Sonic acts Workshop Image 2019

Nabil Ahmed Anja Kanngieser
Sound Methods for Environmental Justice


The workshop Sound Methods for Environmental Justice will be an introduction to interdisciplinary spatial, sound and listening methods used by advocates, artists and researchers Nabil Ahmed and Anja Kanngieser to address environmental racism, colonisation and ecocide in frontline communities. 

It will provide a conceptual and practice-led framework for participants to apply to the campaigns and projects they are active within. Over the two days, a real-time live sketch will be made by Ahmed and Kanngieser of how they approach specific sites of ecocide, and how they connect sound and listening to the composition of maps, and overall evidence collection plans that can be used to support environmental justice in legal or advocacy contexts. Ahmed and Kanngieser will discuss the importance of following community-led campaigns, cultural research protocols, composing appropriate forms of listening and attunement, fundamentals of spatial analysis, the ethics of working with frontline communities and ecosystems, identifying evidence, and most crucially, respecting boundaries, difficulties and silences. This sketch will be used to collectively imagine how it can be applied to participants own local contexts. 

A reading pack will be provided prior to the workshop. Participants are expected to be involved in an existing social-environmental campaign or project. 

Nabil ahmed by Laura Alcalde

Nabil Ahmed holds a PhD from the Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths, University of London, where he is affiliated with Forensic Architecture. He is a postdoctoral fellow at the Academy of Fine Art in the architecture and design faculty at Norwegian University of Science and Technology. He is also founder of INTERPRT, which investigates environmental crimes using spatial analysis and advocates for the criminalisation of ecocide under international law. The group collaborates with international lawyers, research centres and civil society such as Princeton Science & Global Security and Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People, and has exhibited projects at venues including Biennale Warszawa/Modern Art Museum in Warsaw and the Beirut Art Centre. INTERPRT is commissioned by TBA21 – Academy. Ahmed has written for Third Text, Candide: Journal for Architectural Knowledge and Architectural Review among others and is published in numerous books.


Anja Kanngieser by Norman Posselt

Anja Kanngieser is a political geographer and sound artist based in Wollongong, Australia, who creatively investigates space and politics. In their work Anja begins with the premise of sound as a constant, a phenomenon that is always present – whether heard, felt, or sensed by human or non-human species and technologies. Their most current projects use testimony, field recording and data sonification to document and amplify social justice responses to the effects of climate change in the Pacific. In their first book, Experimental Politics and the Making of Worlds (2013), they open up communication between urban groups to find common sites for protest around precarious living and working conditions, migration and higher education. Research interests include labour practices in China, sound technologies for mapping movement and micro radio in Japanese urban politics. In their most recent project, Climates of Listening, community-oriented social justice responses to climate change in the Pacific are amplified. A Vice Chancellors Fellow at the Australian Centre for Cultural Environmental Research at the University of Wollongong, Australia, their writing is widely published and they are an editorial board member of journal Environment and Planning D: Society and Space.

The visit of Anja Kanngieser is made possible by the International Visitors Programme of Het Nieuwe Instituut with support from the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


Photo courtesy of Nabil Ahmed.

To apply for the workshop, taking place 19 and 20 February in Amsterdam, please send a short motivation, CV and proposed campaign or project to discuss to workshop[at]sonicacts[dot]com. The deadline for applications is 8 February.

Participants pay a contribution of €50 for the workshop. Lunch is included.