Author Falzon, Mark-Anthony
Article Title What’s in a Bang? Fireworks and the Politics of Sound in Malta
Full text http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/1206331213509531
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Source Space and culture. vol. 18, no. 2 (May 2015), p.143-155
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Call number Article
Journal Title Space and culture.
Copy vol. 18, no. 2 (May 2015), p.143-155
ISSN 1206-3312
Co author Cassar, Christine M
Brief substance Festa is what people in Malta call the annual celebration of town and village Catholic patron saints. Fireworks, including loud petards, are one of its ingredients. Anthropologists working in Malta have tended to think of them as a sort of aural backdrop to festa. The point of the article is to foreground the sound of fireworks as an anthropological object in its own right. It is correct to say that there is no festa without fireworks. They constitute part of its multisensory Gesamstkunstwerk: their penetrative power means that they purvey festa to individual bodies; their sound structures its temporality; there is much sonic rivalry between different festa groups; and they spatialize festa in a way that renders their location ambiguous. Fireworks are “sound” to some and “noise” to others. For the latter, they go against the (largely middle-class) expectations of a “proper” soundscape. The contest is played out in the form of discourses on gender as well as the notion of “moderation,” itself seen as a corollary of a European modernity
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Full text http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/1206331213509531

 
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