“Listen to Africa” blog maps soundscapes

Since starting the World Listening Project last year I’ve wondered what it would take to extend the practice of soundmapping beyond the European and North American continents, given the deep differences in wealth and technical infrastructure. Early this morning I received a tweet about this blog and surprising sound map project called “Listen to Africa.

Listen to Africa blog BG image

A group is taking a cycling expedition that began in the UK in March “…and will end in Namibia, passing through 30-odd countries along the way.”

This ambitious project employs an array web-based social media to map and document the journey through the soundscapes of Africa. As described, its purpose is to “…record some of the sounds of Africa – from oral histories and music to soundscapes and wildlife; recording and publishing sound seems an appropriate way to communicate from a continent that has so much to say and is so rarely heard outside of its own borders.”

I also noticed this morning that the Acoustic Ecology Institute’s website also has a recent news post on the expanding number of soundmaps such as the BBC’s new “Save Our Sounds” project (stimulating much discussion on the WLP’s Yahoo! Group. Regarding the Listen to Africa blog, I suppose the challenging and open-ended question remains how, if, and when the people of Africa—or other non-Euro-American continents—will have the resources or interest to map their soundscapes on the Internet.

—submitted by Eric Leonardson