Workshop for the CTM Festival 2017 in Berlin; held in collaboration with Leil Zahra-Mortada and Gabi Sobliye from Tactical Tech Collective.
“Sound as Violence, Sound as Dissidence” is an introductory workshop on the theme of violences performed with and through sound and listening. The session presents a series of two-minute soundscapes assembled from several sources (internet, archives, or personal recordings), mixed and composed specifically to highlight certain aspects of sounds that have been, still are, or might be deployed as instruments of political, social, and physical oppression.
Participants are invited to listen to these compositions without being informed of the context they stem from, in order to trigger memories and emotional responses; later on, each group chooses the sound they found more interesting and the nature of these compositions is revealed. After a round of discussions, all participants are invited to imagine and fabulate either misuses and re-appropriations of these sounds as counter-hegemonic strategies, or to develop novel devices (rituals, strategies, artefacts) to resist these forms of sonic violence.
The abstract we pitched for CTM reads as follows:
In this workshop we will inquire into the use of sound as a tool of violence and its ranges as a channel of dissidence. Through an interactive environment, participants will be invited to explore diverse sonic recordings and investigate them both from a subjective approach based on own personal experiences and emotional responses, and from an extrapolated political context relevant to each recording.
The workshop was fully booked and the attendance was mixed among artists, journalists, activists, musicians, and researchers. While the workshop itself was short (only two hours long), the discussions and ideas were engaging and fruitful; participants left knowing more about the role of sound in violence, as well as the material embodiments of acoustic violence in subtle and insidious ways (e.g. political demonstrations, rally campaign playlists, drone bombings and so on).
Many thanks to Tactical Tech/Seeing Sideways, Taïca Replansky and everyone at CTM Festival for the opportunity.