China and Inner Asia
Organized Panel Session
I explore the formation of the auditory experience during the Great Leap Forward by focusing on the dynamic interactions between radio workers in Hebei Provincial Radio Station and factory workers in Duzhuang Iron Factory and Tianjin Steel Factory in Hebei province. The Great Leap Forward as a set of production relations, I argue, had such a profound impact on sound production that it made industrial production and reproduction the goal of radio listening.
With the Duzhuang case presented the auditory condition during the early period of the Great Leap Forward when the production and dissemination of sound were still separated, the case of Tianjin Steel Factory was one in a later period that had the boundaries blurred. The reasons that led to two contrasting sound relations were not only that the latter was technically more mature than the former, but also because the former was deeply located in a rural environment where the circuit of sound elements was unable to complete on its own.In the latter case, due to the technological advancements, the whole city was within radio in the sense that everyone had a relation with radio by either becoming a radio announcer or an audience who heard the praising voice and continued to work.