UCL Department of Geography


Asyrmatos (Mediterradio): A Sonic Exploration of Athens and its Mediterranean Relations

26 April 2023

Dr Western's radio show marks the centenary of James Joyce's Ulysses


Dr Tom Western (Lecturer in Social and Cultural Geography) has produced a new collaborative radio show as part of a cross-European art project. The show is part of Tom's work in Athens with the Syrian and Greek Youth Forum, who are partners in the project 'Ulysses: European Odyssey', inspired by the centenary of the publication of James Joyce's book of the same name, and funded by Creative Europe,

The radio programme – to be broadcast at 2pm (BST) on , on Movement Radio – is titled 'Asyrmatos (Mediterradio)'. Taking its name from an old neighbourhood of Athens – Ασύρματος, literally meaning ‘wireless’ or ‘radio’ – the program sounds out layers of history and Mediterranean relations.

Asyrmatos is one of the refugee districts of Athens, a place made out of displacement. In 1922, the same year that Ulysses was published, the Asia Minor Catastrophe triggered a chain of events that saw mass displacements across the Aegean and the population of Athens more than doubling.

The programme takes the neighbourhood called Ασύρματος (Radio) as its jumping off point, making a sonic choreography of Athens and its relations to the sea: a sound-cycle, an intercity symphony, a feedback loop. The programme turns the city into a sea and the sea into a radio. And the result is a set of sonic geographies and imaginations that bring past and future together.

The Ulysses project unfolds across 18 European cities in the chronological order of the novel’s 18 episodes, and consists of events animating urban public spaces, civic cross-sectoral Arts & Society symposia to be held in each city, as weall 30 artist exchange residencies.

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