Following the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, Northern Ireland (NI) has been well-marketed internationally as an unqualified success in transitional justice. And yet, driven by a refusal to listen – to those on the “other side” of the sectarian divide and those who reject this duality – NI is better described as pre-peace as opposed to post-conflict. This chapter explores what it means to listen (or not listen) in a divided society. Musical improvisation, as that which promotes active listening skills, demands an openness to narratives outside those commonly portrayed as dominant. As such, “(non-)listening” becomes an ethical practice that endeavours to both listen and not listen to the voices and sounds of the “other.” Moving from the ethics of improvisation to that of cocreation, this chapter proposes a re-imagining of an alternative future for NI, a “playing for keeps” in which being-with-others challenges sustained unproductive non-listening in a divided society.
|Title of host publication||Playing for Keeps: Improvisation in the Aftermath|
|Editors||Daniel Fischlin, Eric Porter|
|Publisher||Duke University Press|
|Number of pages||25|
|Publication status||Published - Apr 2020|