Nina C. Young

Composer and Sound Artist

Erin Helfert, Nina C. Young
A participatory performance piece that explores death, liminality, and rebirth through the lens of Erin Helfert’s five-year rape trial in a Moroccan court.

Erin Helfert, performance artist
Nina C. Young, composer and sound artist

Flexible: 50 min – 6 hours


  • October 09, 2016: Federal Hall, New York, NY
  • September 09, 2017: Chouftouhonna International Feminist Art Festival, Théâtre National Tunisien, Tunisia. [Awarded 1st Prize in Scenic Arts Division]
  • October 29, 2017: Nasty Women of the North Exhibit, Arts Center of the Capital Region, Troy, NY


Rite of Passage is a participatory performance piece that explores the emotional landscape of the performance artist’s five-year rape trial in a Moroccan court. The site-specific performance is staged in re-defined public spaces or abandoned buildings, transforming these spaces into an abstract courtroom suffused with a documentary soundscape. The performance artist wears a transparent A-line dress, made of white, raw silk that exposes her skin, both physical and emotional She stands before “the tribunal” as an archetype of her character during the hearings. She recites a monologue, a mantra, in English, French, Spanish, Swedish, and Arabic. She repeats her story, over and over again, as she moves through the space, her trial, and ultimately towards rebirth.

Over the course of her actual trial, the performance artist secretly recorded multiple hearings in the Casablanca courtroom. The collaborative composer takes these recordings, processes them and the performance artist’s live performance, and weaves their relationships into a multi-channel auditory experiences, enveloping the performer and the participants in a mélange of voices, memories, and sound objects that transform the narrative. The audio is installed in a space outfitted with multi-channel speakers. The attendees are encouraged to explore the space during the performance. The installation can run from 50 minutes to 6 hours, and can be installed with multichannel audio ranging from 4 to 128+ speakers.

Video about the Project:
October 09, 2016: Federal Hall, New York, NY

Excerpts from the performance:
October 09, 2016: Federal Hall, New York, NY

Full audio from the 1st performance:

Nina C. Young - composer