What is an Island? Listening Pods

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24/05/2023 00:00 - 00:00


Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre





What is an Island? The Listening School 2019

Glenn Loughran

Listening Pods



The Listening School is a conceptual school set up in the Galapagos Islands for three days in July (25 – 27) and linked to West Cork and the Skibbereen Arts Festival in Ireland. The school formed in collaboration with the 2019 Guayaquil Archipelago Conference in Guayaquil, Ecuador and developed a pedagogical programme around listening and sounding the archipelago in the Anthropocene. 


Interrogating the western eco-colonial gaze on islands in the Anthropocene, The Listening School curates artistic presentations, performances, poetry readings, exhibitions and discussions at the Casa De Cultura, on San Cristobel Island, Galapagos. 


Glenn Loughran's Listening Pods installation for Skibbereen Arts Festival disseminates the auditory, dialogical activities developed in The Listening School. Signalling the imminent threat of flooding and rising sea levels that have come to define islands and archipelagos today, Listening Pods comprises sonic representations by human and non-human actors in the world. Significantly, this installation features two recent poems by Marshall Islander poet, performance artist and educator Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner. Tell Them calls out to those in more powerful countries to do more to support island communities struggling with climate change and The Butterfly Thief is a collective reflection on the consequences of depleting bio-diversity. 


The following soundings are installed in Listening Pods:


Set 1. Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner, The Butterfly Thief (2016). 

An online collaborative poem commissioned by the Good Energy Company. 


Set 2. Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner, Tell Them (2012)


Set 3. Glenn Loughran, Galapagos Sea Lion Symphony (July, 2019) 


Set 4. Glenn Loughran, Galapagos Bird Symphony (July, 2019)


Set 5. Glenn Loughran, Galapagos Listening School (July, 2019)



These themes are further explored in a short film also by Glenn Loughran titled Wishful Sinking, shot on the disappearing island of Jambeli, Ecuador. This film is screened at Uillinn during Skibbereen Arts Festival.



What is an Island? has been developed by BAVA: Dublin School of Creative Arts (DIT/GradCAM) in partnership with CREATE: National Development Agency for Collaborative Arts and Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre, supported by The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon, to present a series of seminars, workshops and exhibitions exploring Art & Archipelagic Thinking in the 21st Century.


With thanks to artist Mary Sullivan, and Drinagh Co-op, Skibbereen for supporting the installation of Listening Pods.


The Listening School is supported by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie SkÅ‚odowska-Curie Grant Agreement No 777707.