From September 25 to 29, 2023, forumZFD Kosovo held a workshop on “Sound, Memory, and Public Places” in cooperation with the Centre for Narrative Practice in Prishtina/Kosovo and Creative Research into Sound Arts Practice (CRiSAP) at the University of Art London, and the Shortwave Collective. The workshop was part of forumZFD’s collaborative and transnational project Landscapes of Repair which was founded by forumZFD Kosovo and the University of Sheffield (UK) in 2021 and combines sound, memorialization processes, and public places by using visual and audio materials. The aim of this workshop was to introduce the participants into how sonic and visual forms of presenting public places can be used for remembrance and dealing with the past.
The first day was marked by inputs from forumZFD staff: Alexander Vojvoda presented together with the main facilitator Ilir Bajri (Musician, Composer and Creative Mediator of the PËRPARA Exhibition) the project Landscapes of Repair and the connection between memorialisation processes and forumZFD’s soundscaping and mapping initiative. Korab Krasniqi discussed how sound can be linked to the topic Dealing with the Past, and differed between hearing, listening, and understanding.
Further inputs included a session with Cathy Lane (Director CRiSAP) about listening and memory. Besides exercises of hearing to sounds of the environment on the premise of the Centre of Narrative Practice, participants listened to field recordings of Cathy Lane and Alexander Vojvoda. While some reacted visually, others spoke of emotional reactions, including childhood memories. Along with that, the question arose “what context do we need?” when hearing of sounds.
The following day, Armina Pilav (curator and researcher Toxic Lands and Un-war Space Lab) explained under the umbrella of “How can we undo war with non-violent means?” how the two types of mediums, physical and digital materials, such as human beings, rivers, or videos, audios, and social media, respectively, can be used for memorialization processes. After her presentation, she gave the participants the opportunity to present their projects and receive some advice for their further development.
Hannah Kemp-Welch, Lisa Hall, and Georgia Muenster from the Shortwave Collective presented their project before giving a short technical introduction into how radios work. Afterwards, the workshop participants built, based on the Shortwave Collectives instructions, Open Wave-Receivers which were later tested in the outdoor area of the Centre of Narrative Practice.
After four days of collecting and editing videos, pictures, and field recordings in various parts of Prishtina, the workshop concluded with participants presenting their own soundscapes. The results can be found on the webpage of Landscapes of Repair.