More Than Background
This audio paper explores the »acoustic territory« (Labelle, 2010) of Peckham Rye Lane through my sonic journey as a Peckham resident, practitioner, and researcher. My relationship with this place has expanded throughout my studies, moving beyond the simple notion of documentation or representation from an »outsider« angle. Instead, as a resident, I have apprehended my methodologies of listening and representing sound through my everyday life of living in Peckham and my involvement with different community groups.
But Why Sound? And Why now?
»With the urgent necessity of communicating places and sounds« (Wright, 2022), here, on the edge of gentrification, displacement and disappearance, this acoustic territory of Peckham Town Centre vibrates to my »idiosyncratic« position (Schulze, 2018). The one that can be expanded into a broader social-political dimension resonates with grassroots community engagement in Peckham. In this context, amplifying ambience became a methodological tool and critical framework to infuse »sonic sensibilities« (Voegelin, 2021) into discussions about urban spaces and community engagement as a response to the new »re-generation« plans spreading around London. How can listening be incorporated into community activism as a reflective strategy? And how can the agency of the acoustic environment be articulated in those reflections?
Interview with: Eileen Conn – founder and coordinator of the local community action group Peckham Vision – who has been in the last 40 years combining impressive theoretical intelligence with the practical ability to mobilise, engage, and inspire grassroots social change.