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Aural Contract: The voice before the law (curated by Liquid Architecture for Melbourne Festival)

SUN 18 Oct 2015
Australian Centre for the Moving Image
Federation Square, Flinders St, Melbourne


At Melbourne Festival, Liquid Architecture will present a series of audio documentaries from Lawrence Abu Hamdan’s Aural Contract as a ‘live listening event’ in the cinema setting. THe event will also include talks by researchers James Parker and Poppy de Souza that will further develop themes around the politics of listening.

Poppy's talk will theorise "listening economies of extraction" and asks “how listening works, and what listening does, in our post-convergent, post-Snowden, post-privacy moment.”


Lawrence Abu Hamdan's (b. 1985, Amman, Jordan) work examines the contemporary politics of listening—its relationship to power, borders, human rights, testimony and truth—through the production of audio documentaries and essays, installations, sculpture, photography, and performance.

Dr James Parker is a lecturer at Melbourne Law School, where he is also director of the research program ‘Law, Sound and the International’ at the Institute for International Law and the Humanities. James’ monograph  Acoustic Jurisprudence: Listening to the Trial of Simon Bikindi (OUP, 2015) looks at the trial of Simon Bikindi, who was accused by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda of inciting genocide with his songs. James' current research explores legal questions around the weaponisation of sound across three main sites: the battlefield, the torture chamber and the city. James is also an active music critic and radio broadcaster.

Poppy de Souza is an interdisciplinary scholar and cultural practitioner who has worked in curatorial, educational, archival, community arts and academic contexts.  Both her research and practice are concerned with the politics of 'voice'.  Her work investigates the relationship between new assemblages of technology, everyday forms of cultural production, and the contemporary conditions of 'voice poverty'.  Poppy has recently completed her PhD "Beyond Voice Poverty: New Economies of Voice and the Frontiers of Speech, Listening and Recognition" through the University of Melbourne.

More details:

Melbourne Festival

Liquid Architecture