What does it mean to listen to an ethnic identity online and what are the digital tools that ethnic minority groups use to become ‘the listened-to’ within the dominant society? In this article, using the concept of listening as an auditory and non-auditory experience, I explore digitally mediated music traditions of Finno-Ugrians living in St. Petersburg. Based on the ethnography of two case studies – a volunteer-run cultural organization The Center for the Indigenous Peoples of the St. Petersburg Region and the metal band Second to Sun – this article investigates how Finno-Ugric ethnic identity is manifested through music and digital auditory engagement. I argue that the notion of listening as ‘making an effort to hear something’ in the context of this article is instrumental in understanding how Finno-Ugric self-expression and knowledge production is achieved in a digital space, specifically a social media platform VKontakte and music streaming services such as Bandcamp.

Image credit: Photo by Jaee Kim on Unsplash

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