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The collaborative research project Geographies of Freedom, initiated and developed by Egbert Alejandro Martina and Miguel Peres dos Santos, investigates the ways in which geography, architecture and the law produce, maintain, and spatialise freedom. It consists of a publication, a film, an exhibition at Het Nieuwe Instituut and a series of public events, centered around the questions “What is freedom and what constitutes a free life?”  

The second of the three Research Meetings in the context of the project is about Law. As the project's initiators put it:

"We will explore how “voice” is figured in the law. We will analyse the role that “voice” and “speech” play in the judicial soundscape. Speech as well as listening/hearing are, in a sense, foundational to law and authority (consider the Dutch word for authority “gezag” and obedience “gehoorzaam”). The speaking voice of Claes was deliberately denied by the court—and thus omitted in the transcripts of the case—because Claes was considered “a slave.” What are the implications of the decision of the court for “Black freedom” and Black personhood”? What can the act of omitting Claes’s voice tell us about the acoustics of legal proceedings more generally? What are the specific features of the acoustic environment of the courtroom? How does the law conceive of “voice,” “speech,” and “sound” in different adjudicative and regulatory contexts? How might we perceive other modes of speech? How does the law spatialize bodies, voices, affects?" 

13:30 – 16:30

Het Nieuwe Instituut
Museumpark 25
3015 CB Rotterdam


The capacity is limited. In order to join the meeting and participate in the exchange, please leave your name, e-mail address and a motivation (of no more than 150 words) via the project's Contact form

Delany Boutkan, Marten Kuijpers, Klaas Kuitenbrouwer, Setareh Noorani
Alex Walker