The Missing Voice

Walking piece details

Duration15 minutes

Part urban guide, part detective story, part film noir, this audio walk transports individual listeners on foot through the streets and alley ways of Spitalfields, a historic part of London next to the City. Intimate, even conspiratorial in tone, it entwines the listener in an elusive narrative that shifts through space and time, confession, conjecture and dream.

In 1999, The Missing Voice (Case Study B) began in Whitechapel Library. The visitor was handed a portable CD player and told to go the crime section and to seek out a book called Dream of Darkness (1989) by Reginald Hill. A woman’s voice starts confiding: A woman has gone missing. A detective’s voice is heard. Some evidence, in the form of recordings and sightings, is found.

Since 2005, the library no longer exists. The building is now part of The Whitechapel Gallery. Listeners these days spend a few minutes in the gallery before heading out to re-trace the same route from Spitalfields towards the City of London. Many of the landmarks and signposts the narrator notes are the same: clothing stores and news stands; an empty church; the concourse of a busy station. Some things have changed. All the time the voice of the woman guides the listener and confides in them as they wander the streets of the city and the spaces of the mind.

Babak Fakhamzadeh

Netherlands / Iran / Brazil

Babak was working in ICT4D before it had a name (2001), never really left it, and knows how to throw together a pretty mean combination of a wide array of programming languages, both frontend and backend. He brought photomarathons to Africa (2007) and won ...

Near London, UK

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