Listening to the Environment, from a Queer Perspective

Seita, Sophie and Seda, Ergul. 2023. 'Listening to the Environment, from a Queer Perspective'. In: October Digbeth First Friday. Grand Union, Birmingham, United Kingdom 6 October 2023. [Conference or Workshop Item]

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Abstract or Description

October Digbeth First Friday: ‘Listening to the Environment, from a Queer Perspective’ with The Hildegard Von Bingen Society for Gardening Companions

As part of Digbeth First Friday, Grand Union hosted 'Listening to the Environment, from a Queer Perspective' with Seda Ergul and Sophie Seita (as representatives of The Hildegard von Bingen Society for Gardening Companions). This workshop took the form of a sound walk, during which participants discovered new ways of listening to the environment to create an immersive experience. The short walk took place along the Canal outside Grand Union Gallery, making various stops at its gardening sites along the way.

At each stop, participants were given listening prompts inspired by Pauline Oliveros and Fluxus scores, then responded with a short writing exercise, and engaged in conversations surrounding topics like: queer ecology and community; biodiversity; perception and sensorial discovery; sites of memory; regional and local history; human and non-human co-habitation, and other related topics.

The workshop drew on critical walking methodologies (asking who gets to walk where and how, what kind of publics are produced against the backdrop of well-being and health, but also legacies of colonial and environmental harm), in turn, informed by queer and feminist theory, decolonial approaches, disability studies, performance studies, and environmental activism. Drawing on their own expertise and personal experiences, the Sophie Seita and Seda Ergul also brought a specifically feminist, queer, and migrant perspective to this workshop.

The workshop foregrounded a spirit of playfulness and curiosity. Participants were invited to experiment with ideas around spontaneity and intuition, habits of attention and movement, slowness, presence, and embodied forms of listening. Following this workshop, Niva B performed Umbilical Stories, Navel Sensualities and Reproductive Desires by the canal side.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Other)

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6 October 2023Completed

Event Location:

Grand Union, Birmingham, United Kingdom

Date range:

6 October 2023

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Date Deposited:

26 Mar 2024 11:17

Last Modified:

26 Mar 2024 11:17


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