La Semaine du Son (The Week of Sound) Charter was presented at UNESCO on the 18th of January 2016 with a full auditorium and personalities such as Dr. Shelly Chadha, Technical Officer, Prevention of Deafness Prevention of Blindness & Deafness Unit of the World Health Organisation and José van Dam, lyrical singer and promoteur of La Semaine du Son.
Decibels sponsored The Week of Sound UK’s Project Director, Maria Ponce and Graphic Designer, Mariela Albani to be part of this event and to establish contact with the international community that organises this project around the world.
The ceremony at UNESCO started at 19:20 hrs and Christian Hugonnet, President founder of The Week of Sound, started the official presentation of the Charter of The Week of Sound to the members of UNESCO, sponsors and promoteurs.
Irina Bokova, General Director of UNESCO started the presentation followed by a welcoming address by Philippe Lalliot, Ambassador of France to UNESCO, and Khalil Karam, Lebanese Ambassador to UNESCO. Also, Dr. Shelly Chadha, Technical Officer, Prevention of Deafness Prevention of Blindness & Deafness Unit of the World Health Organisation and the testimony of Christine Kelly, president of the European Museum of Media.
Different French personalities introduced the five themes of the Charter: Ear health, Sound environment, Recording and Diffusion techniques, Relationship between image and sound, and Musical and Sound expression.
Then, the different countries where The Week of Sound has been organised were presented: Belgium, Switzerland, Canada, Argentina, Uruguay, Venezuela, Mexico, Ivory Coast and Colombia.
England/UK was mentioned as one of the next countries that will organise The Week of Sound alongside Hungary.
The night was closed with a fantastic concert with the trio of Jean Louis Rassinfosse (bass) and Jean Philipe Collard- Neven (piano) and José van Dam (lyrical singer).
At the end of the event we had the opportunity to meet other organisers of The Week of Sound around the world, people from Belgium and Venezuela. Also, we met sponsors that support La Semaine du Son such as Dolby.
We went to the talk called “The listening practices of the youth today”.
Dr. Shelly Chadha, Technical Officer, Prevention of Deafness Prevention of Blindness & Deafness Unit of the World Health Organisation (WHO) presented a talk called “The hearing in Europe” and worldwide. She gave statistics about hearing problems in Europe, where she said that more than 4% of the population, male and female, has some hearing conditions. WHO works with the vision in which no one experiences hearing loss due to avoidable causes; and those that do have hearing loss could achieve their full potential through rehabilitation and education. WHO estimates that over 1 billion young people are at risk of developing hearing loss due to unsafe listening habits. WHO estimates that nearly 50% of young people listen to their headphones at loud volume and long period of time.
What can be done about it? At an individual level, users of devices can reduce the volume, limit the time of exposure, protect their hearing in noisy environments and have their hearing check regularly. Society is also responsible to create a safe listening environment. Parents and teachers are a key to educate children about listening practices. It is also the responsibility of the manufacturer of listening devices to integrate technology for safe listening. Responsibility also lies with the managers of various venues, concerts, discos, etc which are frequented by young people and it is for them to respect the limits and create a safe listening environment. Also it is the responsibility of governments to create legislation about listening devices, venues and environment as a whole.
Other specialists offer information as well during the talk;
On the 20th of January, our participation in La Semaine du Son, Paris, France was finished by a meeting with Christian Hugonnet who was helping us to make contacts with other people in the UK to create a wider network.
Many thanks indeed to Decibels, Ken Carter, Founder & Promoter of the Week of Sound UK and especially to Philip de Ros who is an Old Oratorian, lives in Spain and helped to sponsor, through his recent generous donation to Decibels, this important learning experience visit to Paris.
Project Director of The Week of Sound UK
Read about this event in French on the official La Semaine du Son website here