SSO#5: Sounds of the City: Street Technology & Public Space

This event was in Italy on 4-7 April 2019 as part of the Sound System Outernational conference series.

This Practice as Research Conference was staged in the southern Italian city of Naples. This is because the city besides its progressive politics, cuisine and colonial history, for last twenty years city has been the epicentre of a remarkably popular sound system scene with its home in the local “social movements” and squats.

Contributions over the three days included Tikur Sound (Italian/Ethiopian Refugee sound system), UNITY (first Tunisian sound system), Young Warrior (UK Lewisham sound system, son of Jah Shaka) and Moses Iten (RMIT University, Melbourne) on Digital Cumbia music from Columbia by way of Mexican sonideros (sound systems). A beautifully-mounted Sound Icons photographic exhibition, especially commissioned for SSO5 and funded by the Public Engagement Program of the Social Sciences Department at L’Orientale, opened on the first night.

The panel sessions were top and tailed by two most thought-provoking keynotes from Louis Chude-Sokei (Boston University, The Sound of Culture) on diasporic generations and the dub echoes in the ruins of history and Sonjah Stanley-Niaah (UWI, Jamaica, DanceHall from Slave ship to Ghetto) about sound regulation as opposed to noise prohibition in Kingston, Jamaica.