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PROJECTS2015

Empowerment of gender voice

11 November, 2015

Empowerment of gender voice

Sound acts in Victoria square.

Greek version

Student: Diakrousi Angeliki
Tutor: Panos Kouros
School: Department of Architecture, University of Patras
Presentation date : July 2015

 

In my thesis I designed and performed a participatory sound installation and action in Square Victoria in order to activate conversations between separated public spheres.

I dealt with the social and gender space of the square, as shown in the daily uses and the way people gather and interact around a reference point or space. I have noticed that Square Victoria is a very vivid public space with special characteristics and these that I focus on are the fragmentation of square in different and isolated social spaces, that are not in contact, and the powerless appropriation of women visitors. Their absence from square's public sphere results in the weakness of their voice with the meaning of murmurings and their small groups, as shown in the diagrams, and short-term presence.

 

I studied the social spaces according to their social nature but also objects that were part of them. Each group defines at the square its own private soundscape through objects such as mobile phones, radio, televisions and speakers. I noticed that the sound produced by some of them affects strongly the social interaction but in an intrusive way without being perceived visually, neither it nor the actual source sometimes. So, I recorded also the various square's  soundscapes associated with the social interaction at the square.

 

Based on these observations and conclusions I worked with the medium of sound installation and action [sound acts] as intervention practice in space. I direct the audible representation of women, that inserts into existing conversations at the square. The intention of recorded voices' interference is to create contact points between separated (by gender, race and social status) public spheres of the square, causing new encounters, interactions and discussions.

The designed sound acts are developed in two phases: The first regards the correlation actions that I did and recorded with women coming to the square and the collection of the archival audio material derived from them during two months.  At this period, I put through a series of meetings, that have been previously designed by me, with women visiting the square.

Some repulsed me, while with others our meeting became more personal. In our meetings resulted unexpected acquaintances with others and each one evolved differently depending on the occasion.

The second is the interactive sound installation and regards the retransmission of audio material in space, during the sound installation and action designed and implemented by me. The broadcast action is part of the new correlations and confrontations that resulted in the chosen social spaces.

Starting from the sound sources used by groups at the square at such a range that creates private soundscapes and delimits their space, I design the sound source to be installed. Instead, from the long-range sources, like the speakers, which call in large gatherings for political purpose or spectacle, allowing one person to speak at a time or overlapping small conversations, short-range sources favor the conditions for conversations between few people around them.

 

The set of voices is played simultaneously and repeatedly with frequent pauses, for a few hours at midday, during which gatherings of men are predominant. The audio reproduction sources are independent from each other and are hanged from five trees, which are forming gathering spaces studied by me either alone or in relation to flower beds and benches.

Around speakers I used five persons acting as facilitators of action to explain what is happening and to distribute a flyer with my personal experience of approaching women. Their involvement encouraged conversations around them.

 

 

I have been advised for the relation between sound, voice and anthropology by Panopoulos Panos, for anthropology methods Kalantzis Konstantinos, for the source's construction Daflos Kostas, for the sound Vittis Nikos.
Participants in sound acts: Adonis, Angeliki, Tamara, Konstantinos, Maria, Housein (interpretation of farsi).

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