A conceptual narrative sound design project presenting a semiotic perspective on the impact of name changes on identities of cities.

Presented by: Ashima Pargal

Fragmented city is a conceptual narrative based sound design project that explores how changes in the name of a city impact its identity.

Each name that a city has comes with its own set of meaning, symbols, and connotations that get embedded within the culture and become associated with it. A change in the name shifts the origin from where such references are drawn, breaking the strands that tied it with its history. While it does create space for new stories to emerge, it also leaves behind significant parts of intangible cultural heritage as in most cases, previous names don’t always receive proper documentation.

Inspired by the five names that Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar, a city in India, has been known by over the past 11 centuries and the inspirations behind their nomenclature, this piece seeks to draft a poetic experience reflecting upon the larger semiotic significance of inception of names and their transformation over time. The various influences behind the different names of this city like a lake, rocky terrain, and monarchs, are tied together by an array of drum beats that speak of the shift in the sound of the heartbeat of the city as it syncs itself to new chapters. 


Ashima is pursuing MA Digital Direction from the Royal College of Arts. She is interested in intersectional storytelling and often explores aspects of identity, culture, representation, urban landscapes, light and semiotics in her projects.

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