Sonic Inquiries Into Cultures from Central and Eastern Europe & Central Asia

A Workshop created and organised by Giada Dalla Bontà (Copenhagen University) & Philipp Kohl (LMU Munich/U Zurich).


Friday, March 3rd to Saturday March 4th, 2023


After you registered right here you receive the zoomlink


Download the full program here: SoundEast_Program2023


During the last decades, the humanities have seen a sonic turn, opening new approaches to the auditive and multisensorial dimension of culture. Only in recent years, sound studies have included indigenous culture (Robinson: 2020) and the Global South (Steingo, Skyes: 2019) within their spectrum of research, with the aim to de-Westernize its perspectives and methodologies. Following this trajectory, the aim of the workshop is to provide a space of analysis and discussion upon the sonic aspects of the still overlooked cultural territories of the former Eastern Bloc, while reflecting together on new decolonial listening positionalities within the (post-)Soviet and Eastern European studies. Moving across multiple disciplines (media, music, film, performance, literary studies) the workshop interrogates in which ways sound is involved in aesthetic, political, and historic processes in Central and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, Central Asia and the Soviet Union, before and after socialism.

The workshop’s scope is both theoretical and historical: how is sound conceptualized in formalist and semiotic theories of art and culture? How are sonic materialities intertwined with concrete historical forms of knowledge? How do cultures of former socialist countries hear across historical trajectories, how can they be listened to?

These and other questions are addressed by international scholars in a two-days online workshop on March, 3&4. The workshop includes academic paper presentations, artists’ talks, listening sessions and two Open Discussion sessions.


The online workshop and its future publication are funded by LMU Munich. Project in collaboration with Copenhagen University.



Friday, March 3, 9:30 AM–6:00 PM (CET)

9:30–10:00: Giada Dalla Bontà & Philipp Kohl: Welcome Speech and State of the Field Presentation

10:00–10:30: Holger Schulze (Copenhagen): What Are Sound Studies? A Brief Introduction Into a Very Young and a Very Old Research Field   

10:30–11:15: Nikolai Okunew (Potsdam): That “Shhh” Was Totally Good Enough to Fulfil Your Feeling of Being Allowed to Listen to Heavy Metal Now

11:15–12:00: Iryna Shuvalova (Nanjing): Sonic Landscapes of Russia’s War on Ukraine One Year From the Full-Scale Invasion: Tracing the Shifts

12:00–1:00: Lunch break

 1:00–1:45: Pavel Niakhayeu (Minsk): Belarusian Music – Between (Anti)Belarusian Dictatorship, Russian Imperialism and Western Orientalism

1:45–2:30: Stas Sharifullin (Basel): Listening Session: How yır-moñ Helped Bashkirs and Tatars Keeping Their Identity Through the Centuries of Colonial Oppression

2:30–3:15: Break

3:15–4:00:  Evgeny Bylina (Tbilisi): Between Everyday Life and Utopia. Sound Testimonies of the Kosichkin Family

4:00–4:45: Ján Solčáni (Brno): Sound Mapping: Cultural Houses

4:45–5:30: Victoria Sarangova (Berlin): Archaeology of progress. Listening Session and Artist Talk

5:30–6:00: Open discussion



Saturday, March 4, 1:15–6:45 PM

1:15–2:00: Katarzyna Ciemiera (Kraków): The Political Potential of Poetic Voice: The Experience of Voice within Text as an Encounter with the Other

2:00–2:45: Giada Dalla Bontà (Copenhagen): Sonic Tricksterism Between Anti-Systemic and Far-Right Movements in the Activity of Kuryokhin and New Artists

2:45–3:00: Break

3:00–3:45: Matthew Kendall (Chicago): The End of Fidelity: Learning to Speak Soviet in the Cinema of Iosif Kheifits and Aleksandr Zarkhi

3:45–4:30: Philipp Kohl (Munich/Zurich): Reverberations of the Palace of the Soviets: Engineering the Acoustic Space of Ideology

4:30–5:15: Gabrielle Cornish (Miami): Sounds Like Lenin: Noise and the Problems of Socialist Modernity

 5:15–5:30: Break

 5:30–6:15: Asell Shaldibayeva (Almaty): bULt: safe spaces and sound in Almaty. Listening Session and Artist Talk

6:15–6:45: Final Discussion