Sonic Intimacies:  Sounding this world: An intimate site for study

"The only good system is a sound system." - Blackout Ja

This daylong public gathering presents sound, (black) geographies, and listening as sites of feelings, trouble, intimacy, memory, rhythm, dreams, and relationality. We delve into sound for its histories, situatedness, and processes to map out an 'otherwise.' In what ways can sonic cultures guide us in recognizing what scholar Katherine McKittrick calls 'differential ways of being within the context of white supremacy'?

Sounding This World: a site of intimate study, exchange, artworks, and conversation centralizes the polyvocal, collaborative, and killjoy practices that, in taking up sound as a medium, a lingua franca, engage with Black sonic pasts, expand its presents, and shape its futures.

Within this program, we aim to delve into the multiplicity of sonicities, geographies, technologies, and vibes, where we zoom into the erasure, surveillance, and sonic warfare that influence the daily lives and livelihoods of racialized, gendered, and classed people's abilities to narrate and create stories in contemporary sound cultures.

As well as the inherent everyday struggles against policing and gentrification that eradicate space for sound systems and other sonic spaces to foster and function as playgrounds and sites of study for cultural, artistic, and sonic productions.

Please rsvp for the event here.

Date: November 11, 2023
2pm:   A site of study 1: sonic histories and strategies of resistance
Location: Metro54, Westerdoksdijk597
The public gathering opens with "A site of study 1: Sonic Histories and Strategies of Resistance," featuring contributions from scholar Malcolm James, artist and researcher Leila Rufus, and curator Mo Laudi. 

7pm: Black Autonomy: when and how?
Location: Metro54, Westerdoksdijk597
Is clubbing radical and revolutionary? Observing the narratives pushed by its press and creative agencies, the electronic dance music industry seems to be overwhelmingly convinced that the answer to this question is yes. Club activism seems shallow. The dance music media defends the idea that performative representation of marginalized performing artists is activism. But what does “activism” stand for in electronic dance music, besides being a keyword to enhance ticket sales? 

We are observing on a weekly basis the pitfalls of an industry which only seeks tame social progress and profit from Black artistry. In the performing arts, especially electronic dance music, this creates a cultural landscape in which it is not enough to be Black to be perceived as such. Blackness as an identity has to be performed in a palatable and marketable way. Those dynamics are symptomatic of the inner workings of cultural industries which promote social justice, but in name only.

The concept of marginalized identity has morphed into a cultural capital and a performance. Social justice is more and more constrained into a corporate exercise: we are sold the lie that it is through scripted dialogues, listicles, reconciliation and managerial complaint processes that true equality will be achieved. How do we get past that?

With contributions by Jean-Hugues Kabuiku, Mathys Rennela, Bram Owusu and Raziyah Heath. 

This event is hosted by Technomaterialism

Image:  Coxsone International sound system in the early 1980s. Photograph: © Jean Bernard Sohiez/Urbanimage