This is the Anterior. Alpine


Sonya Holowell


Welcome to our July instalment from artist/musician/writer Sonya Holowell.

Here Sonya presents a written work, due for sonic activation with a soundscape at the mid-point of the month that is not to be missed!

We’re so pleased that you could join us for Sonya's work this month.

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Image by Sam Provost

About the work


This short story is an experimental work of psychological fiction that I submitted as part of my Master of Arts (Writing and Literature) program this year. The work has been adapted for the FABLE ARTS platform, and will be sonically activated with voice scores at the midpoint of its presentation in July.


‘This is the Anterior. Alpine’ depicts the psychosomatic experiences of an individual living with a legacy of trauma and cultural dislocation, and their attempt to piece themselves back together. The work thematises complex intersectionality; in this case the intersection of my own lived experiences of post-trauma with my journey of cultural reclamation as both an Australian Aboriginal and Inuk woman.


The story is set in a transforming Central Tunnel at Railway Square in Sydney. This long tunnel has a relentlessness and a psychologically dissociating, dislocating effect, rendering it a strong metaphor for the type of endurance demanded by both PTSD and postcolonial restoration. The limited setting of the tunnel imposes a type of ‘captivity’ which forces a move into the fantastical as the story unfolds, requiring both the tunnel and the lone character to transform as a way to escape, or adapt.


Shifting self-states are present throughout, rendered through a fluidity of first and second person. Self-reflexive instructions to the body mark a reorientation towards the body-as-resource and offer an opportunity for readers to identify, coexperience and empathise with the character through the shared experience of embodiment. Such themes are informed by theories of autocommunication, somatic practice and notions of pluralistic self-states found in Dissociative Identity Disorder (a trauma-based condition).


The story is impressionistic, poetic, and musical, and despite the odds of its themes attempts to preserve a sense of humour and softness. ‘This is the Anterior. Alpine’ showcases an adaptive strength which foregrounds reclamation (power) and restoration (care), and the multiplicitous intersectional reality of an individual that could be considered ‘too much’.

About the artist

Sonya Holowell is a vocalist, composer, writer and educator of Dharawal/Inuk descent. Her work spans many contexts and takes multiple forms, with improvisation as a primary MO. Sonya was co-founder and editor of online arts publication ADSR Zine 2018-2020. Recent projects include the dunes Sumn Conduit with Ben Carey, holowell with Jonathan Holowell and Danger/Dancer with James Hazel. She is on a new threshold of personal, expository work.