In this contribution, I draw on entangled ethnographic moments recorded in October 2015 in Heidelberg (Germany) and May 2017 in the Kimberley region in Northwest Australia. I argue that respectful and careful listening (to others) is a crucial skill through which to inspire radical hope. Commonly rendered invisible by an overemphasis on representationalism, in particular ill-defined ‘opportunities’ for economic development, my aim is to bring to the forefront practices of sonic engagement with/in the world as significant performative means to counter large-scale industrialization proposals.
How do you define radical hope?
As that which can stem from (radical) collaboration and co-becoming fostered by listening carefully.
How do you see radical hope emerging or playing out in your case study?
- In the truths of myths and storytelling that contest the dwelling of allegedly objective matters of fact,
- In the sonic intra-actions of diverse collaborators and their value regimes that hint towards new forms of onto-epistemic partnership.
In the video below I speak about how to address these issues ethnographically, with reference to my work in the Kimberley (Northwest Australia):
- Carsten Wergin (2017) How Can Australian Indigenous Experience Change Western Perspectives of the World? Latest Thinking (Open Access Video Journal), LT Video Publication, DOI: https://doi.org/10.21036/LTPUB10513
- The film Naji (2015) is set at the Kimberley coast and shares a story about Bugarrigarra (Creation Time) in Northwest Australia: https://vimeo.com/111236595
- Carsten Wergin (2016) Dreamings Beyond ‘Opportunity’: The Collaborative Economics of an Aboriginal Heritage Trail. Journal of Cultural Economy 9 / 5: 488-506. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/17530350.2016.1210532
- Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing (2015) The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins, Princeton University Press. https://press.princeton.edu/titles/10581.html
- Elizabeth Povinelli (2016) Geontologies: A Requiem to Late Liberalism, Duke University Press. https://www.dukeupress.edu/geontologies
- Jonathan Lear (2008) Radical Hope: Ethics in the Face of Cultural Devastation, Harvard University Press. http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674027466
- Barad, K. (2007) Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning, Duke University Press. https://www.dukeupress.edu/meeting-the-universe-halfway