• YOUYOU Group [collective practice, community] 2014-today

    The 'youyou' (in French) or the 'zagharit' (in Arabic), is a shrill trill that is used by women in North-Africa, the Middle East, Subsaharan Africa, amongst other countries, to express joy and other intense emotions. Nowadays the cry can be heard more and more in Western contexts, where it diversifies the soundscapes of private and public spaces. YOUYOUYOU is the name of a vocal performance which since its inception to this very day is the most important touring work of the YouYou group. 12 or more performers use a high trill or ululation as point of departure. Through an intricate system of overlappings, interactions, and relays, the performers join forces and hold the trill in the air for 8 to 10 minutes long. A sonic marathon with a sonic whiplash. The piece was initiated by Myriam Van Imschoot in 2014 and marked the formation of the Brussels YouYou group who decided to continue to practice and deepen customs of trilling in Club Zaghareeds. Since then, many women joined the group, Elli joined in late 2017. In 2020 the Flemish Government recognised this work as an exemplary practice of care of immaterial cultural heritage and gave it a three year notification on the inventory. In 2023 the group started working on new formations of co-creation, creating the pieces Hamel and Jubel that are based not only on the YOUYOU sound. The film Le Cadeau (48') 2018 is produced by the group . Lotte Knaepenmade made the documentary Youyou in Brussel (27') 2022 (watch here) about the practice of the group during the pandemic. Supported by Kunstenwerkplaats Pianofabriek, Kunsthal Extra City, Beursschouwburg, KANAL–Centre Pompidou, Erfgoedcel Brussel van de VGC.