This article investigates how sovereignty works in practice by attending to the aural public sphere of Crimea, as “Eastern music” is produced and circulated by the Crimean Tatar radio and as it penetrates the public spaces of microtransit. I argue that through the dissemination of “Eastern music” on the Crimean peninsula, Radio Meydan generated a new virtual space in which latent competing liminal sovereign imaginaries of Crimea, situated within the upheavals of Ukrainian instability and Russian aggression, were produced and negotiated. Through attention to the aural sphere—to the sounds that ears identify as symbolically resonant; to music, media, and the discourse that surrounds it—I argue for new ways of apprehending how sovereignty-in-practice insinuates itself into daily life and feeds the imaginaries that shape future political conditions.
Radio Meydan: “Eastern Music” and the Liminal Sovereign Imaginaries of Crimea
Maria Sonevytsky is an assistant professor of Music (Ethnomusicology) at the University of California, Berkeley. Recent publications include articles on aesthetics and politics during the Ukrainian Maidan Revolution, folklore after Chernobyl, and a critical organological study of the accordion and ethnic whiteness in the US. Her first book, Wild Music: Sound and Sovereignty in Ukraine, is in press. She is also a singer and accordionist.
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Maria Sonevytsky; Radio Meydan: “Eastern Music” and the Liminal Sovereign Imaginaries of Crimea. Public Culture 1 January 2019; 31 (1): 93–116. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/08992363-7181853
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