Accepted paper:

Govindpuri Sound: an ethnographic audio documentary


Tom Rice (University of Exeter)

Paper short abstract:

I will present and talk about a set of long clips from a radio programme I made for the BBC World service. The programme is an exploration of the soundscape of a Delhi slum and aims to be a piece of ‘anthropology in sound’.

Paper long abstract:

Slum settlements have a strong visual identity. We’re used to seeing TV footage of densely packed, ramshackle homes squeezed onto strips of land in inner cities. But what does a slum sound like and how do sounds embody and reflect the local culture? In 2014 I met up with Dr Tripta Chandola, an urban researcher who for ten years has studied the slums of Govindpuri in India’s capital, Delhi. Tripta introduced me to the settlement and some of its residents and we recorded and interviewed them about the sounds they noticed in their everyday lives. The rich and varied soundscape often created an exciting buzz of activity and warm sociability, but sounds were also a source of friction, emphasizing sharp social divisions along the lines of religion, class and gender. In this presentation I consider the symbiotic relationships between sound, sound recording and the process of ethnographic representation in relation to the Govindpuri slums and in the context of making a radio programme.

panel P40
Film, audio and multimedia programme: symbiosis: sound, vision and the senses