Broadcast: Events

Film - The Voices of the rainforest (Steven Feld)

Thursday 30 January 18:30 until 20:00
Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts auditorium

Rare UK screening of this experiential rock-umentary about the ecological and aesthetic coevolution of Papua New Guinea’s Bosavi rainforest region and its inhabitants. Through sound and image, the film immerses viewers in the rainforest, and makes audible myriad connections between the everyday sounds of the rainforest biosphere and the creative practices of singing to, with, and about it by the Bosavi people.

Produced and directed by Steven Feld, author of Sound and Sentiment (Feld, 1982) who worked in Bosavi 1976-1999 and recorded the original (1991) Voices of the Rainforest CD with Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart. This 25th anniversary edition is a collaboration with film maker Jeremiah Richards, produced in 7.1 at Skywalker sound with acclaimed editor Dennis Leonard. All film screening and future sale proceeds benefit the Bosavi Peoples Fund, advocating for environmental and cultural justice in a remote part of Papua New Guinea.



Film website:


Steven Feld is an anthropologist, filmmaker, sound artist/performer, and Distinguished Professor of Anthropology Emeritus at the University of New Mexico. After studies in music, film, and photography, he received a Ph.D in Anthropological Linguistics at Indiana University in 1979. From 1976 he began a research project in the Bosavi rainforest of Papua New Guinea. Results include the monograph Sound and Sentiment (republished 2012 in a 3rd and 30th anniversary edition), a Bosavi-English-Tok Pisin Dictionary, and essays, some published in his co-edited books Music Grooves and Senses of Place. From this work he also produced audio projects including Voices of the Rainforest. Key theoretical themes developed in this work are the anthropology of sound and voice; acoustemology, particularly regarding eco-cosmology as relational ontology; emotive sensuality; and experimental, dialogic writing, recording, and filmmaking. 

Posted on behalf of: School of Media, Film and Music
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Last updated: Thursday, 16 January 2020