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Institute of Contemporary Arts
Autism And The City: A Sonic Diary, Rebekah Ubuntu, UK 2021, 11 min. 27 sec.

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The sonic diary of a London artist with autism illuminates their struggle to overcome auditory overwhelm and rekindle love for the city’s rich soundscapes.

For this project I wanted to explore intentional listening through the prism of my experience as a person recently diagnosed with autism. Prior to my diagnosis my relationship with the ambient sound of urban London consisted mainly of managing my auditory overwhelm. Since keeping a ‘sonic diary’ to document my auditory experiences I better understand the impact that sonic landscapes have on my neurodivergence, which, in turn, has opened me up to listening possibilities I never knew existed.

Field recordings and fleeting sounds bring my daily aural experiences to life painting an intimate portrait of ephemeral sonic moments that I hope will encourage listeners to become more aware of their own auditory journeys and, in so doing, to appreciate the uniqueness of the listening experience across all neurodivergent spectrums.