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Auditory Surveillance

14 February 2020

6–8.30pm | Free Entry

At this listening session, we will present Lawrence Abu Hamdan’s audio documentary, The Freedom of Speech Itself (2012) and Dr Tom Rice will lead a workshop on auditory surveillance.
 
Dr. Tom Rice will explore the pervasiveness of auditory surveillance. Tom will consider ways in which we are all actively conducting auditory surveillance in our daily lives, and consider some of the implications of our listening in this way. While auditory surveillance is associated with the sinister operations of power, it is also crucial means of enacting care, and is fundamental to the production of voices, rather than simply a mode for their reception.
 
The Freedom of Speech Itself:
A 30 minute audio documentary/composition, The Freedom of Speech Itself looks at the history and contemporary application of forensic speech analysis and voice-prints, focusing on the UK’s controversial use of voice analysis to determine the origins and authenticity of asylum seekers’ accents. Here, testimonies from lawyers, phonetic experts, asylum seekers and Home Office officials reveal the geo-politics of accents and the practice of listening that led to shocking stories of wrongful deportations. When combined with the experimental audio composition and appropriated radiophonic techniques these interviews are designed to question the fundamental ways in which we speak and listen.
 
Biographies:
Lawrence Abu Hamdan is a “Private Ear”. His interest with sound and its intersection with politics originate from his background as a touring musician and facilitator of DIY music. The artist’s audio investigations has been used as evidence at the UK Asylum and Immigration Tribunal and as advocacy for organisations such as Amnesty International and Defence for Children International together with fellow researchers from Forensic Architecture. Abu Hamdan received his PhD in 2017 from Goldsmiths College London. In 2019 Lawrence Abu Hamdan jointly won the Turner Prize for his exhibition Earwitness Theatre and his performance After Sfx. In 2017 his film Rubber Coated Steel won the Tiger short film award at the Rotterdam International Film festival, The audience award at 25 FPS Festival in Zagreb, and the Dialog Award at European Media Art festival in Osnabruk. In 2016 he won the Nam June Paik Award for new media.
 
Tom Rice is a Senior Lecturer in Anthropology at the University of Exeter. His work focuses on sound and auditory culture. He has studied the sound environments of a variety of institutions including hospitals, prisons and zoos and produced and presented documentaries for BBC Radio 4 and BBC World Service. At the time of writing he is PI on the ERSC funded Transforming Social Science project Listening to the Zoo. Tom has published a monograph on his hospital research entitled Hearing and the Hospital, and numerous articles and book chapters. 
 
Interruptions/Disruptions is co-organised by Dr Eleanor K. Jones, Dr Priti Mishra and Dr Sarah Hayden, and funded by the Public Engagement with Research Unit at the University of Southampton.
 
Audio Surveillence
The Freedom of Speech Itself (2012), Installation view at Extra City Antwerp

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01 February - 14 March 2020