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Listening to History

Reichsparteitagsgelände (Nazi party rally grounds)© vamp_v2

What qualities should we be looking for in the monuments of the future, and can sound point us in new directions? What advantages does sound as a medium offer for connecting the past with the present? With monuments being called into question around the world, many are asking if there are more flexible and effective alternatives to classical marble and bronze statues. Listening to History is a series of transatlantic conversations between sound artists, historians, and musicologists around the relationship between sound and remembrance.

Sound, Space and Remembrance

Scholar and author Louis Chude-Sokei and sound artist Emeka Ogboh consider their sound practices within the context of memorialization and ask how the medium of sound can point to new ways to remember and study all narratives of the past. 

Louis Chude-Sokei is a writer and scholar who teaches at Boston University and directs the African American Studies Program. He is founder of the sonic art and archival project, Echolocution, which takes seriously the role of listening in history and the role of sound in archiving.

Emeka Ogboh connects to places with his senses of hearing and taste. Through his audio installations and gastronomic works, Ogboh explores how private, public, collective memories and histories are translated, transformed and encoded into sound and food.

Revisiting Memory through Soundscape Compositions

Composers Yvette Janine Jackson and Jacek Smolicki consider soundscapes and their potential for capturing events and characters from the past and connecting them with the present.

Yvette Janine Jackson is a composer and sound installation artist focused on bringing attention to historical events and social issues.

Jacek Smolicki is an interdisciplinary artist, designer, researcher, and soundwalker. His work is manifested through soundscape compositions, soundwalks, site-responsive performances, experimental archives, audio-visual installations, and diverse forms of writing.