Corporeal Interventions and the Contemporary Sounds of Keening

In: Intervening Spaces

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This chapter discusses ritual sound as an intervention on the body that enacts respatialisation, creating a space inbetween, where there is the potential for transformation. This anthropological research investigates the ritual sounds of keening, as a corporeal intervention, within the context of the modern day Keening ceremony. In the preceding chapter Burcu Baykan examines the body not as a complete, bounded entity with distinct boundaries between interior and exterior, but rather as porous, leaky. The limits of the body’s pliability are considered here also, where boundaries potentially dissolve and spatial-corporeal divisions collapse through interventions on the body via keening sounds. Conventional notions of space are transcended in Keening ceremonies and an ambiguous space emerges. This chapter suggests an alternative experience of being and relating as an outcome of ritual sound inscribed on the body. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the potential for individual and communal transformation through inhabiting inbetween spaces.