"Sink or Sing" - A Daring Performance by Beloved Sara Zaltash
Beloved Sara Zaltash is a multifaceted individual who has immersed herself in various disciplines and studies, including music, performance art, law, sustainability, cybernetics, and spiritual practices. They are driven by a deep love for knowledge, which they believe empowers their community in the face of political and systemic injustices. In 2011, Beloved Sara Zaltash began offering their unique adaptation of the Islamic Call to Prayer worldwide, and in 2018, they adopted the self- styled title of "Beloved" to signify their devotion to the divine and their connection to the queer and spiritual legacies of figures like Rumi and Shams. As an artist, poet, singer, facilitator, and community organizer, they aim to catalyze positive change and transformation in our shared existence through justice, courage, humility, integrity, and exploration.
In an interview by Merlyn Driver, musician and performance artist Sara Zaltash shares her unique experience of swimming across the Solent to Bestival while singing a 100-verse ballad about fate. The conversation explores the origins of her idea, the challenges she faced, and the deeper meaning behind her performance.
Zaltash explains that the initial idea emerged a couple of years ago when her band needed to raise funds for a van. She suggested swimming to Bestival but later found herself drawn back to the idea during a period of personal reflection and dissatisfaction. Inspired by a friend's advice to pursue something outside her comfort zone, Zaltash decided to swim to Bestival and turn it into a performance by incorporating singing into the challenge.
Sara delves into the difficulty of singing while swimming, acknowledging that it was indeed a challenging endeavor. She compares it to juggling on a unicycle and highlights the need to find a rhythm to maintain the simultaneous actions. Despite the initial skepticism she encountered, Zaltash remained committed to her goal and was determined to prove that it was possible...Zaltash describes her preparation for the swim, which took place in a lake in the Cotswolds and a private pool. She also mentions her intention to perform the swim naked, but ultimately decided to wear a swimming costume that became an integral part of her artistic expression.
Adding onto that Zaltash reveals the deeper meaning behind her performance, explaining how "Sink or Sing" is about a girl who thinks too much and her attempt to become a metaphysical Goddess. Drawing from her studies in digital performance and divination practices, Zaltash explores the fusion of old divination methods with modern technology. She also discusses her diverse religious background and the influence it has had on her artistic journey.
Zaltash highlights that while not pleasurable, this provided a soothing effect. She shares that she sometimes got lost in the experience and found herself in a strange headspace, only to be jolted back to reality by the realization that she was still in the water.
Sara also touches on the multilingual aspect of her performance, incorporating verses in Farsi, her native language. Singing in different languages felt natural to her, but she acknowledges that it may be perceived as foreign by others.
When asked about the significance of completing the swim and reaching the shore, Zaltash explains that she decided mid-swim that the verse she ended on would represent her fate. It symbolized her acceptance that while fate may be unchangeable, it can still be understood. The completion of the performance affirmed this realization for her.
Listen to the Ritually episode featuring Beloved Sara Zaltash!
As a progressive Muslim woman, Nelufar struggles with patriarchal interpretations of Islam and the constraints of organized religion. So with the help of feminist spiritual practitioner Sara Zaltash, she tries a new ritual to deepen her connection to Islam: following the daily call to prayer. It’s a practice that unites 1.8 billion Muslims around the world. But this version is different — radical, actually! — because it’s in a woman’s voice. Will waking up at dawn every day to hear Beloved Sara’s call help Nelufar feel more connected to Islam?
Zaltash shares her future plans, including a composition involving singing, drumming, and running from London to Paris as part of the Arch to Arc triathlon. She expresses her interest in pushing boundaries and transgressing norms through her artistic endeavors.
This provides a glimpse into the inspiring journey of Sara Zaltash, her Odyssey towards self-expression and personal exploration. Her performance serves as a testament to the human capacity to challenge limitations and embrace the unknown.
Original Article by Merlyn Driver: [Wild Culture - Sink or Sing]
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