Exploring phonographic methods in Rio de Janeiro’s temporary open-air markets

Authors: Renato Frias*, Universidade Federal Do Rio De Janeiro
Topics: Urban Geography, Cultural Geography, Qualitative Research
Keywords: Open-air street markets, public spaces, soundscapes, phonographic methods, soundwalks
Session Type: Interactive Short Paper
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 1:20 PM / 3:00 PM
Room: Galerie 2, Marriott, 2nd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Street fairs, open-air markets and shopping streets are examples of public spaces associated with commercial activities found in different cities throughout the world. Such spaces have attracted the interest of geographers, anthropologists, historians and urban planners, attentive to themes like spatial distribution of markets and fairs, buying and selling rituals and the role of these spaces in local economies. This research investigates the role of sound in the internal organization and in the composition of an ambience of commercial public spaces. We conducted a series of fieldworks in four temporary open-air markets in Copacabana, an economic sub-center of the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In these fieldworks, we have utilized phonographic methods of research, including soundwalks: the recording, listening and analysis of sounds found along a walk through these markets. Preliminary results show that stallholders control price variation of products in synchrony with the rhythm and flow of visitors, based on a decentralized communication system of oral advertising that articulate numerous individual micro-decisions. This system of calls and advertisements, combined with the sounds resulting from the sociability and the production and maintenance of the market, composes an ambience that gives identity to these places.

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