DEEP LISTENING TO GLACIERS / Workshop with Local Mountain Villagers
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This workshop invited villagers (primarily women) from the mountain village of Akshow to explore Drang Drung Glacier through its acoustic materiality. Akshow is the village closest to Drang Drung, but none of the villagers had ever been on the glacier before.

Our aim was to open up climate science and its technical methods to local communities by creating  a context whereby villagers could inhabit and experience the world of science directly using hydrophones to listen to the lively internal worlds of glacial ice. While our scientific experiments used similar acoustic technologies to monitor mass balance changes, calving events, and glacial melt, the data gathered by our underwater sensor was not listened to in real-time but needed to be downloaded, resampled, and transformed into spectograms for analysis. How can scientific methods also become opportunities for “hospitality” that bring communities of concern together, especially those who very modes of existance are entirely reliant on the stability of mountain glaciers and their role in water storage and supply?

While the work of scientists in the Himalayas is crucial for understanding climate change, new models of interdisciplinary research and knowledge sharing are essential for establishing its broader relevance. Ultimately we need to be able to tell a global, but not a generic, story through specific and local activities on-the-ground, that is to say, on-the-glacier.