Raquel Castro is a PhD on Communication and Arts about Sound, Space and Acoustic Identity (New University of Lisbon). Among other films, she directed the documentary Soundwalkers which was presented in Subtropics Festival in Miami and screened at various conferences of sound art and documentary film festivals. She is currently working on a new documentary series called “Soa”, to be broadcasted by RTP2 in 2020. As aaquel is the founder and director of Invisible Places International Symposium and the environmental sound art festival Lisboa Soa. Currently, she is a fellow researcher at CICANT – Centre for Research in Applied Communication, Culture and New Technologies under the project “Aural Experience, Territory and Community”, funded by FCT.

Aural identity, neighborhood and community

Central to the notion of a sound ecology is the role of sound in the definition of place – more than a notion of diffuse and abstract space. One of its goals is to document this role and determine the daily rhythms of a community. What defines an acoustic community is the existence of soundmarks. The boundary of each community is defined precisely by the limits drawn by the acoustic horizon of these unique sounds. When noise is so intense that obliterates all the soundmarks, it prevents the exchange of words and does not create singular identity but solitary individualism, we are facing a non-place. Our thesis is that spaces occupied by an undifferentiated and insignificant sound mass – traffic noise, for example – where we tend to isolate ourselves, are homogeneous universes which eliminate the singular identity of the individual or the group.