Faking It: Moans and Groans of Loving and Living in Govindpuri Slums

Tripta Chandola | 2019


I begin with a quote: “Quite simply: listen to it” (Feld 2012: xxvii). This rather commonsensical assertion by Steven Feld to navigate through his work with the people of Bosavi is pregnant with posibilities for navigating acoustic ecologies we “know and [make a] habit of knowing” (Feld 2012: xxvii). At this stage in my research trajectory, I am often introduced as an ethnographer who specializes in listening. This farming always tickles me, for how does one specialize in listening when-unless compelled by considerations of paracusis of varying orders-listening as a function of a hearing person is an involuntary act? Beacause for such people, the ears do not close. Thus, when I make a call for listening, with its methodological and political delibearations, is there not implicity an assumption of intentional deafness in these regards-a closing of the ears, so to speak?