This article argues that pervasive drama has the capacity to illuminate the cultural politics of urban space, by highlighting microsociological power relations that shape everyday movement. It suggests that the medium does this in two ways: firstly, through its use of “pervasive sound narratives” that actively defamiliarize urban space and, secondly, through the auditory technologies that disseminate this narrative, which draw attention to everyday engagements with mobile media that are ordinarily beneath our notice. These arguments respond to Anderson’s call for further research into the “productive listening potentials” of aural narrative (Anderson 2012), by exploring specific ways that pervasive drama can foster more meaningful and politically-engaged experiences of place. Drawing on The Memory Dealer as a case-study, narrative extracts and focus group findings from the drama are used to illustrate pervasive drama’s specific, politicised “listening potentials”.
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