CNMN > Projects > Energy Matters Workshops (PART D): Deep Listening to Energy Accessibility with Dialogues on Energy Accessibility

Shumaila Hemani, Ph.D.

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Energy Matters Workshops (PART D): Deep Listening to Energy Accessibility with Dialogues on Energy Accessibility


The sound­scape com­po­ser, Hil­de­gaard Wes­ter­kamp writes, “True recep­tive lis­te­ning comes from an inner place of non-threat, sup­port and safe­ty. Para­doxi­cal­ly, while a groun­ded and calm state of mind, a sense of safe­ty, peace and relaxa­tion are essen­tial for ins­pi­ring per­cep­tual wake­ful­ness and a willin­gness and desire to open our ears, nor­mal rou­tines, habits and pat­terns will be dis­rup­ted and laid bare in such a pro­cess of lis­te­ning ; noises and dis­com­forts inevi­ta­bly will be noti­ced, and all kinds of expe­riences will be stir­red and unco­ve­red. Lis­te­ning in fact implies a pre­pa­red­ness to meet the unpre­dic­table. and unplan­ned, to wel­come the unwel­come. As such, lis­te­ning is inhe­rent­ly dis­rup­tive as it puts a wrench into the habi­tual flows of time, and habi­tual beha­viour of dai­ly life. ” (THE DISRUPTIVE NATURE OF LISTENING : TODAY, YESTERDAY, TOMORROW, p.45)

Is there a sin­gu­lar expe­rience of ener­gy pover­ty ? The experts des­cribe ener­gy pover­ty as an ele­phant in the room being explo­red by people who unders­tand ener­gy pover­ty from their own posi­tio­na­li­ty. Yet, des­pite the ambi­gui­ty of this term, there conti­nues to be a high degree of stig­ma around dis­cus­sing ener­gy inac­ces­si­bi­li­ty in public debates. What is usual­ly men­tio­ned in the reports is impor­tant but equal­ly so is that which is left unsaid or does not find its way into the mains­tream conver­sa­tion. In these arts-based acti­vi­ties, we will re-dis­co­ver those places of vul­ne­ra­bi­li­ty that make us look at ener­gy pover­ty through a com­pas­sio­nate lens.


1) Dis­tri­bute a recent report on ener­gy inac­ces­si­bi­li­ty or a rele­vant topic and ask the par­ti­ci­pants to reflect on it in advance. Example : Clean Elec­tri­ci­ty report by Cana­dian Cli­mate Ins­ti­tute publi­shed in June 2023 (please see score sec­tion for report).


2) Involve par­ti­ci­pants in a dia­logue about the report.  Use the fol­lo­wing prompts as an example :

Prompt 1 : What do folks think about this report ?
Prompt 2 : Has this report mis­sed anything ?

Prompt 3 : Are the sta­tis­tics to be accep­ted as facts or is there some­thing that the report is not saying ?


3) Depen­ding on the com­fort level of par­ti­ci­pants, go dee­per and take a more ana­ly­ti­cal and cri­ti­cal stance by asking a direct ques­tion where their exper­tise will be prompted.

Example 1 : The report says that clean elec­tri­ci­ty is chea­per. Do you agree/disagree and why ?

Example 2 : Are there any other ideas that are coming to your mind ?


[Watch the video example as an ite­ra­tion of this activity]

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