Soundscape Politics in Mumbai

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In Mumbai, “India’s loudest city,” a growing number of environmental and public health activists have focused their efforts on combating what they deem “noise pollution.” The sounds these activists designate most often as “pollutants” centrally include those produced within the context of religious and political functions in public spaces, thereby making “noise pollution” a highly contested subject in Mumbai’s civic discourse. This lecture will begin to explore the role of sound and audibility in issues of politics, communalism, regulation of public health, and management of urban space in Mumbai.

Julian Lynch is a Joint PhD student in anthropology and ethnomusicology at UW-Madison. His dissertation research focuses on sound, politics, and public space in Mumbai, India.