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The Journal of Sonic Studies
Journal of Sonic Studies, volume 1, nr. 1 (October 2011)Evy Schubert: ON THE PERFORMANCE OF SOUND: The Acoustic Territory of Post-War Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

To refer to this article use this url: http://journal.sonicstudies.org/vol01/nr01/a06

Abstract

This article concludes a research on the acoustic territory of post-war Sarajevo and a history of its acoustic performance. It will demonstrate the results of the investigation of the participation, contribution and perception of the selected soundscape in terms of its socio-political context.

The research focused on two primary questions. First: can urban sound be a direct mirror image of the underlying socio-political condition and, thus, a performance of its source? Second: can, therefore, political peace have its own sound?

For this research, the city of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, was chosen. There were two main reasons, one geographical and the other historical, for its selection. Sarajevo lies in a narrow valley and is surrounded by hills, a geography comparable to an old Greek amphitheatre, with many of the same acoustic implications. On the mountaintops surrounding the city, you can hear the total sound image as well as detect singular sounds. During the war, between 1992 and 1995, these mountaintops were occupied by Serbian military forces, creating a circular front line without exit that isolated the city from the rest of the country and the world. This led to the assumption that Sarajevo must have a unique and rare acoustic history.