Belgrade's public space and the ethics of the sound: the case of two 'parades'
(Institute of Musicology SASA, Belgrade)
Paper short abstract:
I investigate events in the urban soundscape of Belgrade, analyzing how ‘resilient bodies’ can open avenues of dissent, windows through which the citizens can act as political subjects. I scrutinize two events that took place in Belgrade in autumn 2014: the Gay Pride and the military parade.
Paper long abstract:
In this paper I will investigate events in the urban soundscape of Belgrade, analyzing how 'resilient bodies' - the carnal body which is irreducible to semiotic models, the residue which is not (or not yet) subjugated to mechanisms of discursive social control - can open avenues of dissent, windows through which the citizens can act as political subjects. I will particularly scrutinize two events that took place in Belgrade in autumn 2014: the Gay Pride and the military parade. The Pride provoked public discussion to what extent sexuality should be kept private and the street march itself turned into a sonic conflict between the crowd, the organizers (providing the official programme and even trying to silence the crowd), the state apparatus (which demonstrated its surveillance power with the helicopters flying over) and the Serbian Orthodox Church (which used the church bells to express its protest as the parade passed by). The military parade held just nineteenth days later, both to honor the anniversaries of two world wars and to mark the state visit of the Russian president Vladimir Putin, again opened the question on who has the right over the public/sonic space, as citizens had to cope with week-long rehearsals of the military aircrafts performance. I will analyze how modern political subjectivity arises in these ruptures challenging the system of cultural hegemony, particularly paying attention to instances where the public-private divide, as one of the most fundamental borders which structure everyday urbanity, is being sonically violated.
Ethnographies of urban public spaces