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Sound perception in Cairo: the city through the lens of a Sonic Ecology

Lecture July 2019

Vincent Battesti , Nicolas Puig

Lecture (in French) given as part of the Third "Congrès des études
sur le Moyen-Orient et les mondes musulmans"
with Nicolas Puig,
Université Panthéon Sorbonne, Paris (France), July 5th 2019.

 Sound perception in Cairo: the city through the lens of a Sonic Ecology
Original title: Perceptions sonores au Caire : la ville au prisme d’une écologie sonore


The purpose of this lecture is to present the results of a survey on sound perceptions in Cairo approached by means of a methodological procedure described in a previous article (Battesti & Puig, 2016, "The sound of society: A Method for Investigating Sound Perception in Cairo, The Senses and Society, n° 11, p. 298-319). Briefly, the procedure consists in equipping inhabitants of a place, here the Egyptian capital Cairo, with binaural microphones by means of which they record a walking journey in a familiar space. Starting from the observation that the ordinary sound field calls for little reflexivity and verbalization, except when sound is considered a nuisance, this method aimed to collect descriptions and sound comments of their urban environment from the participants, the city’s inhabitants.

In their presentation, the authors describe the data and results obtained by the procedure and propose, based on the empirical elements described above, an analysis/discussion on the city’s fields of activity through the lens of a Sonic Ecology.

This lecture was the last rehearsal of the writing of our common paper, Nicolas Puig and I, and was published in English soon later: Towards a Sonic Ecology of Urban Life: Ethnography of Sound Perceptions in Cairo.

Au Caire, boulanger dans un quartier populaire, le 28 nov. 2016, 15h50, © Vincent Battesti
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Vincent Battesti , Nicolas Puig , "Sound perception in Cairo: the city through the lens of a Sonic Ecology " (online), Anthropoasis |, page published 5 July 2019 (consulted 23 May 2024), available on: