Holding Space Together

Holding Space Together – a welcome 

Performed at Art Hub Copenhagen the 18th of April 2024 as part of Testing Ground and for Listening Event IV


It consist of the reading of first The Big Welcome followed by a invitation to listen.

The Big Welcome

Adapted by Bureau for Listening


This is a version adapted from Kate Morales’ version offered in Slow Spatial Reader – Chronicles of Radical Affect (Ed. Carolyn F. Strauss). 


As reference the following were written: 

“These words of welcome began as an offering out of the Mycelium School (2013-2016) in Ashville, NC, USA, and have evolved through many iterations as they have been applied to welcome many different groups of people in a variety of gatherings. This version was adapted for the Turtle Island Ecoversities Regional Gathering (January 21, 2021). All those receiving these words are free to credit, modify, and share as needed for their own gatherings, in the spirit of the gift economy.”


Curator Carolyn F. Strauss read another similar welcome as the beginning of our Listening Event II

The Big Welcome

We are so honored to welcome you all here. 

Take a movement right now to allow yourself to fully arrive.

Allow the dust to settle in your mind. Bring your attention to your body, your breath, the present moment. You have arrived!


We welcome your excitement, your clear inquiries and your big question marks. We Welcome your wide eyes and open hearts alongside your side eyes and skepticism. We welcome your listening as well as your voicing body.

You are welcome here. 

Your culture is welcome. Your ethnic origin is welcome. 

Your race, your accent, food preferences, and all of the complexities that make up your cultural identity are welcome here. The histories, herstories, and experiences of your ancestors are honored and welcomed.

We welcome you with all of the connections you bring in with you, the children in your lives, your partners, siblings, parents, the animals in your lives, and other loved ones in your communities.

You are welcome here.

We welcome your spiritual practice, your religious affiliation, the path you walk. However you hold that aspect of your life is welcomed.

Your love is welcome here. How you love, who you love, and your understanding of what love is are all welcome. 

We welcome you in all of the ways your sexuality has evolved and is evolving. 

We welcome you in all of the ways your gender has evolved and is evolving.

We welcome you in your ignorance. We welcome you in your privilege. We welcome you in your grief. We welcome you in your guilt and shame.

You are welcome here. 

We welcome the parts of yourself that you’re still figuring out. 

We welcome you in the roles as learners, activists, teachers, healers, feelers, intuitives, parents, caretakers, students, artists, witches, change agents, magicians, educators, and warriors. 

We welcome you at whatever level of mental and physical wellness you are currently functioning. We welcome your introversion and your extroversion. We welcome all of the experiences that led you to this moment. Thank you for surviving. 

We welcome your wounds and scars.

We welcome you at whatever level at which you are currently decolonizing. We welcome you wherever you are in divergenting from systemic patriarchy, white supremacy, ableism, and all other intersecting forms of oppression. We welcome you as you unlearn internalized cultural norms that are not serving the health of our interconnected communities.

You are welcome here, and we give thanks. 

We thank you for being here, for offering your time, attention, and affections. We give thanks to what you bring in the way you bring it. We give thanks to both the said and the unsaid, to the knowledge shared, and the caring of the unknowing.

Thank you.

Settle in. 

Welcome to this space of all this, and more.

Invitation to Listen

We invite you to close your eyes – to trust us and the people you are here with. We invite you to relax your body, letting your shoulder hang down as if they were heavy – to let them be heavy

We invite you to breathe, in the way you need to – maybe you breathe deeply, maybe you are not 

We invite you to find comfort in being together, as a group, with your eyes closed, breathing together. We invite you to find comfort in this space.

We invite you to be creators and holders of this space, to acknowledge, how this is a shared space.

We invite you to care for this space, to offer it your attention, to listen into it, to listen with it.

We invite you to listen to each other in this space – to each other’s breathing perhaps – consider in what way the sounding of this space is unique to the fact that you are being in it, part of it, holding it – consider how the sound and the space themselves would change if/when you exit it, and if you have had other emotions, other bodies, wearing different clothes, – simply different in any sense.


Again, we thank you for being here – soon we will continue – but for now, in your own time, come back to this space, re-orient yourself, and if you wish to, slowly open your eyes.


This space is being held by breathing beings, invisible stories and poetic potentials.


This space is being held by all of us and by all of us


So hold it


(Four people placed in the room take turns to repeat ‘Hold It’ five times)