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Die Träume des Alexander von Humboldt

A Sound and Smell Journey to Egypt and Mexico

Encountering the world differently – with two of the “oldest senses” we have: hearing and smelling. What experiences and images does music, interwoven with the sense of smell, carry us to? What reflections of “the world” and oneself emerge when we – as an offer, not an obligation – close our eyes? The inspiration and guide for this inner excursion is Alexander von Humboldt and two of his explorations: one dreamed and one realized. In 1799, Humboldt hoped to come to Egypt and explore the Near Eastern region. However, his dream was shattered by Napoleon’s war policy. So he had to change his mind and finally reached Central America and Mexico. These destinations exemplify the experience of the world. Humboldt tells us about the connection between man and animal, objective world and subjective echo, nature and cosmos. His open, empathic gaze – which is decidedly different from the colonial thinking of his time – serves as a compass for an inner journey through the senses of hearing and smelling. For this is what the great explorer was unable to bring with him: Music and scents. Our excursion is made possible by the expert on ancient Egyptian smells Dora Goldsmith, the singer Ana Schwedhelm, who grew up in Mexico, and the Mexican composer, singer and performer Diana Syrse, who invite us to a sound journey along Humboldt’s historical travel route.

Diana Syrse (Komposition, Gesang), Ana Schwedhelm (Gesang), Dora Goldsmith (Ägyptologin)

Bernhard Glocksin

Sabrina Rossetto

This event takes place at Kiezkapelle at the Neuer St. Jacobi-Friedhof (Hermannstraße 102, 12051 Berlin)

An event within the framework of the Wunderkammer-Reihe in cooperation with

Foto: © Diana Syrse/Sabrina Rossetto

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