What is an Island?: The Listening School

back to events

Art Spoken Word


26/07/2019 15:00 - 17:00


Annie Mays



The Listening School is a conceptual school set up in the Galapagos Islands for three days in July (24 – 26) and linked to West Cork and the Skibbereen Arts Festival in Ireland. The school will develop a pedagogical programme around listening and sounding the archipelago in the Anthropocene with islanders. Interrogating the western gaze on islands in the Anthropocene, the Listening School will link residents and artists on the Galapagos Islands and West Cork around artistic presentations, performances, exhibitions and discussions. 


Developed through interdisciplinary research methods, The Listening School will include artistic research on sonic cultures with Paul Carter, theoretical frameworks for archipelagic thinking with Elizabeth De Loughray and pedagogical methodologies for public dialogue developed by Lois Weaver in the Public Address Programme.  The Public Address Programme combines theatrical models for public engagement that are open-ended and non-hierarchical. In the Long Table the (often-feminised) domestic ‘dinner table’ becomes a stage for public thought, where everyone in the room has the power to shift the direction of conversation, to mediate moments of tension and to make space for voices less easily heard. Similarly, Porch Sittings take seriously the idea that dialogue can happen side-by side, rather than face-to-face with an expert. It makes space for the things we wonder rather than providing a platform for the things we know. Participants are free to wonder, observe, dream, or reflect upon our collective future. It is a side-by-side, informal discussion inspired by the notion of sitting on the porch, watching the world go by. Everyone can come and go as they please, as long as they pay due respect to the silence or the flow of conversation. 

The conversations and discussions developed throughout the Listening School methodologies will be incorporated into the School Soundings.  These will be organised around three conceptualisation of Sound:


  •  Sounding the Island > Dialogical workshops with island (Sherkin/Galapagos) using horizontal public address techniques.


  • Sounding the Archipelago > Workshop to facilitate field recordings of the island environments (See Sounding the Anthropocene)


  • Sounding the Anthropocene Gaze > Public Interrogation of the perception of the islands in the Anthropocene.