Sonic ethnography explores the role of sound-making and listening practices in
the formation of local identities in the southern Italian region of Basilicata.
The book uses a combination of text, photography and sound recording to
investigate soundful cultural performances such as tree rituals, carnivals,
pilgrimages, events promoting cultural heritage and more informal musical
performances. Its approach demonstrates how in the acoustic domain tradition is
made and disrupted, power struggles take place and acoustic communities are
momentarily brought together in shared temporality and space. This book
underlines how an attention to sound-making, recording and listening practices
can bring innovative contributions to the ethnography of an area that has been
studied by Italian and foreign scholars since the 1950s. The approaches of the
classic anthropological scholarship on the region have become one of the forces
at play in a complex field where discourses on a traditional past, politics of
heritage and transnational diasporic communities interact. The book’s argument
is carried forward not just by textual means, but also through the inclusion of
six ‘sound-chapters’, that is, compositions of sound recordings themed so as to
interact with the topic of the corresponding textual chapter, and through a
large number of colour photographs. Two methodological chapters, respectively
about doing research in sound and on photo-ethnography, explain the authors’
approach to field research and to the making of the book.
What is it like to be a Muslim possessed by a jinn spirit? How do you find refuge
from madness and evil spirits in a place like Denmark? As elsewhere in
Europe and North America, Danish Muslims have become hypervisible through
intensive state monitoring, surveillance, and media coverage. Yet their religion
remains poorly understood and is frequently identified by politicians,
commentators, and even healthcare specialists as the underlying invisible cause
of ‘integration problems’. Over several years Christian Suhr followed
Muslim patients being treated in a Danish mosque and in a psychiatric hospital.
With this book and award-winning film he provides a unique account of the
invisible dynamics of possession and psychosis, and an analysis of how the
bodies and souls of Muslim patients are shaped by the conflicting demands of
Islam and the psychiatric institutions of European nation-states. The book
reveals how both psychiatric and Islamic healing work not only to produce relief
from pain, but also entail an ethical transformation of the patient and the
cultivation of religious and secular values through the experience of pain.
Creatively exploring the analytic possibilities provided by the use of a camera,
both text and film show how disruptive ritual techniques are used in healing to
destabilise individual perceptions and experiences of agency, so as to allow
patients to submit to the invisible powers of psychotropic medicine or God.
, the study of non-Western and folk music has required the adoption of systems of sound recording in order to delimit an object of study in its materiality. This created a proximity with recording technologies that remains central and opened the door for further developments in the field of multimedia.
The foundational experience of Béla Bartók at the beginning of the twentieth century shows a synergy between his studies of Hungarian folk music and his activity as composer; more specifically, the latter stimulated his research and became a way to make a creative use
are sometimes limited spatially and temporarily to the performance, that is, they are acoustic communities (Truax 1984 : 65–66) or communities of (sonic) practice that come together around a given event and might separate after its conclusion.
In this introduction we unpack how we interpret the connection between sound and the formation of local identities, starting with some clarifications on these two key terms. Subsequently, we trace the main steps in the entanglements of ethnographic research, creative practice and cultural heritage in Basilicata, providing
may also involve creative and expressive knowledge
Genesis of the data walkshop
As this chapter discusses, walking reflections have been used by philosophers, psychogeographers, urban planners and community organisations to explore relationships between people, ideas, knowledge and
space, and sometimes to locate local assets (my version of the data
walk began as a teaching tool, specifically intended to provide students with a physical, spatial and sensorial experience of the ethnographic experience of data proliferation, while helping them to
border in all its temporal and spatial details. Too many events took place in the course of the more than 100 years since the Bucharest Treaty in 1913, following the Second Balkan War that ended with the victory of Serbia and Greece over Bulgaria. 8
The name conflict has deservingly preoccupied politicians and scholars from different disciplines. Certainly, one of the most creative ways to think about the border and the name issue is the artistic project “The Renaming Machine.” This project focuses on the complex entanglements
As Pandolfo ( 1997 : 241) points out, the work of a healer involves standing on the edge between the visible and the invisible. Tapping into the invisible and using the ‘cinema fist’ of the Creator carries the risk of venturing astray into the idolatrous thought that by one's own power, one could be ‘self-creative’ (Sedgwick 2006 : 56; Steinbock 2007 : 212). While developed in a Catholic context, Marion's ( 2002 ) theory that the experience of God is always and necessarily predicated on absence and distance seems to hold true here. The more Abu Bilal comes to
Towards a sonic ethnography of the Maggio festival in Accettura
Lorenzo Ferrarini and Nicola Scaldaferri
developing his double role of researcher and performer in the direction of a more engaged and experimental creative practice (see chapter 6 ).
The sonic ethnography of the Maggio also resulted in two CDs, each providing a distinct approach and contribution. The first consists of a seventy minute soundscape composition by Feld, divided into six tracks. Recording through Dimensional Stereo Microphones (see Ferrarini 2017 ), Feld used his body as an emplaced ‘point of listening’ (Scaldaferri 2015 : 377) to balance the different sound sources within a very wide
Mark Doidge, Radosław Kossakowski, and Svenja Mintert
creative dominance of their rivals. The technological revolution in
smartphones and social media provides numerous platforms for ultras
to present their collective performances to a global audience. YouTube
and Instagram especially provide visual opportunities to present the
groups socially. Spectacular images grab the public’s attention and can
go viral. In February 2019, prior to their must-win Europa League
match against Fenerbahçe, ultras of Zenit St Petersburg lined the road
leading up to the Gazprom Arena. As the team bus drove past, each fan
lit a flare to provide
see a great advantage in that, actually I see only the benefits of spending time outside … While inside, where the space is limited by walls or by the toys that are all around, then how children play is less creative.
Joanna implies that compared to Norway, children in Polish kindergartens do not spend enough time outside. The other study participants share the same view. While Joanna pays attention to the connection between space and intellectual development, Kasia emphasises a