Aliaskar Abarkas
The Community Whistling Choir – Workshop

On June 18 and 19, from 14:30 to 18:00, If Body hosts The Community Whistling Choir, a workshop led by Iranian artist Aliaskar Abarkas, at the Biblioteca Casanatense in Rome.
The workshop, part of the artist’s 2022 project, focuses on the library’s largely unexplored collection of Persian and Arabic manuscripts dating from the 16th century.

Although the exact journeys that brought these manuscripts to the library are unknown, their presence reflects the Catholic Church’s intent to know and collect the surrounding reality in order to be able to control, interpret and if necessary repress it, as well as the scholarly vocation of the Dominican Order that founded and ran the library until 1873. Comprising of religious texts–Biblical and Koranic–, grammar treatises, classical Persian epic poems, and manuals in numerology, astrology and magic, the manuscripts will be the starting point for the development of an alternative linguistic code that employs the bodily instrument of the whistle, conceived by the artist as a non-verbal expressive form. Through the study of the volumes and collective vocal exercises, Abarkas and the workshop participants will work together to develop an imaginary language, thus materializing it into a musical composition.On 6 and 7 September, the results of the workshop will be presented in the form of a sound installation within the programming of Short Theatre at the Mattatoio in Rome. 

To participate in the workshop, a reservation is required. To register and request information, please contact

The project is co-realized with Short Theatre, with the collaboration of Biblioteca Casanatense and CASTRO Projects.