listening to voices

Listening to Voices

Role: Co-Investigator
Timeline: Mar 2015 – Feb 2016

Listening to Voices: Creative Disruptions with the Hearing Voices Network was a research project that tries to understand how we can listen to voices that we find difficult, disruptive or challenging, whether these seem to come from inside or outside ourselves. It has been created by voice-hearers, academics and independent artists who are interested in asking why and how we silence voices in ourselves or others and how we might help increase understanding about the experience of hearing voices. Together we have created a companion to voice-hearing – Listen (If you Dare) – an interactive web version of the companion and a sound piece.

These works are challenging and are intended to raise awareness, empathy and understanding about the nature of voice-hearing experiences among support providers, families, friends and the wider public. They create space not only for voice-hearers, but for the voices they hear to be made visible and audible. These works seek to subvert and disrupt traditional ways of thinking about voice-hearing experiences and the silencing strategies that stop us from listening. By doing this we hope to encourage the practice and develop the skill of listening to voices that often go unheard.

Listening to Voices brought together voice hearers, independent artists and academics from Ireland and Scotland via an intensive residential writing retreat to develop a ‘Listening Guide’ that challenges authorative and conventional single-voiced narratives. This co-developed project fostered strong relationships between the research team and voice hearers support groups.

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Funded by: Arts & Humanities Research Council (£51K FEC)