Traces of Conflict: An Exploration of Absence, Silence and Sound
Professor Maruška Svašek, Queen’s University Belfast
In presentation*, Professor Svašek considers to what extent conflicts and memories of conflicts can leave their imprint on people and places. The presentation starts with a brief account about the presenter’s father who escaped from Communist Czechoslovakia in 1948. What follows are three fragments from the film Finding Objects, Finding Sounds (2019), the result of a playful collaborative project in which an anthropologist, a photographer, a composer and a Jazz musician improvised as they followed self- imposed rules of an experimental game. The final product comprises visual and sonic materials that they produced and collected in Prague in 2018 and 2019. While not explicitly addressing the topic of conflict and asylum, Finding Objects, Finding Sounds explores relevant themes of absence, presence, movement, sound and sight. Loss of homeland manifests itself as absence, as a void filled with series of images and sounds. Traces of conflict, in other words, imperceptibly intertwine with visual and aural explorations of the city.
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The Conference was organised as part of the AHRC/ESRC funded Partnership for Conflict, Crime and Security Research project Sounding Conflict: From Resistance to Reconciliation 2017-2021.