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RAI Research Seminar: Tom Western
Tuesday 09 April 2024, 04:00pm - 06:00pm
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RAI Research Seminar

organised by the RAI's Ethnomusicology and Ethnochoreology Committee

Tuesday 9 April 2024,  4:00-6:00pm GMT

This is a hybrid event.

To join us via Zoom, register here: 

To join us in Person at the RAI (50 Fitzroy Street, London W1T5BT): 


Mediterradio – a sonic geopoetics on four wavelengths

Dr Tom Western (University College London)

This talk reflects on, and extends out of, a spatial and sonic experiment produced collaboratively in Athens in 2023. Titled “Mediterradio”, this soundwork was made out of recordings from Alexandria, Nablus, Damascus, and Athens, and was conceived as a sound-cycle, an intercity symphony, a feedback loop, a fugue – hearing Mediterranean relations and histories in circulation. The talk picks up on these movements. It hears the sea as a space of counterpoint and connection, where song and sound constitute a set of relations, building sonic-spatial imaginations that point beyond the bordering of both the sea and the cities that surround it. The talk is structured on four wavelengths – a quartet mapped onto the geographies of the Mediterradio and the sonic forms and textures it invokes. The sea becomes a space of sonic creativity and connectivity, in the face of colonialities that have rendered it both a carceral space and a crime scene. And in doing this, I’ll attempt a kind of space-writing that is both ethnography and geopoetics, through which collective efforts to use sound as a form of spatial resistance come into earshot, turning the city into a sea, and the sea into a radio.



Tom Western is a writer, researcher, and artist. His work builds creative geographies that seek to imagine futures beyond the colonial past and present. Tom works primarily in Athens, where he’s involved in various forms of creative and collaborative research and movement building. He is currently finishing his first book – titled Circular Movements – about Athens and the Mediterranean, written in circles and circulations, gathering imaginations of the city and the sea, and mapping ways out of the linear histories and geographies of empire. Tom regularly produces spatial art-research pieces that seek to make new maps of Athens and its Mediterranean relations, gathered together on the site Undercartographies. He is based at UCL as a Lecturer in Social and Cultural Geography.



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