The Voice of the Other retreat, held as part of a project on more-than-human political participation, was held in September at The Lynhurst, a large house situated on the cliffside in the coastal town of Lynton, England. Twelve academics and artists got together to ask questions such as: What does it mean to create the stages for the voices of non-human or non-living participants to be heard? How can ‘we’ (a term that became reciprocally-problematized) listen differently? And what role do the arts – drama, music, poetry, digital art – play in authorizing the voices of non-human and non-living actors? Over the week we wove these, and related questions, into the sharing of our research interests and practices.
There were lovely moments of connection, within our discussion sessions but also over meals, walks, playing music and unwinding at the end of the days. We explicitly tried to bring non-humans into the fold – for example, using the house and the locality themselves as connectors, engaging with the spaces through events that had occurred in the past. A recurring theme was taking seriously the form, in addition to the content, of claims and practices of participation. How they made, through which material and technical apparatuses and using what modes of expression.