Listening To Voices Project in conjunction with Hearing Voices Ireland (HVI)

Listening To Voices

Listening To Voices Project in conjunction with Hearing Voices Ireland (HVI)

Listening to Voices: Creative Disruptions with the Hearing Voices Network is 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. Launched on 12th January 2016, the project has now released a number of innovative resources that explore the experience of voice-hearing, including an immersive audio work, a booklet and an interactive website. These can all be accessed via the project website: The project is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (Grant No. AH/M009181/1) as part of their Connected Communities Programme.

Listen (If You Dare): An Unlikely Companion to Voice-Hearing is a radical new booklet about voicehearing. It explores what it is like to hear voices and attempts to help the reader experience something of that too. The companion has been created with those who provide support to voice-hearers in mind, be they community psychiatric teams, psychiatrists, mental health workers, friends or family.

Listen (If You Dare) is the fruit of a unique process of collaboration. It was co-authored by members of Time and Space Hearing Voices group (Glasgow), Hearing Voices Belfast, Hearing Voices Ireland, the project researchers (Dr Gail McConnell, Lecturer in English at Queen’s University Belfast; Dr Jo Collinson Scott, Lecturer in Commercial Music at the University of the West of Scotland; and Dr Deborah Maxwell, Lecturer in Interactive Media at the University of York), sound artist Pedro Rebelo and designer Sara Nevay. They met together at a weekend retreat to reflect on, share and broaden their experiences of listening and being listened to. This retreat and the follow up discussions resulted in
the production of text, which was subsequently given back to participants who ‘disrupted’ it using their own voices, and representations of the kinds of voices experienced by voice-hearers. These additions and alterations have been represented in the final booklet using creative typography, making a highly original representation of the disruptive, exciting, challenging and productive nature of listening to voices. Listen (If You Dare) is free to download from the project website.

The booklet is accompanied by an immersive audio work featuring members of the voice-hearing community. The work introduces the listener to the experience of listening to voices through short narrative fragments, descriptions articulating how voices relate to the acoustic world and enacted performances of voice-hearing. It can be experienced via the project website, designed by Hadi Mehrpouya, where there is also an interactive version of one section of the Listen (If You Dare) text.
On 12th January 2016 Listening to Voices launched the publication of these works at a public event in the Centre for Contemporary Art, Glasgow, attended by many from the voice-hearing community, with special guest Rachel Waddingham of the Hearing Voices Network England and ISPS UK.

You can listen to the audio piece here…


Click here to see the Listening to Voices press release