AM Kanngieser

Transversal Geographies

academic publication To hear differently, away from sonic certitude: Some propositions University of Westminster Press 2023

If listening is a technique or practice of the law, what would an abolitionary listening sound like? The state listens and demands a listening disposition, listening is critical to all processes of arrest, adjudication and incarceration. The voice of the witness, testimony, becomes evidence. Indeed, the act of listening to the witness becomes evidentiary. But these listenings assume and constrain possibilities for freedom. In this chapter, we move through propositions that invite an opening up to how, if at all, a listening otherwise might take place. The ‘we’ we use is intended to be multi-directional and polyphonic. It is a ‘we’ we use as authors, as readers, and as listeners. Our thinking with and listening to the ‘uncapturable’ seeks to unrepresent monological and univocal narratives of intelligibility, rationality, and social consensus. Rather than strain a hearing, we worry and listen to the very register and sonics of (a) hearing (determinacy, judgement, autonomy).

Drawing from the writings and sonic articulations, undulations and intervallic cries of Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, Albert Ayler, Fred Moten and Dionne Brand we undo the certainty of voice and sound that the law predicates itself upon and surrender to unanticipated openness.

Kanngieser A, Kalule P and Arthur C 2023 To hear differently, away from sonic certitude: Some propositions in Hear: Law and The Senses. Ed. Danilo Mandic, Caterina Nirta, Andrea Pavoni and Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos. London: University of Westminster Press. 151-160 [Online]