This is an abstract from the Beyond Listening symposium program.

Experiencing Listening
Beyond Listening Essay in Environmental Ethics of Care

Maja Bjelica

Experimental/experiential research paper

Wednesday 22 November — Presentations


Documentation of the lecture

Experiencing listening beyond listening will be attempted through regular self-exposure to a site-specific sonic environment, namely the Sečovlje Salina Nature Park. Positioned at the margins of Southwest Slovenia the park covers an area of 6.5 km2. It is a unique biodiverse wetland, a habitat of specific flora and fauna, species that managed to adapt to the extreme salina life-world. This rich natural heritage is accompanied by a 700-hundred years old cultural heritage of salt-making, using traditional tools and natural materials. The soundscape of such natural and cultural heritage is disrupted by the regular coming and going of airplanes by the adjunct small international airport – especially in the summer season, when the frequency of panoramic flights and regular touristic flight routes is increased.

Insight into the experiencing of such a bipolar soundscape will be provided by transdisciplinary inquiry. Combining (auto)ethnographic methodologies, such as field work, participant observation, and sound documentation with philosophical polylogue of listening thinkers such as Jean-Luc Nancy, Luce Irigaray, Emmanuel Levinas, Lisbeth Lipari, Salomé Voegelin and others, will allow enriching reverberations for thinking anew an environmental ethics of care. Through such experiential listening beyond listening possibilities of a caring cohabitation in (and of) the more-than-human world will be explored.

The research has been financially supported by the Slovenian Research and Innovation Agency (ARIS) through the research project Grain of Salt, Crystallising Cohabitation: Salt-making as Experiential Environmental Wisdom (ARIS J6-50196).


Maja Bjelica, PhD, is an associate researcher at the Science and Research Centre Koper’s Institute for Philosophical and Religious Studies, Slovenia. Currently she is working on the research programme on liminal spaces in areas of cultural and societal cohabitation in the age of risk and vulnerability, and a research project on saltmaking as experiential environmental wisdom. She obtained her doctoral degree in 2018 at the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Primorska, Slovenia, with the dissertation “A Philosophical-anthropological Study of the Possibilities of the Ethics of Hospitality: Breath, Silence and Listening in Spaces of Intersubjectivity”. She transdisciplinarily cross-pollinates research in themes of ethics of listening, ecoethnography, (applied) ethnomusicology, community music, environmental humanities.

Research Centre Koper’s Institute for Philosophical and Religious Studies