Recording the Borders: Sounding Displacement and Integration in Europe
Working at the intersections of music and refugee studies, RecBord examines soundscapes of displacement. It asks how sound mediates relations between refugee and host communities: How do experiences of forced migration manifest in sound? How do these sounds both enable and constrain processes of integration? Research and training take place in two European cities. It centres on Oslo, a target destination in many migration journeys into Europe. And it compares this with Athens, an arrival city in many of these same journeys. Arrivals and destinations, displacements and integrations – all have a soundtrack. RecBord gives focus to sound cultures in movement and circulation, pushing forward research in the developing field of music and migration studies. RecBord argues that integration must be studied from the bottom up. It focusses on everyday lived experiences of displacement. It develops methods of doing anthropology in sound, using approaches of sensory ethnography and centring on the production of soundscape recordings made by research participants in the two case study cities. This is about understanding how refugees analyse and articulate their own experiences. And this in turn is about recognising the agency of those displaced. Through training in academic excellence, human rights advocacy, and media outreach, RecBord aims to reach a diversity of listening publics: voicing new perspectives on migration, and disrupting dominant narratives of displacement.