How can the production of sound and practices of listening operate as modes of resistance and rebuilding in times of conflict and crisis?
Countersonics: Radical Sonic Imaginaries is a new series convened by Gascia Ouzounian exploring sonic tactics for building counter-narratives to contested events, spaces, places and communities.
Join us at The Showroom for this conversation between Mhamad Safa and Gascia Ouzounian, the first event in the series. The discussion will focus on Mhamad Safa’s research as an architect and sound producer, in particular his work on urban acoustics during aerial strikes on Beirut, taking his recently published article Reverberations and Post-War Trauma, 2022 as a point of departure. Together with Ouzounian, Safa will discuss his investigation of the role of echo and reverberation in Beirut; as well as post-war trauma and listening cultures in Lebanon.
Mhamad Safa is a sound producer, architect and researcher, based between London and Beirut. His work focuses on the sonic make-ups of multi-scalar spatial and techno-scientific conditions. He explores their intersections with aural traditions, subcultural practices and environments of conflict. He was a fellow at Ashkal Alwan HWP in 2018. He graduated from the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London, and is currently a Phd candidate in International Law at the University of Westminster. Safa has shown individual and collaborative artwork and performances at Goethe-Institut Lebanon, Beirut; Arab Center for Architecture, Beirut; the Institute for Contemporary Art, London; the Centre for Research Architecture, London, and the Sharjah Architecture Triennial among others.
Gascia Ouzounian is a sonic theorist and practitioner whose work explores the history of sound technologies; experimental music and sound art; sound and urbanism. Recent projects include Scoring the City; Acoustic Cities: London & Beirut, and the book Stereophonica: Sound and Space in Science, Technology, and the Arts (MIT Press). Ouzounian is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Music, University of Oxford, where she directs the project Sonorous Cities.
Sonorous Cities: Towards a Sonic Urbanism (SONCITIES) is a research project formed at the intersection of sound, urbanism, and critical spatial practices. The project’s aim is to better understand cities and urban life through a critical investigation of the sonic conditions of cities, and of people’s experiences of urban sound environments; to make critical and creative interventions into urban sound environments; and to support architects, designers and spatial practitioners in embracing sonic modes of urban analysis and design.
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This conversation is co-presented by The Showroom and Gascia Ouzounian, and forms part of the public programme for Haig Aivazian: All of your Stars are but Dust on my Shoes. For those who would like to see the exhibition before attending the talk, there will be a special screening of Aivazian’s works from 5.30-6.10pm on the night.
Please note this event will be recorded and the audio recording will be made available on both the Sonorous Cities website and The Showroom Library online.
Countersonics: Radical Sonic Imaginaries is funded by the European Research Council, as part of the project Sonorous Cities (grant no.: 865032).
Book here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/countersonics-radical-sonic-imaginaries-tickets-272723221497