Brian Friel Theatre, 20 University Square
17th & 18th March: 4.00pm – 9.00pm
Other Registers – The Sound and Silence of Police Violence in Rio de Janeiro
Other Registers is an immersive sound installation that uses specialist software to transform official quantitative data about police violence in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, into sound in a process called ‘sonification’. Visitors are invited to experience the data, played as sound via eight loudspeakers arranged in a circle. The installation has so far been shown twice in Rio, and now comes to Belfast in the first staging outside of Brazil.
Police violence is a long-standing issue in Rio, and the statistics for deaths resulting from police operations in the city are shocking. As Amnesty International has pointed out, this violence disproportionally affects young black men, especially those living in the city’s favelas. The high numbers of killings of civilians by the police are often tolerated by Brazilian society, in general. Members of the police forces are also killed whilst on duty.
In the spreadsheets produced by Rio de Janeiro’s Institute of Public Security, statistics about deaths resulting from police operations appear in a section with the title “Other Registers”, as if they were somehow insignificant, or less important than the rest. By giving this title to the installation, and putting the data on police violence at its centre, we aim to highlight the meaning of these statistics through a technological and abstract experience.
Other Registers was developed collaboratively by Brazil and UK-based artists and researchers as part of the Creative Lab on Social Change through Creativity and Culture – Brazil (2015-2016), coordinated by People’s Palace Projects and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Newton Fund.
CREDITS Original concept and implementation: Nicolas Espinoza, Tori Holmes, Rafael Puetter (Rafucko), Samuel van Ransbeeck, Guga Ferraz (artwork). Sound equipment: Sonic Arts Research Centre. Venue: Brian Friel Theatre. Support for Belfast staging: Arts and Humanities Research Council; School of Arts, English and Languages, QUB; Imagine Festival.
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Photo: cyroasilva (CC BY 2.0)