Listening as Care

On intersubjectivity

Wisdom states that « everything and anything that is worthy of pursuit is deeply relational. » 

Contemplating on such intersubjectivity leads us to believe 

that our thoughts and actions matter to the world; 

that our growth depends on that of others.

Care is an act of helping others grow. 

Care work becomes a political act in that it shapes the world. 

Care work is needed most when we feel helpless.

Caring is empowering.

A tactic would be to create a space that puts care at the center. In this space we practice how to be “with” one another. We recognize the agency of each individual through experimental listening; there are no limitations. 

This space should be welcoming, non-judgemental and encouraging.

In this space we can learn how to be « with » each other in helping one another grow. It means we recognize that the person we are helping has power to formulate his or her own thoughts and opinions. Based on this understanding we can engage in experimental listening exercises. Anyone can pose a question to the group for collective reflection. Then each person goes on his or her way to answer this question. Walking, singing, reading, dancing, drawing, or any other means of exploration can be used. Then we can share what we received with others in a group. We respond to each other’s answer genuinely and honestly. 

Perhaps there might be an action that could come out of collective listening exercises but it is not the only nor ultimate goal. 

(Collective action may arise organically but it is not the main goal…) 

If there is a collective action that is called forth it should only be suggested, not forced, to each participant. 

This is only one example of what we can do when we create a space of care. Other activities that can foster collective listening skill could be suggested. 

Listening as Care. 


I wrote this piece of writing as a part of collaborative artwork “Communes évidences” which was generated by artist collective Microsillon.

Hundred people who was invited by Microsillon have answered to one common question within a limit of using one hundred words.

This is the question:

TO WHAT SUBJECTS, TOOLS OR TACTICS SHOULD WE URGENTLY EDUCATE OURSELVES TO REIMAGINE THE WORLD IN COMMON?

You can see the other 99 answers and how these collective ponderings were presented as a “bundle” (an object-artwork made of a piece of fabric that form a baluchon (the bag Freire and Illich carry as “pilgrims of the obvious”) in this link: www.microsillons.org/communesevidences

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