Mobilities and Sound
The soundscapes of mobility in post-Soviet cities and the meanings they produce are a rich and as yet underexplored field. Employing ethnographic fieldwork on the mobility of the elderly, public transit activism and urban infrastructures in Belarus and Ukraine, the article focuses on post-socialist soundscapes of stationary and moving cars, night racing, trams, trolleybuses, marshrutkas and electronic voices in the metro. Individual and collective practices of the production of and resistance to sounds, as well as the acoustic communities that emerge or fail to emerge in connection to these practices are indicative of transformations in post-socialist cities, such as the growth of inequality in exposure to pollution, promotion of national identities through human-voiced soundscapes of public transport and the trend towards the sensorial encapsulation of private space. Such transformations, however problematic they are for post-Soviet cities, can be diagnosed as a «sensibilization of property», and suggest new ways to think about ownership and communality when conceived acoustically.
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