Accepted paper:

Heterotopic sound at work and rest: documenting daily soundscapes of precarious market workers in Moscow

Author:

Anton Nikolotov (Berlin Graduate School of Muslim Cultures and Societies, Humboldt University)

Paper short abstract:

This is a work-in-progress field recording composition collaboratively produced during a prolonged participation in the lives of migrant traders, sellers and beggars of a semi-formal, open-air market in Moscow.

Paper long abstract:

This is a work-in-progress field recording composition made of a collection of sonic diaries, fieldwork aphorisms and interceptions of the security guards' communications that were produced from a prolonged participation in the lives of migrant traders, sellers and beggars of a semi-formal, open-air market in Moscow. The large, shabby market halls and bazaars are the remnants of the dystopian, post-socialist nineties that the official media continues to paint as "dark" places of crime and clandestine homes for illegalized, racialized workers. Even as the bazaars have become the city's "internal borders" and routine targets for raids, they are also Foucauldian heterotopic places combining utopian hopes and dystopian reality, points of departures or return, debt, survival and uplift. The project aims at documenting the soundscapes and sonic atmospheres of this place and the people at work or during recreation there. It also aims at presenting the sonic micro-practices pointing away towards other worlds elsewhere. Sometimes these can involve: the singing of the Bollywood love songs, making fun of the customers or passers by, listenings and falling asleep to the Quranic recitations of the Ya-Sin Surah or smoking hashish. The final version of the composition would involve the collaboratively edited pieces done by different workers of the market as well as the reflective discussions on the nature of sound in relation to their daily lives. An eight minute sample from the perspective of the ethnographer working and living as a seller is available: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/acgwpbv3hxg0i0r/AACd6jptz8adpkOSio_uPw6ya?dl=0

panel WP003
Sound programme: "Utopic Dystopias: Dystopic Utopias" [Workshop]