Sounds of War
Although at first the work Sounds of War presents itself with a degree of playfulness and humour, a close inspection reveals its painful undertone. The sound installation by Laetitia Sonami is comprised by a series of toilet plungers retrofitted with speakers that audiences are encouraged to engage with. As viewers interact with the modified domestic objects, placing them over their ears, a soundtrack plays audio sourced by the artist from Youtube videos, which feature the haunting voices of women and children in several war zones (Srebrenica, Darfur, Fallujah, Gaza and Iraq). There’s an additional image accompanying the installation, featuring the darkened silhouette of a woman over a bright, hot-pink background. Emulating a popular advertising campaign where Apple introduced personal listening devices and the idea of a ‘personalised soundtrack’, Sonami highlights the unfathomable contrast between the sonic presence of bodies surrounded by either privilege or devastation and war.