Welcome to Iniva’s new website. We are in the process of updating content throughout. We welcome your feedback at info@iniva.org

Research Network: If Sea Is History - What Is Nation?

Talk Artist Kitchen Salon: Resonant Histories Shenece Oretha

24 Nov 2022

“The waves of sound are like waves of water in the ocean
There is a tide and time of sound
This the music is like a journey
Which is endless” –
excerpt The Sound Image, Sun ra

For our third Artist Kitchen Salon as part of iniva’s Research Network programme, If Sea Is History – What is Nation?, London-based multi-media artist Shenece Oretha, shares her recent research sounding histories of the materials behind the sounds of the Caribbean diaspora.

Shenece is interested in how we can interact with sounds and through food explore how food can be a textually sonic part of journeys travelled to and from the sea. Drawing from Black oral and feminist traditions of call and response central to Shenece’s practice, guests were invited to listen to her new soundscape commissioned as part of iniva’s Drift Pavilion in collaboration with Despacito Art School, over an evening meal.

Devised by creative cook Safiya Robinson, the menu incorporates food that make different sounds while eating and different types of salt in each course. Beginning with a warm ceremonial tea and the percussion of popcorn being made, we moved towards the starter. Inspired by the ritual of making dinner, guests shared musician and poet Sun Ra’s Moon Stew soup while being transformed to the sea with the music of Shenece’s soundscape playing within the room. As we thought about the blending sounds of food and music, guests were encouraged to feedback into Shenece’s research through prompted questions to create a recorded performance dinner.


Shenece Oretha (b. Montserrat) is a multidisciplinary artist currently listening from London. Through sculptures, multi-channel installations, print, workshops, performance, and text she sounds out the mobilising, collective and embodied possibilities of sound. Her works are attentive to not only the music, but the musicality of Black oral and aural traditions, literature, and life.


Safiya Robinson is a creative cook, writer, wellness advocate and the founder of sisterwoman vegan, a plant based social enterprise exploring wellness through food. A creative and vibrational cook , she creates plant based dishes inspired by her Black American, Jamaican and British heritage and believes that food is a healing modality, centring community, education and mindfulness in her work. With a focus on holistic wellness and mental health she creates spaces for critical food conversation and seeks to empower us all to think more critically about the food that we eat. Through supper clubs, cooking lessons, writing, events and food education, her focus is intentional nourishment. She is currently enrolled in a masters programme in the Anthropology of Food at SOAS University.

The Sound I Sea 

Listen to the soundscape by Shenece Oretha in collaboration with Open School East’s Despacito Art School children and Iniva’s Drift Pavilion.

Image: Resonant histories ©Shenece Oretha