Soundscape of Revolution

Soundscape of Revolution is an video-art documentary in the form of audioslide investigating the sonic environment that precedes a revolution. It’s a research on the relation between sound and political crisis, antagonism and activism.

The turmoil, the riots and the protests actually taking place in Egypt were mostly predictable by listening to the country’s soundscape the months before everything started. Tourists were often shocked by the Egyptian sonic environment which loudness and harshness are very far from the western standards. The unbearable loudness of Egypt, commonly considered as one of its cultural characteristic, was actually announcing its revolution.

The audioslide attempt to reproduce the Egyptian soundscape, how it was during the days before the revolution started;

to open a discussion on the role played by sounds in preparing the ground of a political and social turmoil;

to reflect on making noise as a way to release the frustration of living in a oppressed condition.

Muray Shafer wrote that sound is used by the institution as a mean of control. At the same time we should think of sound as a weapon for the people protesting against that power. A kind of “sonic” protest is going on in Egypt since many years, causing a substantial increase in the urban noise.

Egypt has been witnessing a sonic war between the government, the religion and the people. For example: the police tracks with their horns and engines exceeding by many decibels all the others; the loud speakers of the mosques, calling for the prayer five times a day; the very loud music played during the weddings, an opportunity for freedom, the only moment where people can legally gather and listen to music; the cars, where people invest a large amount of their small salary, tuning the vehicles to be more visible and audible.

The audioslide tries to represent this reality through mixing sounds and photos, a formula different from the classic video, because it gives space to the imagination and makes both observation and listening acts of immersion but at the same time acts of creativity.

Soundscape of Revolution comes from the project Field Abuse, blog archive dedicated to the noise produced by the contemporary world and related to religions, ethnic music and traditional cultures. In phase of production of the audioslide no effects have been used to modify the nature of the sounds and the images.

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