Through a number of site-based activities carried out at Drang Drung Glacier in the Zanskar region of the Himalayas during September-October 2021, the project and its team members set out to measure, monitor, and record the material transformations of the glacier as well as engage with local mountain communities directly impacted by climate change and glacial recession.

Scientific activities included the deployment of an underwater sensor (hydrophone) at the glacial lake, setting up both a GPS and meteorological weather station, as well as installing a series of bamboo stakes along a 15 km stretch into the ablation area of the glacier to measure annual changes in its mass balance.

Workshops brought local villagers to the glacier for sessions in “deep listening.” Lowering various hydrophones into its icy crevasses allowed us to tune into its subglacial streams, to hear the rushing of meltwater, and the underwater crackling of ice and popping air bubbles. For some, the glacier conjured the domesticated sound of boiling tea, for others the whir of a passing helicopter.  


The project’s broad aim is to combine scientific and artistic approaches to climate change by developing acoustic and aural methodologies in cryospheric research. Through the deployment of various situated “listening” practices, the project brought scientific research, local experiences, and inter-generational knowledge of glaciers together.


Dr. Susan  Schuppli is an artist-researcher and Director of the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths University of London, UK.

Dr. Mohd. Farooq Azam is a glaciologist and Assistant Professor at the Indian Institute of Technology in Indore, India.

Faiza Ahmad Khan is a film-maker and community organiser based in Goa, India.

Gurmeet Sapal is a cinematographer based in Delhi, India.

We were assisted throughout by Jigmet Singge and Kunzang Deachen, both Project Coordinators of the Ladkah-based NGO “Local Futures.”

Smriti Srivastava, PhD student, IIT Indore
Mohd. Arif Hussain, PhD student, IIT Indore
Mohd. Jawad, Teacher, Sankoo Kargil, Ladakh
Bhim Bahadur Adhikari, Nepal


Nishant Tiku from Leh reminded us that “ice talks” and that we, in turn, need to learn how to listen to ice. He is the Coordinator of the Ice Stupa project at the Himalayan Institute of Alternatives.

Morup Namgyal is a singer & song collector, whose archive comprises more than 1,300 folk songs about mountains and ice.

Tashi Morup is Projects Director of the Ladakh Arts & Media Organisation (LAMO) in Leh.

Tsewang Namgail is Director of the Snow Leopard Conservancy, also in  Leh.

THANKS to Professors Grant Deane & Oskar Glowacki who advised us on using acoustic instrumentation to study glacial ice.

LISTENING TO ICE ia supported by a British Council COP26 Creative Commission

#COP26 #TheClimateConnection

CONTACT Susan Schuppli for further information