Creating a sound map of the world: the exhibition «Ears when Travelling» takes place in Basel


What do we notice acoustically when we move to another country or a new city? What sounds accompany us where we live? And how do sounds influence our familiarity with a place?

Ohren auf Reisen by Listening Switzerland is a cultural project about people from different countries that aims to increase cultural engagement and support diversity of discourse in society. 

The exhibition is presented at the Museum der Kulturen Basel.

As part of the project, participants with very different backgrounds create audio collages and radio reports about typical acoustic environments and their own sound experiences in their previous or current homes, thus creating an acoustic map of the world.

The focus is on how migration, identity and belonging are represented acoustically.

History of the project

After the project has already been implemented in five different cantons since 2017, a new phase began in Basel in the fall of 2023. 

Three project groups, whose members are studying German at the K5 Basel course, spent a week recording sounds from their daily lives and combining them with personal stories. 

The project is multicultural, with works by Ukrainians also featured.

The participants and co-authors were inspired by a joint visit to the exhibition «Memory» at the Basel Museum of Culture, which explores how people remember important moments, other people, and places. 

A sense of immersion in an acoustic environment

The exhibition impresses with a variety of sounds and creates a very tangible feeling of immersion in the multidimensional acoustic world represented by different people.

Audio collages take participants to other times, remind them of special life events, and create a sense of being at home. And visitors are given incredible acoustic impressions that enrich their own experience, help them better understand others and hear themselves. 

You can listen to some of the audio collages here.

The project was supported by the Christoph Merian Foundation, the Department of Culture of the Canton of Basel, the Annie and Rudolf Kaufmann-Hagenbach Foundation, and other unnamed supporters.

When: until April 21, 2024, 

Address: Museum der Kulturen Basel

Münsterplatz 20, 4051 Basel

Opening hours: Tuesday–Sunday: 10.00–17.00

Every first Wednesday of the month: 10.00–20.00


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