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Contextualities of listening to soundscapes: the past and the present converging in Sarajevo.

Ze?o, Maja


Maja Ze?o


This article discusses the relationship between autobiographical memories and personal and group identities in the post-conflict soundscape of Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The discussion will focus on the perspectives of residents and their intersecting narratives, collected in interviews, on the city's soundscape. I will relay intimate experiences of the city's soundscapes, contextualized from the position of a listener who is native to the city. The ways in which memories of the recent war (1992-1996) inform conversations reveal links between traumatic memories and experiences of environmental sounds. From the religious calls of mosques and churches to inhabitants pleading for help on the streets of Sarajevo, the complexity of contexts that play a role in knowledge production about the city will be explored through listening and writing. The article, in the form of praxis, aims to accentuate the importance of local knowledge of soundscape as a means of decolonizing the sonic arts discourse. An interest in the ways that the city's inhabitants engage with contemporary soundscapes and how the past informs our present knowledge about places guides this inquiry.


ZE?O, M. 2022. Contextualities of listening to soundscapes: the past and the present converging in Sarajevo. Journal of sonic studies [online], 23: Sounds of the Balkan, exposition 1599648. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 21, 2022
Online Publication Date Apr 15, 2022
Publication Date Apr 15, 2022
Deposit Date Jun 6, 2022
Publicly Available Date Jun 6, 2022
Journal Journal of sonic studies
Electronic ISSN 2212-6252
Publisher Leiden University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 23
Article Number Exposition 1599648
Keywords Sound and society; Soundscapes; Urban soundscapes; Bosnia and Herzegovina
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information There are two files accompanying this output: "ZECO 2022 Contextualities of listening.pdf" contains text and images, with embedded audio; "ZECO 2022 Contextualities of listening (SEPARATE FILES).zip" contains one PDF with text and images, and separate MP3 files for audio.


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