Listening to Terror Soundscapes

Sounds, Echoes, and Silences in Listening Experiences of Survivors of the Bataclan Terrorist Attack in Paris

in Conflict and Society
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  • 1 University of Bern, Switzerland luis.velasco-pufleau@unibe.ch

Listening experiences provide valuable insights in understanding the meaning of events and shaping the way we remember them afterwards. Listening builds relationships with places and subjectivities. What kinds of relationships and connections are built through listening during an event of extreme violence, such as a terrorist attack? This article examines the relationships between sound, space, and affect through an acoustemology of Bataclan survivors’ sensory experiences of both the terrorist attack and its aftermath. I draw on the testimonies of nine survivors of the Bataclan terrorist attack in Paris, which unfolded on the evening of 13 November 2015 during a rock concert, as well as interviews with three parents of survivors and victims. This article explores how the study of listening experiences and aural memories of survivors contributes to understanding mnemonic dynamics and processes of recovery related to sound following violent events.

Conflict and Society

Advances in Research

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