Listening to Country: Exploring the value of acoustic ecology with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in prison
Project aim and objectives
Aim: To explore the value of acoustic ecology in promoting cultural maintenance and wellbeing among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in prison.
- Collaborate with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in prison to produce an immersive audio work for cultural maintenance and wellbeing.
- Work with groups to identify possible environmental sites outside the prison for the field recordings.
- Work with the groups to identify sonic elements and environments that contribute to social and emotional wellbeing.
- Record soundscapes from these sites and bring back to the group inside the prison.
- Employ a range of qualitative, participatory arts-based and Indigenous health research methodology to investigate the value of acoustic sounds in enhancing Social and Emotional Wellbeing.
Project leader: Dr. Sarah Woodland
Project partners: Queensland Corrective Services
Administering organisation: Griffith University
Project timeline: January 2018—May 2019
- Negotiating with Queensland Corrective Services to finalise the legal agreement to conduct research in Brisbane Women’s Correctional Centre (BWCC).
- Negotiating with staff and management at BWCC to work through the logistics and timing for the program delivery.
- Working with Elena Marchetti (Griffith Law School) to develop a plan for conducting the process evaluation of Listening to Country.
- Consulting with the Brisbane Elders and the Murri Dhagun Cultural Unit at Queensland Corrections to firm up the project plan and engage two Elders to join the program delivery in the prison.
- Recruiting an additional researcher – Bianca Beetson (Kabi Kabi artist and Lecturer, Queensland College of Art, Griffith University) to join the program delivery in the prison (in-kind contribution from Griffith).
The research proved that listening actively to environmental landscapes can promote a sense of ecological connection. It also highlights how the attendant processes of listening to the temporal and nature of sound can facilitate a presence of connection to place.
Listening to natural environments through remote experiences is just as beneficial as physically listening on Country. The approaches used in the research resulted in an enhanced sense of calm and relaxation for the participants. The soundscape and materials were effective in strengthening connection to Country.
- Abstract for How do you do knowledge translation (KT) that works? KT Forum – April 2019
- Listening to country website
- April 2019 Knowledge Translation Forum presentation and interview videos.