Dylan Robinson: On Listening Positionality
February 24, 2021 | 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM (PST) | Free | Zoom
How do we see, hear, and sense the materialization of colonialism in institutional and more quotidian daily structures of relation? Within the context of settler colonialism, perception is often guided by what I have called hungry listening, a set of extractive listening practices indexed by the term xwelítem (starving person) that xwélmexw (Stó:lō people) use to describe settlers. Yet hungry listening is only one of many ways in which positionality and perception intertwine. Positionality is always in flux, through an ever-shifting relationship with that which is listened to, and the context of listening. To engage in practices of critical listening positionality, then, requires that we learn to notice different moments of intersection. It requires becoming better attuned to how race, class, gender, ability, cultural background and sexuality guide our listening capacities, habits and biases. This presentation considers the challenge and capacity of improvising with positionality.
Dylan Robinson is a xwélmexw (Stó:lō/Skwah) artist and writer, and the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Arts at Queen’s University. He is the author of Hungry Listening (University of Minnesota Press, 2020) on Indigenous and settler colonial forms of listening. His current research focuses on the material and sonic life of Indigenous ancestors held by museums, and reparative artistic practices that address these ancestors incarceration in museums.