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April 1st 2022


Listening/Speaking in Tongues


Listening/Speaking in Tongues was a soundwalk dedicated to the feminist author Gloria Evangelina Anzaldúa. Led by Amanda Gutierrez, the soundwalk explored the auditory history of Concordia's downtown campus. The bustling downtown core, the tall university buildings, the several languages spoken; all details of a colonial history which shapes Concordia's auditory space. As we explored the campus' soundscape, Amanda asked us to listen to the different languages that oscillate in our way. She asked us to remember, write and pronounce the names of the BIPOC professors, colleagues and scholars who have influenced our thought process. The result was  a reflective soundwalk, one which was as enjoyable as it was meditative.


In a group of around 20 people, the soundwalk began at 4th SPACE at 11am on Friday April 1st, and led through the tunnels to the Hall building. We then ascended to the 9th floor of the Hall building, descended and exited on McKay street. We ended the soundwalk in the lobby of the John Molson building. There were three stops wherein Amanda gave a short presentation to contextualize the significance and meaning of the soundwalk. 


After a short break we then hosted a hybrid panel on the 8th floor of the John Molson Building which was moderated by Owen Chapman. The panelists were given 25 minutes to speak and included Eric Leonardson, the President of the Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology and President of the Word Forum for Acoustic Ecology. His presentation addressed concerns around what people learn from soundwalks and deep listening exercises, establishing connections between the local/global community and emerging soundwalk artists.


The second presenter,  Colby Gaudet, is a PhD candidate in Religions & Cultures at Concordia University. His presentation investigated missionary archives and critical reflection on the historical functions of colonial Christianities in early eastern Canada. His discussion focused on the Grey Nuns Building and the Loyola Campus and he discussed how these buildings still influence the acoustic history of Concordia's campus till this day.


The last presenter, Kathy Kennedy, is the organizer of the Soundwalk Symposium. Her presentation focused on her own soundwalk practices starting in the early 90s. Kennedy's unique approach integrates radio into her soundwalk practice in order to unite listeners with the environments of western Canada and America. Radio, in her view, was the perfect device to link listeners temporally, while allowing them their own space for critical reflection and deep listening. 

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