Verbatim Practice as Research with Care-Experienced Young People: An ‘Aesthetics of Care’ Through Aural Attention

Baker, Sylvan and Inchley, Maggie (2020) Verbatim Practice as Research with Care-Experienced Young People: An ‘Aesthetics of Care’ Through Aural Attention. In: Performing Care: New perspectives on Socially Engaged Performance. Manchester University Press, Manchester. ISBN 9781526146816


This chapter reflects on an interdisciplinary practice research project, The Verbatim Formula (TVF), based at Queen Mary University of London, consisting of a series of residential workshops with care-experienced young people using verbatim theatre practices. Drawing on feminist care ethicist Nel Noddings’ analogy between aesthetic engagement and the art of caring, the authors reflect on the shared values and aesthetics of acts of care and participatory practices, and how these inhere in the attentiveneness, attunement and receptivity involved in performing and receiving verbatim material using headphone theatre technique. The chapter incorporates testimonies from its care-experienced co-researchers and draws on Joan Tronto’s argument that there is a radical need for an intervention into the dynamics of power in society that ensure that those for whom the structures of care are least effective are heard and attended to. In acknowledging the ‘ugliness’ of caring and the ongoing labour of attunement, listening emerges in TVF both as an aesthetic but also as a care-based participatory and political practice, that aims to empower care-experienced young people to intervene in the structures that represent them and to support adults to honour their experiences and needs.


Chapter on OPEN ACCESS: Please click on the Official URL, left hand side of the screen, bottom of the page - Other

Export and Share

Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email