• Voicing Silence

Voicing Silence – Participants call out

Take part in free online workshops exploring the 6th mass extinction and current biodiversity losses.
Creative Writing – Animation – Contemporary Movement – Sound
Open to all, no previous experience required. Limited places.
With Manchester Museum and University of Leeds

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Voicing Silence is an artistic response aiming to understand how the public feels about the 6th global mass extinction we are experiencing today. It questions how we ought to represent it, how to make sense of it and what new languages are need to express and address it.

Part of a wider project, Thinking Through Extinction, and working in partnership with Manchester Museum and University of Leeds, artist Laurence Payot and a team of artists are inviting you to collaborate and contribute to a video piece that will be presented online and at Manchester Museum late 2020/early 2021.


Register here, for home educators and their family (a series of 4 workshops to choose from on Tuesdays 10-12pm 16/23/30 June and 7 July)

Register here, open to all over 18 (a series of workshops to choose from on Thursdays 6-8pm, 18/25 June and  2/9 July – or Fridays  6-8pm, 19 and 26 June)


No previous knowledge of the subject or of art necessary, we really want a range of people from different backgrounds and experiences to join us. You will be guided through a creative process, taking part in a series of four 2-hour online workshops, exploring four different art forms, with Laurence Payot and the following guests artists:

> In a poetry/creative writing workshop with artist Scott Farlow, you will be guided through a series of simple writing activities/games to explore the collective feelings and points of views about extinction; including the silencing of nature, of language and silence itself, to create word images/collages/poems.

> In a drawing/animation workshop with artist Laura Spark, we will learn the basic tools for creating stop-motion animations from home, and bring botanical illustration to life. We’ll explore how feelings and opinions can be expressed through the use of visual representations.

> In a dance/movement workshop with dance artist and choreographer Stacey Atkinson, we will think about extinction using our own bodies and responding to each other. What is the impact of extinction on our own bodies and physical environment? How are emotions translated into movement? Can exploring animal movement give us more empathy for endangered species?

> In a music/sound workshop, with composer Jon Hughes, we will explore extinction in relation to sound, music and listening. A fundamental aspect of life on earth, sound puts feeling into the world. Sound carries emotion through the landscape and across space, both for humans and for other animals, and can signify movement, energy and feeling. Sound and music allow humans to distill experience, so it can be replayed, re-made and re-felt. Though the interconnected polyphony of voices that surround us, the past, and the present, can be better understood.


All works created during the workshops will be presented on a project blog, and will come together in a final piece which will be presented online and at Manchester Museum. The final piece will draw upon the emotions and opinions gathered during the workshops, and will take a physical and digital form using the medium of video (such as a holographic or zoetrope piece).

A further arm of the project includes a collaboration with writing platform Corridor8, which will involve a writing residency and a printed/ online publication. This may incorporate elements or outputs from the workshops, but participants will remain anonymous unless otherwise specified, and permission granted.


Stefan Skrimshire, Associate Professor of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Leeds.
Dominic O’Key, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, 2019-21.
Laurence Payot, Lead Artist
Scott Farlow, Artist, Consultant, Poet
Laura Spark, Animation Artist
Stacey Atkinson, Dance artist, Choreographer
Jon Hughes, Composer, Sound Artist
Rachel Webster, Curator of Botany, Manchester Museum
Anna Bunney, Engagement Manager, Manchester Museum
Lara Eggleton, Managing Editor, Corridor8