And I feel like that’s kind of Yeah, what we’re still doing. And  how, yeah, as you said, kind of taking what we have from home, and taking what we have here and breaking them together and finding a space where we can exist. 

BE: I actually have a very poignant memory of being in Catholic school for the first time and having to take a trip to church and it was just so intimidating and so quiet. I was like, What is this, like the opposite of what I knew. But even apart from church, I think like Hall parties and birthday parties and literally just going next door to


BE : got my hair done.


BE:Like by whatever aunty that lived there, was a huge part of like, I suppose swapping culture and actually like grounding myself. I remember I was also under a provision as well and


BE: being so young I couldn’t I don’t have the political analysis to name everything but I was uncomfortable with it, you know, within the situation, but I do remember it feeling like such a little enclave of like,


BE: my own people. You know, like once I stepped out of the center, and I’d have to go to school and I’ve been on the school bus, it was like a completely different world. And then, once we were like shipped back


BE: to our centres, it was just like Nigerians and Congolese people and Zimbabweans. And everyone just sort of being black. And I don’t know, I think that duality and division of space was probably something quite formative, but I haven’t really actually caught about enough to articulate


JN: I feel like because I was so young. I was two years old. So I don’t really have that experience. But I do know what you’re speaking of. Because I remember going to a school when I was


JN: from preschool until senior infants and that was like a multi multicultural school. So like Indians,


JN: like Indian people, Congolese people, and Angolan people. Like British people, everyone. And it was so interesting. I never thought anything of it. I just thought that it was cool and normal.  When I was in first class, my parents moved me to a school where I was the only black person in my class. So out of like, 30 kids.


JN: It opened my eyes to kind of race because that was the first time I ever thought that oh, I was black. I didn’t


JN: Have the terminology to call myself black . But I called myself Brown. So I knew that, Oh, I’m the only brown person here. And I found that so strange because the culture was completely different.


JN: Because I was so used to being surrounded by so many different cultures and some different languages, and so many people that just look like me, and also don’t look like me. But then being in a space where you’re the only person that isn’t of this culture, it’s like “other” – ing.


BE: Yeah, it is quite damaging as well. If you think about it from an institutional standpoint, like I said, just being like,


BE: shipped in and out of these cultures. And I remember traveling from where we were never really in the same center for a very long time. So we’re always traveling from one center to another. And I remember it all kind of being it would be different people, but it’ll all be the same. We’d have the same sort of parties, we’d all kind of like, have the same sort of


BE: Underlying understanding of ourselves and of blackness and I know that there were other migrants in the centers that weren’t blocked. But I think that is where I sort of was able to pinpoint race as well. Yeah. Now, though I do see but as a diaspora, I think that we are building so much work. We’re building the space where we’ve been able to combine Irishness with blackness as well, very well.


JN: Yeah, we are like there’s like so many new collectives that have been emerging in the last couple of years. 

BE: Yeah, but I think that there’s also the space for older people as well. Like often we got really caught up in what we’re doing as a generation, how we’re sort of building our lives here, but um, we sort of bypass conversations with people who have been here for long before us and who didn’t really have that migrant  experience that we had. They came here and we’re suddenly living with a bunch of people who look just like them.


BE: A lot of people who are older came here on their own or like, with one other with their spouse, and they came  for work, and then maybe they had to leave because there weren’t very many black people here. Yeah. Or they may do somehow. So I think, I think what Eireann and I kind of cultivating a space where we can have that intergenerational conversation is pretty important. Yeah, I agree. being black in Ireland isn’t necessarily one monolith. Yes, just so many layers everyone’s experienced and what we are doing and how we situate ourselves here. No, yeah. And sometimes it’s difficult to think of, like when we think about the black diaspora, not many people already think of it 


BE:We are so small, but

[9:44 ]  

BE: you think about African Americans or black friends and stuff who have been so influential in culture and stuff, but there are just so many. I don’t know the way that we, I suppose create or replicate the cultures that we bring from home and then some of the cultures that we have now is just so different, depending


BE :I’m where we are geographically. And I think it’s worth it to maybe preserve thought and do that ourselves. And we are cultural producers we’re doing we’re doing so many bits here.


BE :Oh, we have two songs for you by a black Irish rapper called Denise Chaila. The first song we have is called Jill citizenship. And the second song we have is called Chaila from her new EP.

[Begin Dual citizenship]


Where are you from? Originally?


See, our souls are composed of borders

And all of lines that we have crossed that tangle

Are wires when we speak

There are some people who have borrowed accents

From almost every single continent

Trying to fill in the blanks

Where our tongues are starting to trip

Over the languages that we were born into

There are some people who will spend their whole lives

Looking for a definition of home

That doesn’t come with strings attached

I have spent my whole life learning that I must make myself

Take my belonging, it will not just be handed to you

So now, now I could tell you about king and about countries

About wars and democracies

About independence and revolutionaries

About famine and bounty

About green and white and golden eagles

Against streaks of orange and black

I could tell you about Amhrán na bhFiann

And Lumbanyeni Zambia

I could show you the spirit of Lucan, Limerick, and Lusaka

I could translate all of my Lenje stories

So that we could sing them as Gaeilge

I could eat bacon and cabbage or Mufulira

Or mateveto in Swords, cooking nshima

That’s fufu or sadza for my people in the diaspora

But, you see, I’m both the story: akashimi

And the one telling it: seanachaí

There is so much céilí in my kopala

And I am tired of proving that I am as much Denise

As I am Mwaka

So cén scéal?


Because I learned how to be Irish

Knowing that some people would always think

That I was beyond the pale

I learned how to be Zambian with too little Bemba

To prove I haven’t lost my way

But as long as there is copper still inside my blood

Nothing and nobody will ever cause the Zambia inside of me to rust

And if anyone tries to throw all of my errands to the dogs

I will bring the hounds out just to show you

What Cú Chulainn’s on

You see, we know what it’s like to be Patrick

To be tapestry

To be too long prodigal from your homeland

While you are slowly being adopted to another

We are a remix of anthems and flags

We are both the signature and the line, connecting dots

That too not yet know their correlation

So, no, these are not alien flowers

But, yeah, we’re extraterrestrial

Because we’ve been nurtured by many soils


And we are not the dead branch of a family tree

Falling victim to mental deforestation

Yes, we have been replanted

But we can’t forget how we got here

Still fresh off that boat

So if you throw us in the deep end

We’ll show you that we know how to float

Not everything is bad about being a rolling stone

Sometimes you just cover more ground that way

Sometimes all of this baggage only has us going on guilt trips


Sometimes second-hand citizenship makes

Video clips, football chants, rugby matches feel like copper bullets

Sometimes The Wind That Shakes the Barley

Blows through you like hurricane season

But we will not let anybody scatter these seeds

Or dictate where they grow

We are too familiar with this field

We know that we cultivate our homes

Athenry state of mind

We only yield when it’s time to harvest.


so where are you from, originally?

Because we are not the dead branch of a diasporan tree

Yes, we bear different fruit from our family tree

We offer different produce to the family feast

But there is no hiding these proofs

There are no lies in these roots

We are unashamed of our heritage

We have nothing to prove

And sometimes there’s a pain in these roots

That our being is anchored to

But you will see beauty when this forest grows

You will see us for what we are

We are the same stem, with different leaves


The same love, with different means

The same heart, with different dreams

The same journey, just with different wings

So where are you from?

Where are you from, originally?

[End Dual Citizenship]


[Begin Chaila]

This song is called Chalia. Shout out to every Chaila who’s ever had their name mispronounced. Shout out to anyone who’s ever had their name mispronounced, you’re Irish you know what that’s like when you travel. 


I do what I want with my pronouns

Keep it low key on my profile

I raise the bar when I come through

You already know it’s gonna go down

My name’s not that hard to pronounce

Pre-K, it’s not profound


Sound the words out


It’s not Chillay

It’s not Chilala

Not a hard pill to swalla

Chai-li or Chalia

Chia, Chilla, Dilla

That’s not my name

Say my name


I’ve got drive, don’t need gas

I wanna go far, not go fast

Chemical X when I power up

Turn back now? Hard pass

I don’t go Dutch when I checkmate

I keep the banner on my chest plate

All these takes, so lukewarm

You should just say it with your chest, mate


It’s not Chillay

It’s not Chilala

Not a hard pill to swalla

Chai-li or Chalia

Chia, Chilla, Dilla

That’s not my name

Say my name


Broke cycles every time that I spoke so I took the training wheels off

Tour de France, covered new ground for all the hope that pain cost

Not all who wander lose their faith and not all who wander are lost

I know my heart and I know my name and I know the path that I walk


I work this hard so I can harvest

Won’t pick my fruit from the low branches

I don’t know you, man, but I know dances

Pre the journey, who’s gonna stop this?

I don’t need gifts if you look Musky

Stay philanthro-pissed

Don’t need your Concern if you’ll look at me

And see a Trócaire kid

Flow on lough like Derg

Don’t care what you heard

My word is my bond

And my name is my word

The soul of my world



It’s not Chillay

It’s not Chilala

Not a hard pill to swalla

Chai-li or Chalia

Chia, Chilla, Dilla

That’s not my name

Say my name











I do what I want with my pronouns

Keep it low key on my profile

I raise the bar when I come through

You already know it’s gonna go down

My name’s not that hard to pronounce

Pre-K, it’s not profound


Sound the words out


It’s not Chillay

It’s not Chilala

Not a hard pill to swalla

Chai-li or Chalia

Chia, Chilla, Dilla

That’s not my name

Say my name


So that’s Chalia 

Like Chai Tea 

But with a La at the end

Chaila like China

But with a La at the end


It’s not Chillay

It’s not Chilala

Not a hard pill to swalla

Chai-li or Chalia

Chia, Chilla, Dilla

That’s not my name

Say my name

[End Chaila]


BE: That was amazing. Absolutely love Denise Chalia. I really like the part where she says about the story. I’m the one who’s telling it, I feel like it’s so important to be, you know, to center yourself in the telling of whatever your specific experiences like another facet of the product is looking at how we can maybe subvert what the  traditional archive looks like  in the colonial archive the dynamic that existed there was that the white researcher or historian would come in would play the role of scholar or knowledge extractor and they would sort of watch and I suppose document the culture of


BE: The territory they were in and the nature of the people who actually created and practice the culture every day. were simply interpreters. There’s a sort of silencing that exists there. Whereas the person who is the knowledge producer has the power.


BE: So I think in rectifying that we sort of have to center ourselves.


JN: Yeah, it’s definitely like there is a power in providing our own history and creating our own narrative. Because I think that the archive has so much to do with forgetting, that has to do with remembering how we look at culture kind of depends on our proximity to that culture. So what I might view as important in my culture isn’t what somebody else from outside of my culture might view as important. And so I think that’s where history kind of gets lost or


JN: distorted when the perspective 


JN: of the people who are writing history isn’t aligned with the perspective of the people who are experiencing it. 

BE: Honestly, I think that’s a big part of the work that we’re trying to do. I think we’re sort of mainly inspired by grassroots groups who are doing the same work to maybe preserve all of the political work that they’re doing. Groups like collective resistance, as well as decolonising  the archives themselves who are actual, academically trained archivists, 


BE: which we are not but then I don’t know that much.


BE: mean, maybe like, in terms of having the skill set to preserve knowledge. Yeah, but not necessarily like collecting it. Yeah. But what I will say though, is that I don’t know if we necessarily need a skill set, or knowledge, I think, another like a third or fourth or I don’t know what number I’m on but like a third or fourth facet of


BE:This project is being able to empower ourselves to be knowledge producers, because we are already cultural producers. So who’s to say that we need a degree to also preserve or produce?


BE: Exactly. I think that is definitely part of a gatekeeping aspect of what an archive is. And to because, yes, there is definitely there needs to be some sort of, especially if you’re digitizing an archive, like we’re planning on doing there needs to be some sort of like preservation, so that it will last a long time, which obviously needs skills for but then the act of archiving itself as a process of like collecting statements and collecting experiences on like, like I said, contextualizing them pulling them together, you


BE: and your friends.


BE :So, I don’t know, I think it’s just no I think it’s really important to sort of move past that. kind of make it more of a cultural initiative. Yeah.


BE: Next we,


BE :Have a brilliant poem by FeliSpeaks who is a playwright. She is a poet and she is also a performer. This poem is called the powder room. It sort of reflects on who she is as a Nigerian Irish woman.


[Start Powder Room]  

So fate, perhaps the gods, or whatever the universe prefers to be called nowadaysi8, it brought them together, not by the passing of shopping carts in shopping centers, the ways mom’s often meets with destructed metal thrusts and apologetic smiles. No, not at all. Not even in the doctor’s office, where weary latches onto the ill children who have chosen to climb their mother’s shoulders for support. They didn’t meet in the Family Center, where there were all their roles like name badges, you can only hear in their tones. They didn’t meet there, either. They didn’t meet in the middle of their surnames or their


children’s school playground. They met in the corner of the building where their most focus and uncontrollable needs their own.


They met in this crampy sweaty bathroom and it doesn’t matter what type of bathroom it was, or if the building that housed it bore any significance. It didn’t. The point Most of all, is that they convened in the only place where all that was required of them was existence. bowel movements, and maybe a reason to reapply a manufactured face if any. This simply collided worlds as women.


Oh, Jesus. Oh, you gave me a scare. I thought I was alone. So sorry. I didn’t mean to scare. It’s such a lovely song. Where’s it from?


Wrong. It’s a Christian Igbo song. I’m just coming back from church. So that’s why it stuck in my head. Oh, I see a lot of you commodity churches with headgear like that. It’s gorgeous on you. African clothes. You’re full of compliments. Thank you. Do you also attend church? Oh, god, no. It’s been a while since I’ve gone to mass, you know, a few Christmases and Easter here and there and the children have done their confirmation and the communion. But since the whole priests thing, it’s just best not to endorse that sort of thing. You know?


I understand, but


people shouldn’t stop you from worshipping, don’t you think? If you believe in God, well, it’s more complicated than that. But I do believe there’s a God out there. So what seems to be the matter? Are you going for God or are you going for the priests


and so in this moment, in between the wafts of booty smells the mandolin


rustling retain of head ties, the vigorous hand washing by marble sinks. A thought process passed from one woman’s world to another. And all the times women have enjoyed drunk validation, shared mascara and gossip, holding each other’s hair with gentleness. Brought as all this very conversation, it brought us to this very interaction, well that’s some fucking point you got there, I suppose. Or you can even start with prayer.


I do miss it. I’ll admit that.


Thanks for that. Deliver around here. Do you? I’ve never seen you around here before. Yeah, I do. I just recently moved to clonsilla with my husband and my children. Do you live here? Oh, yeah. lived here. All my life. Blanche. That is not the toilet. recently moved to [???] there after my divorce. divorce. Oh, I’m so sorry to hear about that. Oh, no, don’t be sorry for me


This is good news. That’s why I’m celebrating on a Sunday. Oh, good news. But how is this good news? I hope you don’t mind me asking. But I cannot even imagine myself divorced. I mean, I love my husband. Sure. I love my ex husband too. And I was with him for 30 years. What 30 years?


Did he cheat? Or


Did he beat you? Oh, no, nothing like that. Not at all. Just I woke up one day and realized that I wasn’t caring for myself enough or loving myself enough. I had a husband and children. And I felt like I did 30 years of child’s mind instead of  building with a partner, d’ya know. And so when the children left for college, I decided to find myself, follow my dreams. And he didn’t like that. He fussed and he whined every day and the more I loved myself


The worst it got, so I left. And that was all. That was what made you leave? Well, yeah. If someone stopped you from loving yourself the way you needed to, would you stay , huh.


I never thought about it like that.


And just like that, a spark shot through the conversation like a current and their world’s didn’t clash, so to speak. It arrived at the exact same time and each found their center. They had silence like the way we all hold our breath at the end of a Marvel movie, just before the credits unexpectedly roll out. unmoving


unsatisfied, each coming to their own conclusions but grateful for new eyes to see. And just like that, an unruly flush brought them back to where they were stood side by side, locking eyes in the mirror, sharing a smile that


felt like a hug. So how are you now loving yourself? Well, I started going to community groups, I joined women’s art camp and I even started writing short stories again. I am also going back to college for a part time degree. You write? Oh, I used to write. I haven’t thought about it for such a long time. I know a place that could get you started again. Really? Do you mind if I join you? Only if you teach me how to tie one of your head gears. Okay, you must stop calling it that it is not a headgear.


Okay, give me your number. And this bland exchange seemed to give each an odd kind of glow under this crampy bathroom lights. You know the cheesy fading glow you get when the children on the first day of school actually want to share the toys with you. And some of them aren’t really your style, but you’re willing to play anyways. Share anyways,


So they giddily punched numbers into their equally glowing screens, saying their goodbyes to the world of the powder room.


Feeling fully seen as themselves.

[End Powder Room]


BE:Yeah, we were talking about how people can access archives as well. I know you went to the Trinity archives.


JN:Oh gosh, yeah. So I went to that archive, and so the  University Archives, and so I did  ask the librarian to see documents surrounding black


JN:students. And she said that she didn’t have anything or  archive anything surrounding like black students or kind of anything around race at all, even in the  alumni list.


I didn’t really see anything to do with back students like 30 years ago or whatever. And I mean, that’s not to say that it didn’t exist in that university. But it also could be that our experiences weren’t necessarily documented. Yeah. Like they weren’t kept, like, didn’t see the value of keeping those.

BE: Yeah, I think that it’s one of those things where, first of all, the black population in Ireland is like, fairly new. I don’t want to say when it’s new, because, you know, I feel like we’re everywhere. Yeah, I


BE: think there’s definitely a history of black people being here. But like, as we know it, it’s quite new. But that’s just not a priority. It’s not necessarily in this big institution like Trinity College. Yeah, Ireland has its own colonial past. And I think as a result of like, gaining independence was like a scramble to maybe create a new Irish identity. Yes. So I think that was the priority. So if we’re done


BE: To find anything about non Irish people from, you know, an area that’s not right now, it’s going to be pretty hard because, yeah, they weren’t concerned with preserving things that weren’t to do it. Irishness as they were, as I knew it or as they are trying to create it. I don’t know, I suppose you entering that space and maybe asking to see something that you wouldn’t have assumed as a priority is maybe a reflection of but yeah, no, definitely. It does go back to the fact that often we bear the brunt of recovering our own histories. I think a lot of the time histories that have been produced about black communities are either they’re not necessarily not true, but they were not made by us or we weren’t in the room when they were being written. In the colonial archives, the dynamic that existed there was a white researcher, or historian would come in would sort of play the role of scholar, our knowledge extractor and they would sort of watch and learn


BE: And as far as document the culture of the territory they were in and the nature of the people who actually created and practiced the culture every day. were simply interpreters. There’s a sort of silence that exists there, whereas the person who is the knowledge producer has the power.


BE: So I think that I’m wrapped in ratifying thought we sort of have to center ourselves. 


JN: Yeah, it’s definitely like there is a power in providing our own history and creating our own narratives. Because I think that the archive has so much to deal with forgetting that how to deal with remembering how we look at culture kind of depends on our proximity to that culture. So what I might do as employment in my culture is and what somebody else from outside of my culture might view as important. And so I think that’s where history kind of gets lost.




JN:distorted when the perspectives of the people who are writing history isn’t aligned with the perspective of the people who are experiencing it. Honestly, I think that’s a big part of the work that we’re trying to do. It’s true. Yeah. We also are sort of thinking about archives as


JN: not as an institution, but maybe as a practice. And a practice that can sometimes be colonial, as we mentioned before, but can also be, you know, transformative and rehabilitative and restorative. So I think that when we like bypass archiving as a scholarly practice, and sort of do it as a collective practice, it can be placed for like healing to happen. Yes. Like you’re saying gathering together and just sort of reflecting or doing any sort of collective action that’s centering yourselves is very rehabilitative


BE: As we were saying, we’re sort of trying to think of like, what does it look


BE: Like to decolonize an archive, like if we picture the archive as an institution, you cannot necessarily decolonize an institution. But I suppose if we look at archiving as a practice, you can decolonize a practice, you can remove one cultural framework and replace it with a different one.


BE: I think we could probably maybe reflect on the process ourselves, because a lot of it has kind of been like talking to people and sitting down and you know, a lot of it has been emailing.


BE: But mainly, like, in our gathering of material, it has just been so conversational. And I don’t know, I think there’s a lot of value in sitting back and reflecting, you know, when you pull up a picture from your childhood, like, you’re just sitting around and you’re looking through your photo album, you’re flicking through it, and there’s just something very like a bond being created in that.Yes, there is actually yeah, it is the practice of archiving but can be decolonize like it can be


BE: We can insert the cultural framework,  we practice which is maybe oral histories or like living the thing  first before prioritizing, you know, researching and creating a narrative about the thing. So I think that’s something that I’ve taken from this work. That’s something that I actually really, really enjoy. Yeah, no, I definitely agree with you. You mentioned that like looking through, like our photo albums at home, or even just from our Instagram feeds. It’s kind of a restorative practice. Apart from also just being a personal thing. It’s also a very political thing when we center it around race as well. Yeah. And


BE: I think memory has a lot of power when we think of it and justice. Yeah.


BE: Especially when it comes to protests and demonstrations. Um, what do you think the political history of black people in Ireland has centered?

JN:In the early 2000s like 2005 or 2006


JN: There had been a lot of protests on them. Anti deportation. Yeah. At that time, the Minister for justice was issuing a lot of deportation orders


JN: quite unjustly. So I definitely think that a lot of asylum seekers were affected by that. But the way that period of time has been documented, didn’t center the voices of the people who were affected. 

BE: Yeah, a lot of the evidence that we have actually comes from, say, racism groups that are formed by white settled Irish people, which is great, but, um, and looking at all the material that we have from that time, it almost seems like but there is no, it almost seems like there is actually no micro voices amplified. And I’m sure there was,

JN: Oh, yeah, I’m sure there was too. 

BE: Like, I’m sure. There were definitely speeches that were made.


BE: But that’s just not what has been recorded. Yeah, we have we find a bunch of audio that comes from speeches from one anti deportation protest, and a lot of it is politicians or school teachers or volunteers, and we actually come, we couldn’t come up with any audio that was like maybe a speech from a person who was directly affected by the policies at the time. We actually have one piece of audio. This is some chanting. So this protest in particular took place outside O’Connell street on it outside the GPO on O’Connell street as well as outside the Garda National Immigration Bureau. And this is the only audio that actually features migrant voices

[GPO Audio]


BE: I love that audio. You can really like feel the

power in it. And that was about 15 years ago. So I think sort of creating these spaces, whether digital or physical, or, you know, maybe true publication or any sort of documentation is so important.  To preserve the work that you have actually done.


BE: Just like in terms of future organizers doing the same thing, or like replicating it, or seeing what works and what doesn’t work. Yeah. First thing as well as like a resource for political education. Yes. Second of all, as a way, like it should be work that’s done by organizers to sort of preserve how they do things because I think that when you do things on like a grassroots level, it’s very easy for bigger, maybe like political parties and like nonprofits to kind of CO OPT movements. So it’s just very important to preserve organized work by organizers, you know, yes. Something about like, not even on a political scale, but something that gives me a lot of anxiety. It’s like


BE: I know that cultures form and they change. Cultures are sort of dynamic things , but like, it just makes me very anxious to think about traditions being lost. I can’t speak Igbo and it really, really like worries me, but thoughts and things that I will be able to pass on and I have this really intense need to go back home and live with my relatives for a long time. So I don’t you know, I don’t kind of lose those roots.


JN: I personally like looking back on old songs, especially songs that deal with my heritage. 

BE:Me too.


BE: I picked the song and Joselle picked a song that kind of reminds us of home, and that we’re pretty fond of mine is called got to get me a better head and it’s by blow or an offer so bond who pioneered psychedelic rock in Nigeria. And psychedelic rock was a way for young people to be expressive at the time despite the political climate. This is one of my favourite throw back songs so here we go. 


[Begin Got To Get Me A Better Head] 

As your love put me off my feet, baby

And it makes me really wanna cry daily

Cause I got a way today 

Got to find me a place to stay 

I’m gotta find a way

Got to find a place to ease my pain

I’m gotta find a way

Gotta get me a better head


Now there’s nothing left for me to hold, baby

It’s just pain and regrets daily

Woman you’re getting crazier everyday and I want it all to be over today. I’ve gotta find a way. 

Got to find a place to ease my pain

I gotta find a way

Gotta get me a better head. 

Yeah you see baby, it’s so unfortunate that it’s gotta end up like that it’s nothing unusual

We just can’t, we can’t make to baby

It won’t last, it’s gotta be over baby. 

I can’t go on like that, it’s not good enough for me

Now there’s nothing left for me to hold, baby

It’s just pains and regrets daily 

Woman, you’re getting crazier everyday and I want it all to be over today 

I’m gotta find a way

Got to find a place to ease my pain

Woman, I’ve found my way

Gotta get me a better head

[End Got To Get Me A Better Head] 


BE: I love that what’s your next song? 

JN: My throwback song – really isn’t that old. But it’s from a Congolese artist living in Belgium called Baloji. And yes, so this song deals quite closely with identity and culture and Heritage.


[Baloji Karibu Ya Bintou] 

JN: Yeah, I love that song. I love the part of that song where he says “your name” – a real Bantu name from like the center of Africa – “reminds me of this black magic”. So it’s kind of like empowering in a sense for me anyway because I’m also Bantu – muluba specifically. I forgot to mention that the song is called Karibu ya Bintou, which is Swahili for “welcome to life in limbo”, so you should check it out.

BE: I should have chosen Igbo song. Mines in English.

JN: I really like your song anyway, so.


BE: That was lovely. We only have one more sound left. 

JN: Yes. So the last song is whilst you archive me, and it’s actually a poem written by an artist called Connie Bell and we found  this poem from Decolonizing The Archive. Whilst You Archive Me is about the artifacts that were stolen from Africa. 


BE: Amazing.Before we go

Thank you for listening to us talk about our memories. Hopefully we can create a space where we can all do that. And if you want to participate in the archive definitely hit us up or 

BE: support community archives that are local like 100 archive, the cork LGBT archive, which Orla Egan runs a silent archive and global projects as well like Decolonizing The Archive that we mentioned and collective resistance. So that’s it from us.


BE: So that’s it from us. Now, this is as Joselle said, this is Whilst You Archive Me. 

JN: Bye!

[Begin Whilst You Archive Me]


Picture me, write me , digitize me.

But whilst you archive me? Don’t undermine me.

Get me right, correct, bright, put my truth and stories to light, but whilst you  archive me.

Don’t undermine me. A whole lot of perspective comes my way. But who reflects

is the copyright you must detect. So whilst you archive me.

Don’t undermine


polarization and intolerance are not hands that can hold me forever, though they may try

or how they lie.

But my magic is simple. So it escapes the watchful eye, whilst you archive me.

Don’t undermine


Think to yourself “what messages lie here?” 

think to yourself “oh dear”.

Think to yourself oh, you dear. How I live on to tell the tale, despite being put in an early grave. 


Whilst you archive me, don’t undermine me. Whilst you archive me, don’t undermine me. Whilst you archive me, don’t undermine me. Don’t undermine me. Don’t undermine me. Don’t undermine me. Don’t undermine me. 

[End Whilst You Archive Me]

[End Transcription 56.44]