{ listening }


Listening, in a deep, embodied sense, is not about objects, but about subjectivities. It is about collecting stories of lived experience. Stories of here and elsewhere. Stories of togetherness and sometimes stories, sadly, of not being listened to. Listening, and indeed narration, is a crucial part of agency and creating new collectivities, as well as enabling empathy. In Preparing for the Not-Yet, Jeanne van Heeswjik describes:

“…an embodied experience of relationship. It requires a willingness to listen. Not only hearing what the other has to say, but becoming sensitive to how someone else is. We learn that by sharing notions of how we see ourselves where we are.”

To induce a deep, embodied listening, is an attempt to learn from and empathise with one another, though we might come from different places and have different experiences of life. “What is important in that learning process,” continues van Heeswijk, “is ‘allowing’ for one’s own ideas and even ideals to be withheld momentarily, in order to understand what might emerge from the fact that all these differences are there together.”
In communities across the world, the everyday is something experienced both individually and collectively, in our similarities and differences; a kind of lived narration of routine and small surprises; a politics of our day-to-day lives; a series of stories we embody, whether we listen to them or not.
But what kinds of stories do we tell every day, and which ones do we listen to? When you meet a stranger at the bus stop, who do you tell about it? How can a child’s imagination change an old bridge into a monster’s palace? A laundry line into a superhero’s wardrobe? What makes a story worth telling? Does a good story have to be true? What stories lie out in the open and which ones hide in the shadows? Can we tell exciting stories about things we don’t usually notice? How do we express joy in our daily routines, in places we often go, foods we eat, and people we meet? What makes us feel at home every day? What does it mean to belong to a community? How can an archive of the everyday be fictionalised or situate itself outside of normative structures of time? Does our neighbourhood tell us stories too, and how do we hear them? How often do we tell our own stories, and how often do we simply listen?


Milagros Bedoya, Olivia Berkowicz, Hannah Clarkson, Cherine Hussein, Konstantina Pappa, Matilda Tucker, Didem Yildirim