An inclusive art practice. A type of art-making that is accessible to as wide a group of participants/audience as possible. A type of art-making in which social benefit is an important outcome. Here I want to consider the importance of listening in this kind of practice.

I saw Luke Wright at Menagerie theatre’s Hotbed festival at the Cambridge Junction in July 2013. He was great – a charming mincing geezer of a poet. Amidst self-deprecating banter and romping tetrameter he scattered a few nuggets of rare wisdom. One of these was about how best to deal with fixed attitudes. I can’t remember what the specific situation was – perhaps someone’s nationalistic outburst or someone’s … oh I can’t remember I’ll have to ask him. But the point he made that was very wise I thought, was that what people hate more than anything else is not being listened to – being dismissed out of hand. That’s what makes people angry, he said. I hadn’t thought of it like that before but I think I agree.

Listening is related to time of course. It is the gift of time we give to each another. I suggest listening – to the needs of participants and audience – is an essential aspect of an inclusive art practice.



About hughchapmansblog

Poet and performance maker based in Cambridge and London

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