Arctic Auditories – Hydrospheres in the High North is an interdisciplinary project based in the Humanities, which seeks to develop strategies for understanding environmental change through sound.
The project focuses on water environments and draws on methodologies from feminist and sound studies, human geography, cultural anthropology and from local knowledges to raise awareness to watery soundscapes in the Nordic region. The ultimate aim of the project is to deliver innovative, empowering and democratic listening strategies to help individuals and societies cultivate radical ideas about how different forms of engagement can contribute to sustainability.
In the preliminary stage, we will identify Arctic waters for the project, and investigate and represent them through techniques of sound mapping. Using interviews and participant observation, we will analyse the impact of communal, mindful, artistic, and corporeal activities. The research team will subsequently collaborate with five local community groups in Northern Norway/Sápmi to perform soundwalks and sound sittings in their surroundings and to record the soundscapes. On this basis, we will develop soundwalks and -sittings, create podcasts, conduct workshops, and co-curate a museum exhibition to learn about sounds and the valences attached to them.
The concepts of emplacement, connectivity and imaginative narratives for positive futures form the project’s theoretical foundations. Applying these theories to our empirical data, we consider how listening processes can build community knowledge to complexify and advance existing scientific maps. Such, the extended understanding of emplacement will contribute to sustainable futures.