Theme 2: The soundscapes of the Anthropocene

The aim of Theme 2 of the Digital Environmental Humanities course was twofold: 1) to increase the students’ awareness, understanding and sensitivity to how the Anthropocene is evident in their local environment; 2) for the students to become alert and cognisant of the loss of biodiversity and devastation of ecosystems in the Anthropocene.

To achieve these aims, the students were tasked to keep a sound journal over a period of four days. For the first two days the students were tasked to record the sounds that they were surrounded by. The students were asked to evaluate if the recorded sounds can be regarded as a soundscape of the Anthropocene. During the last two days the students were encouraged to seek and record the sounds of birds. From these records the students were asked to discuss “What is it like to listen to birds in the Anthropocene?” (Whitehouse 2015:53).

The last component of the brief required that the students interview their parents and grandparents in order to provide an account of the animals and bird life that existed in their neighbourhood, city or town when they were growing up. The students were guided to consider how the interviews draw attention to the ways in which humans have altered the environment.

A selection of the students’ blogs can be viewed by clicking on the following links:

Zerista Badenhorst 

Amy Carrington

Denel Chetty

Sarah Coppings

Amelia Daubermann

Jessica Dewes

Shannon du Plooy

Elizabeth Forssman

Wesley Human

Keina Jooste

Kelly Liebenberg

Kutlwano Mokgojwa

Nastassja Nicolet

Kimberley Spence

Anike Stander

Coral Taylor

Natasha Thompson

Tina van der Breggen

Bianca van Staden

Kara Verster

Christine Vos

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