Call for participation - The Listening Academy Berlin

June 04, 2024

The Listening Academy Berlin

Dates: September 3 - 7, 2024

Location: Flutgraben, Am Flutgraben 3, 12435 Berlin


Organized and facilitated by Giada Dalla Bontà, Golnoosh Heshmati, Brandon LaBelle and Suvani Suri


Emergence emphasizes critical connections over critical mass, building authentic relationships, listening with all the senses of the body and the mind. - adrienne maree brown


In the publication, Emergent Strategy, adrienne maree brown guides us to an appreciation for how complex systems are constituted by a multiplicity of small-scale interactions. This includes engaging with ways of organizing and being in community, as well as fostering ways of feeling and negotiating interdependency. Such an understanding for brown is grounded in giving attention to the living ecosystems of natural worlds, where emergence is fundamental and change abundant. From biological invention to symbiotic adaptation, emergence is positioned as a potent guide to help “grow our capacity to embody the just and liberated worlds we long for.” Following brown, this edition of The Listening Academy focuses on emergence, posing listening itself as an emergent strategy. As an emergent strategy, listening contributes to nurturing greater planetary engagement and transcultural understanding by its ability to attend to small-scale interactions, the specificities and particularities of persons and living things. This includes the capacity to listen out for the unheard and the less-than-audible, thereby shifting the borders of the sensible with its patient and persistent work, as well as opening paths for tending to the unfinished histories and broken lives that haunt our social-political worlds. 


We’re interested to research and test listening as an emergent strategy, and how it may contribute to manifesting the just and liberated worlds we long for. This will integrate a number of key concerns and directions, including: exploring ways of listening to and through conflict (witnessing and repair); attuning and re-tuning sonic sensitivities (navigating multi-agent awareness); listening as a path to creative-collaborative embodiments (feelings of interdependency); acoustic justice and the language of listening (becoming a listening-citizen); and using collective listening as a tool for imagining possible future communities (noticing and sensing otherwise).


Through collaborative sharing, reflection and investigation, we’ll follow these and other directions in order to map listening as an emergent strategy. This will include material testing and creative methodology, involving ourselves in experiences and experiments in listening as well as relating to our environments. Through the exchange of individual and shared knowledges, we aim to deepen understanding of listening’s role in shaping change. 



We invite letters of interest from a broad range of researchers and practitioners. Please share with us your interest in participating, along with what interests you about listening: what is listening for you, and how does it relate to your research and practice? Along with a letter of interest, please include a short CV. Please send us your materials by June 26, 2024, to:


The Listening Academy Berlin is facilitated by Giada Dalla Bontà, Golnoosh Heshmati, Brandon LaBelle and Suvani Suri. For participants there is a requested donation of 75 euro, which will help in providing material and technical support. Participants are responsible for their travel and accommodations. We also strive to create a safe, nurturing and enriching environment. Please share with us any particular needs you might have.




The Listening Academy is an independent research academy focusing on listening as a philosophical, artistic, social and somatic issue. This entails a relation to sonic, performative and ecological practices, sound studies research, community work and experimental pedagogy. The Academy offers a generative and nurturing framework for researchers and practitioners to engage in collaborative exchange and the sharing of knowledge, as well as workshopping new directions. This includes bringing together individual approaches and work, and creating opportunities for material exploration and building new collaborations. 


Giada Dalla Bontà is a researcher, curator and writer focusing on the intersection between sound, politics, art, underground and experimental practices, with a particular emphasis on unofficial cultures in the late Soviet Union and in contemporary practices in Central and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, Central Asia, the Baltics. Throughout her career, she has worked with Lisson Gallery, Mondrian Foundation, HNI Rotterdam, Venice Biennale, and collaborated with independent art projects and experimental music labels. She has won several scholarships and grants, including Valand Academy - University of Göteborg in collaboration with Bard University and De Appel. She is based in Berlin and Copenhagen, where she currently holds a PhD fellowship at the Department of Arts and Cultural Studies, University of Copenhagen in collaboration with the Sound Studies Lab. She recently organized the symposium What Sounds Do - New Directions in an Anthropology of Sound in Copenhagen, and SoundEast- Sonic Inquiries Into Cultures from Central and Eastern Europe & Central Asia.


Golnoosh Heshmati is an interdisciplinary artist and curator based between Rotterdam and Tehran. Her practice combines artistic and curatorial approaches, concentrating on collective practices. She creates new dialogues within the partial, fragmented personal everyday life archives, using text, sound, voice and video while exploring listening as a timely, open-ended practice. Her ongoing project explores the everyday life of a residential dwelling in Tehran where she and her family have lived for decades. She is the co-founder of Rabt space, a roaming curatorial studio focusing on sonic practices. She is also a member of Khamoosh, a participatory transdisciplinary research community that mediates conservation and restoration by exploring the sonic heritage of Iran. 


Brandon LaBelle is an artist, writer and theorist living in Berlin. His work focuses on questions of agency, community, pirate culture, and poetics, which results in a range of collaborative and extra-institutional initiatives, including: The Listening Biennial and Academy (2021-), Communities in Movement (2019-23), Oficina de Autonomia (2017), The Living School (with South London Gallery, 2014-16), The Imaginary Republic (2014-19), Dirty Ear Forum (2013-21), Surface Tension (2003-2008), and Beyond Music Sound Festival (1998-2002). In 1995 he founded Errant Bodies Press, an independent publishing project supporting work in sound art and studies, performance and poetics, artistic research and contemporary political thought. His publications include: Dreamtime X (2022), Acoustic Justice (2021), The Other Citizen (2020), Sonic Agency (2018), Lexicon of the Mouth (2014), Acoustic Territories (2010, 2019), and Background Noise (2006, 2015).


Suvani Suri is an artist and researcher based in New Delhi. She works with sound, text, and intermedia assemblages and has been exploring various modes of transmission such as podcasts, auditory texts, sonic environments, objects, installations, fictions, experimental workshops, and live interventions. Her research interests lie in the relational and speculative capacities of listening, voice, aural/oral histories, and the spectral dispositions of sound that can activate critical imaginations. Alongside, she composes sound for video and performance works and teaches at several universities and educational spaces where her pedagogical interests conflate with a sustained inquiry into the digital and sonic sensorium. Suvani’s works have been exhibited at Kunsthalle Bern (2022), Five Million Incidents (2020), Khoj Curatorial Intensive South Asia (2019), Kochi-Muziris Biennale (2018), Mumbai Art Room (2018), Sound Reasons Festival VI (2018). As part of a collective inquiry, she co-conceived a telephonic platform/ exhibition, Out of Line (2019), which received the FICA Public Art Grant (2021).