How do people of conflicting worldviews, memories and future visions encounter each other?
ETHER (Ethics and Aesthetics of Encountering the Other), an international AHRC research network, is a research partnership of the University of Leeds, the University of Stirling, Opera North, and Leeds Museums and Galleries. ETHER asks: ‘How do people of conflicting worldviews, memories and future visions encounter each other?’ It brings together international artists, linguists, philosophers, cultural organisations and educators to examine aesthetic and ethical dimensions of communal meaning making across geographical boundaries and domains of social life: in music and dance rehearsal rooms, in museums and art galleries, in theatres, markets, service encounters, schools. We study existing research and experiential evidence of these interactions and examine what genuine encounters with difference look like and what it takes to enable them. The resulting theoretical and methodological frameworks will advance inquiry across academic disciplines and creative practices. The practical guidelines will support public institutions in the UK and internationally in their commitment not only to reach diverse communities but to become catalysts for genuine encounters across divides of any kind.