SPECIAL PROJECT: Manenberg soundscapes | Children's Radio Foundation

We use radio to amplify youth voices across Africa, giving them the skills and tools to speak about their lives

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Grant and Kaylene recording their soundscape in the streets of Manenberg- Copyright: Sydelle Willow Smith/Makhulu

This week in Manenberg, the young reporters set out on a soundscape journey facilitated by the talented “Hear Be Dragons” team, Kyla Rose Smith and Hannah Loewenthal.

Using their ears as guides, they walked around familiar spaces in blindfolds and relied on sounds to locate them. Notebooks in hand, they were asked to reflect on harsh sounds, beautiful sounds, safe sounds, familiar sounds, and scary sounds. Next, they split into groups of three and walked around the neighborhood surrounding Druiwevlei Community Centre  – each group gathering sound bites that best reflected the landscape: a see-saw in the park, a hidden game room, a knock on the door, a stray dog barking, children laughing, loud music, a child crying, a woman giving directions, wind, an ambulance, footsteps. . .  .

With the help of a sound editor, the groups collated the sounds gathered to create audio narratives. Listening back to their soundscapes, the Manenberg youth reporters were able to contextualize their community and its sounds in a whole new way.

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