The Sound Safari was first held in 2022 on Martinstag - an event which is celebrated each year in Germany on 11th November, predominantly by children and their parents. Traditionally, Martinstag is observed in the acts of creating homemade paper lanterns that house tealights and then walking in procession through the neighborhood at night. Though its historical context is Catholic, Martinstag for Berliners is viewed in a largely secular way and is more often referred to as Laternenfest (Lantern Festival). It is a celebration of hope and generosity in hard times (the winter), represented by light in the darkness.
It is within this context - a context in which light is accepted as a metaphor for good - that we lent our ears and eyes to the city at night in order to become more aware of the presence and effects of urban street and commercial lighting. As a group, we explored the neighborhood according to our desire to listen to, and categorize, different sources of light. We learned about the effects of light pollution on human health, biodiversity, our environment and changing climate, and our ability to view the stars.