The Line in Conflict

Research meeting in foyer of the Righton Building, Manchester Metropolitan University at 4pm on 7th November 2012.

**Posted on behalf of Dr Toby Heys, MIRIAD research fellow**

This is a call to researchers, musicians, artists, activists, and teachers, who are interested in the role that the ‘line’ plays in warzones, protests, stand offs, strikes, or sieges. Front lines, picket lines, borderlines, ghetto lines are all relevant here as are the mediums that echo and reflect the movements and transgressions across them. Thus how does the line symbolically and practically function in newspaper reports, TV, film, Internet, painting, textiles, music, or any other media that engages with conflict.

My personal interest in this field of research can be read below but I would invite practitioners and theorists from other disciplines to come and discuss possible future research, writing, performance and artwork collaborations.

SoundLines: A noisy rhythmanalysis of how frequencies are used to demarcate territory during times of conflict

This research intends to investigate the ways in which music, rhythm, noise and silence are deployed to score psychological and physiological presence and identity into spaces/places that are territorially contested. Examples of music being utilised to demarcate borders and to form zones of exclusion include more obvious examples such as –

* The use of marching bands by Orangemen on their marches through Irish nationalist and Catholic areas.

* The transmission of anthems and invective over loudspeakers at the border between South and North Korea.

Whilst more esoteric and somewhat territorially abstracted, yet equally as divisive and violent examples can be found in –

* The playing of funk carioca at clubs and events in Rio de Janeiro’s favelas. This results in what are called ‘corridors of death’ being choreographed by rival gang members who maim and kill each other in time to the music when one steps over the corridor’s lines.

* The rendition of a “sad song” by Palestinian violinist Wissam Tayem, under orders from Israeli soldiers at a roadblock near Nablus (a Palestinian city in the northern West Bank). He was subsequently jeered and laughed at before being released to go on his way.