Fists Up: Orchestrating Silence in Mexico City’s Post-Earthquake Rescuing Activities (2020)

Elisa Corona Aguilar

About this exposition

On 9 September 2017, an earthquake measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale hit Mexico City, causing the collapse of more than fifty buildings and damaging many others. As the usual urban soundscape intensified with the general chaos, the collapsed buildings and their vicinities were filled with new, unusual loudness, but there was also silence, partial and momentary. It was a hope for survivors, a call to listen again and again when there were sounds of life among the ruins. Fists raised up in the air became the generalized call for silence, a way to communicate both attention and pause in the activity around a specific place. As the media spread images of the fists up and how this signal created silence, its layered meanings became present. Through a series of interviews with participants and witnesses of the rescue activities and a compilation of journalistic text and images, I will trace the brief history and transformation of the fists up gesture, and I will explore the implications of orchestrating silence in emergency circumstances.
typeresearch exposition
last modified16/02/2020
share statusprivate
licenseCC BY-SA
published inJournal of Sonic Studies
portal issue19. Issue 19

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id name copyright license
797434 JSS Banner JSS All rights reserved
797448 picture 1_mexico-earthquake-epicenter Aguilar All rights reserved
797455 Alerta Sismica Aguilar All rights reserved
797469 pedro pardo picture 1 Aguilar All rights reserved
797473 picture 2 Aguilar All rights reserved
797483 video 1 Aguilar All rights reserved
797494 video 2 Aguilar All rights reserved
797516 video 3 Aguilar All rights reserved
798584 Central-Mexico-Earthquake-Map-USGS Aguilar All rights reserved
798593 Central-Mexico-Earthquake-Map-USGS Aguilar All rights reserved

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