Uncertain States LISTENING PROJECT
Rudolf Giesselmann and Susan Tilley developed the LISTENING PROJECT from a simple question: What would talking and listening look like that embraces the differences between dialogue partners as a resource, rather than fights against it? Their project aims at creating a simple and reproducible form of dialogue where the difference to the other, their life, feelings, beliefs, and worldview, is present and, with the listener’s help, facilitates the creation of something new and makes the dialogue productive.
In a converted caravan, two participants can start a dialogue of cooperative listening lasting 15 or 30 minutes. The dialogue follows a simple set of rules which give listening an active role. The caravan also contains instructions on how this works. The participants can choose any topic they like for their dialogue and can, for example, kick-off with a randomly selected newspaper article. Where participants are on their own, the meeting point for potential dialogue partners is the information stand in Akademie der Künste foyer.
There is no need to register in advance. A dialogue can start whenever the caravan is empty. The caravan is heated, and has one open side sealed with glass. As a result, only the participants involved in the dialogue can hear what is said in the caravan, although other visitors can see what is happening from a set distance.
After completing their dialogue in the caravan, the participants may wish to repeat it at another place, allowing others to hear it. The LISTENING PROJECT sees itself as part of this process and, in this way, hopes to play a part in concretely improving mutual understanding in the context of UNCERTAIN STATES.