RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2014

RGS-IBG Logo
Add to my calendar:    Outlook   Google   Hotmail/Outlook.com   iPhone/iPad   iCal (.ics)

Please note that some mobile devices may require third party apps to add appointments to your calendar


35 Geographies of sound, radio and participation (1)
Affiliation Geo: Geography and Environment
Participatory Geographies Research Group
Convenor(s) Andrew Davies (University of Liverpool, UK)
Matt Benwell (University of Liverpool / Keele University, UK)
Bethan Evans (University of Liverpool, UK)
Chair(s) Andrew Davies (University of Liverpool, UK)
Timetable Wednesday 27 August 2014, Session 1 (09:00 - 10:40)
Room Electrical Engineering Building, Room 406 - DO NOT USE 2020
Session abstract The growth of interest in participation and associated participatory methodologies within geography has occurred alongside a resurgence in interest in visual methodologies (Pain, 2004; Rose, 2003). Analysis of landscape, photography, and films sit alongside the use of participatory methods such as photovoice, participatory photography, video, mapping and diagramming as a means to engage with participants and disseminate research to non-academic audiences (Kindon, 2003; McIntyre, 2003). At the same time, there has been a growth in geographical work which considers the importance of audio practices and cultures surrounding music, radio and soundscapes (Boland, 2010; Nash & Carney, 2006; Peters, 2012; Pinkerton & Dodds, 2008; Revill, 2000; Simpson, 2009; see also the special edition edited by Anderson et al., 2005). In this session, we are interested in the possibilities that sound, music, radio and audio methods might offer as methods of engagement, co-production and dissemination in participatory (and other) geographies. The papers will present research which engages with sound, audio and radio cultures, and/or which reflect on the potential of these as participatory methods.

The session was conceived on the back of a British Academy-funded research project which worked with young people at a community radio station in Liverpool to co-produce a radio documentary focusing on the city’s history of riots and urban unrest. The young people in this project worked as partners alongside academic researchers, using their expertise to produce the final documentary which will be available to listen to during the conference (subject to arrangement with the conference organisers).

Linked Sessions Geographies of sound, radio and participation (2)
Contact the conference organisers to request a change to session or paper details: AC2014@rgs.org
ACT/97.013 [Tapes]: Sonic geographies of children’s folklore
Sarah Mills (Loughborough University, UK)
This paper draws on material from a sound archive of children’s folklore recorded by a London primary school teacher between 1962-1969 and 1982-1984. The wider research project aims to address an important scholarly lacuna on the modern historical geographies of childhood, but here I focus on the unique dynamics of working with archival audio recordings. In particular, I examine the methodological and ethical challenges surrounding issues of children’s ‘voice’ using secondary audio data. Indeed, the recordings aimed to catalogue the regional oral traditions circulating, dying out and being produced by children aged ten – but in doing so – also captured emotional accounts of everyday life at school and home. Overall, the paper critically reflects on these hidden histories and sonic geographies.
Co-production and Connecting Communities through Youth-led Radio
Catherine Wilkinson (University of Liverpool, UK)
My research explores the ways in which community youth-led organisations can build social capital during a time of intense political, social and economic uncertainty. I do so through a case study of KCC Live, a volunteer youth-led community radio station situated in Knowsley, an area of high deprivation and high levels of NEET young people. As such, my research stands to make an important contribution to understandings of social capital and community and, through a participatory approach to evaluation, will provide insights into the ‘worth’ of such organisations. The aims of my research are: to explore the ways in which KCC LIVE enhances both ‘bonding’ social capital (within particular communities) and ‘bridging’ social capital (across social divides and groups) within Knowsley for both listeners and youth volunteers; to explore understandings of community in relation to a community radio station, for listeners, staff and volunteers; to uncover the notion of ‘youth voice’ in relation to a youth-led radio station; to consider the ways in which KCC LIVE acts as a bridge to education and training for NEET young people in Knowsley; to document the challenges faced by community youth organisations within a shifting political and economic climate; to develop a participatory approach to documenting the value of a community radio station. The above is achieved through mixed methods research, including: 12 months participant observation; interviews and focus groups with key stakeholders; interviews and focus groups with the youth volunteers; a listener survey, follow-up interviews, focus groups and listener diaries.
Sonification of Ozone data
Radek Rudnicki (Stockholm Environment Institute, Sweden)
Steve Cinderby (University of York, UK)
The paper describes recent activities held in USA and UK where ozone data from NASA’s infrared Total Emission Spectrometer (TES) instrument onboard the Aura satellite was sonified in order to raise awareness of the ozone’s impact on human health. This multidisciplinary project seeks to evaluate and research the use of sonification as a novel communication method. Furthermore, it aims at combining scientific data with art without sacrificing either the aesthetic or artistic values whilst still remaining scientifically correct.
Based on art/science communication, sonification of data was used on its own and combined with 3D projection mapping and data visualisation. Sonification techniques involved mapping data to sound synthesis parameters as well as controlling the improvisation of acoustic and electronic instruments played in a live setting with musicians.
The project was exposed in major cities in USA including New York City, Washington D.C, Philadelphia and Charlotte and included performances in variety of venues. A follow up tour in the UK (London, Leeds and York), based on the findings gathered in USA, combining data visualisation and sonification during the performances using the same methodology and the same datasets.
The results from both sets of performances are evaluated and show that sonification is a valid technique for research organisations to engage with the public. Initial findings suggest that this is a more useful method for addressing younger age groups about scientific subjects such as air pollution and human health. Videos showing how the sonification has been applied will be included as part of Prezi presentation