03_The Silent Echos
Students: Awkar Ruel, Metha Suresh Babu & Jan Liang
The project seeks to highlight the historical gap in Martyrs' Square, Beirut and how notions of control have shifted and manipulated the built environment
of the site to support the state of amnesia.
Through the "unmuting" of these archived images, eye-witnessing evidence is turned into disembodied sounds allowing this evidence to speak and reveal more when taking the testimony stand.
The spatial practices that we have been unpacking operates at the cutting edge between forensic listening, architecture, and politics. Lawrence Abu Hamdan (a private ear) has played a major role in redefining the politics of listening through the work he conducts and the forensic methodological approach he deploys to uncover the hidden truth.
Lawrence uses the uncontainable notion of the sonic world as a main investigation tool, to uncover leakages of evidence that go beyond the visual and physical barriers.
While focusing on Martyrs Square as our site from afar, we started to collect many images of what it was, what it had gone through and what it is today. These images became a very crucial investigative tool for us to uncover what was once there and is missing.
As Peter Burke states "Images, like texts and oral testimonies, are important forms of historical evidence. They record acts of eyewitnessing"
Eyewitness (as Burke continues) is to represent what - and only what- an eyewitness could have seen from a particular point at a particular time. He goes on to say; "Images are mute witnesses and it is difficult to translate their testimonies into words."
So we questioned whether we could translate these archived images into disembodied sounds? And could these sounds tell the stories of what has been hidden behind the visual and physical dimensions of an image.
A method was developed to sonify these mute images;
Collect, analyse, locate, construct the context, run sound simulations, and produce the
sonic footprint of these mute images.