• Voicing Silence

Voicing Silence – Poem by Scott Farlow- Aukward Silence

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Aukward Silence

In silencing nature,

We are silencing ourselves.

There are now few, where there were once many.

Homogeneity is deaf to all

But itself; it is not

An active listener.

The enduring plundering of the commons

Is dismantling the rich web

To a single vapid thread of

Silence, inequality and


No forests. No flight.

No song. No light.

No sound.

No movement.

No clicks. No whistles. No roars.

No pulsed callings.

The final deafened dying breath,

The last wing beats, the last echo, the last voice;

No choice,

No richness of life.

Their pain,

Their absence,

Is our felt



In our bewilderment


We must listen to the silent

Call of the last wilds


A final great awakening.

So, gather at sunrise,

Observe a renewed dawn

Chorus, hopeful

Above the shattering

Sonic blast.

This is

Our desire

Our purpose

Our quest

To listen,

To act,

To learn better

Amidst the discord of our own making.

This is our responsibility

For all life,

For the future.

This is our

Voicing silence.

The land, the skies, the oceans

Are still breathing, still speaking,

It is time, it is time,

It is time to lift the veil and

To listen


Is this our responsibility? Is it too late to make a difference?

In mourning is it too late to ask for forgiveness?

S.W. Farlow

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