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How can ‘collective listening’ address power imbalances between communities, artists and practitioners?

21st April 2023 @ 8:00 am - 22nd April 2023 @ 5:00 pm

CRiSAP Researcher Hannah Kemp-Welch will be presenting her research at the following two conferences:


How can ‘collective listening’ address power imbalances between communities, artists and practitioners?

Socially-engaged art projects are rarely initiated by the communities they seek to serve. Though arts organisation’s efforts (consultation, co-production and partnership models) go some way to address this, inequality often remains ingrained in projects from their inception. As a practitioner and researcher, my work critically reviews tensions around participation, ownership and representation in such projects, seeking strategies that respond to and mitigate issues of inequality within artist-community relationships. My research asks, how can social art challenge uneven power-relations, even when set within frameworks serving neoliberal agendas? 

My presentation proposes that ‘collective listening’can serve as a levelling tool, applied as a useful and usable model for dissecting power dynamics. Sound arts theory proposes distinct models of listening as an artistic practice (embodied, deep, imaginative etc). I take these out of the abstract and develop them within new contexts, to propose tangible and effective ways to listen that can support equitable creative relationships. I will share insights on listening collected from interviews with artists, and introduce listening activities that can be embedded into social art projects. My provocation asks – how can an artistic and collective practice of listening be generative for creative endeavours with others? How could this support equitable relationships?

For conference registration information please see the links above.


21st April 2023 @ 8:00 am
22nd April 2023 @ 5:00 pm


venues in Peckham, South East London