Amnon_and_Tamar_by_an_unknown_artist,_oil_on_canvas,_ca._1650-1700,_High_Museum_of_Art

Tamar’s Brother

BY LAINIE FEFFERMAN

I am so used to anachronous sexual politics in the Bible, but the sibling relationship in the story of Tamar’s rape hit me hard. I have no brothers by blood, but looking at a sibling as a perpetrator instead of an ally horrifies me on a primal level. I can’t imagine but that even in that radically different time, confronting the juxtaposition of a sister baking bread for her “sick brother” and that brother raping (and then expelling) her, a contemporary reader wouldn’t have empathized at least somewhat with Absalom’s eventual revenge.

Yeesh…

In this sound-collage, I made some free-associations surrounding the words “brother” and “sister,” trying to convey a combination of warmth and cold, fear and love. All sounds you hear were made by my body and monkeyed with on my computer.

 

Lainie Fefferman is a composer and a fellow at LABA. See more of her work at our next LABAlive event on June 2.




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