Listen (If You Dare): new text about voice-hearing

24th November 2015

The co-authors of a new publication about voice-hearing tell us more about a new booklet and future website.

Listen (If You Dare): An Unlikely Companion to Voice-Hearinglistenifyoudare_cover is a radical new text about voice-hearing. It explores what it is like to hear voices and attempts to help the reader experience something of that too. It also tries to understand how we can listen to those voices that we find difficult, disruptive or challenging, whether these seem to come from inside or outside ourselves. It has been created with those who provide support to voice hearers in mind, be they community psychiatric teams, psychiatrists, mental health workers, friends or family.

WARNING: Some of the text and voices in “Listen (If You Dare)” may be very disturbing. They reflect real experience and contain explicit content. For anyone who hears voices (particularly if this is a new experience) or loves someone who hears voices, reading it may be difficult or triggering.

“Listen (If You Dare)” was co-authored by members of Time and Space Hearing Voices group (Glasgow), Hearing Voices Belfast, Hearing Voices Ireland, the project researchers (Gail McConnell – lecturer in the school of English at Queens University Belfast, Jo Collinson Scott – lecturer in Commercial Music at University of the West of Scotland, and Deborah Maxwell – researcher in Design Informatics at School of Design at Edinburgh College of Art), sound artist Pedro Rebelo and designer Sara Nevay. They met together at a weekend retreat to reflect on, share and broaden their experiences of listening and being listened to. This retreat and the follow up discussions/disruptions resulted in the production of this booklet in November 2015.

ahrc_logoThe booklet is part of wider research project called “Listening to Voices” which was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. The research has been co-produced by voice-hearers, academics and independent artists who are interested in asking why and how we silence voices in ourselves or others and how we might help increase understanding about the experience of hearing voices.

As well as the production of “Listen (If You Dare)” the project will be developing an interactive text, a sound piece and some other written pieces about listening to voices, which will be launched in January 2016 (along with the official release of a printed version of the text).

Download “Listen (If You Dare)” here. The co-authors would welcome any feedback. Please email any comments, questions, or requests for physical copies to the Principal Investigator, Gail McConnell.

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