Listening to the Semana Santa

Audio-visual essay prepared for "Invisible Places, Sounding Cities", Viseu (Portugal) 2014. The accompanying paper can be downloaded here, and the full symposium program is also available:


The Semana Santa of Seville can be understood as a re-imagining of the city through a reconfiguring of the senses: the visual, the auditory, the olfactory and the tactile. The city and the self are transformed through the Semana Santa, the city's major annual fiesta, in a form of multi-sensory theatre in which the urban landscape becomes the stage, co-habited by actors and audience alike. This paper will explore the soundscapes of the Semana Santa, the complex matrix of acoustic communication that underpins them, and how they are shaped by Seville's particular urban landscape, where sound and architecture take on a reciprocal and harmonious relationship.

All recordings © Duncan Whitley and British Library 2013, available in British Library collection C1338. Except documentation of Cristo de Burgos © Duncan Whitley 2012.

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