A creative research project that explores the transgressive potential of art and making to engage a group of citizens and experts in an imaginative conception of alternative environmental narratives.
Taking place in 3 countries (Sweden, United Kingdom and The Netherlands) three ‘collective residencies’ will bring together an intergenerational group of people who will play, eat, (re)imagine, learn and create together, to design alternative futures around a selected ‘glocal’ issue, and explore what needs to be disrupted to realise these imagined realities; what is working with us and what is working against us?
This project is funded by The Seed Box, an international environmental humanities collaboratory headquartered at Linköping University (LiU) in Sweden. Supported with funding from Mistra and Formas, the Seed Box takes as its mission the development of a national center for environmental humanities research across the nature-culture divide, and creative activity related to the pressing environmental problems.
IN THE UNITED KINGDOM
How to live when sea levels rise
With rising sea levels numerous communities along the British coast are in danger of flooding and erosion. Policy-makers and scientists are planning the future defence of the coast, which will mean that many coastal communities will have to fend for themselves when sea level rise take their toll.
With this in mind we designed RETREAT a 4 day residency that conceived its participants as climate refugees, that were relocated from their coastal community to a holding camp on higher ground. Families explored and imagined the impact of climate change through a guided journey to 'resettle'. Questioning and playing with the ‘comforts’ we take for granted and assume as our birthrights, we asked what it is we need and want when all we know is washed away.
IN THE NETHERLANDS
This residency takes place mid April 2019. It involves a neighbourhood in the town of Wageningen that is currently transitioning away from gas extracted from the deep earth to more sustainable and renewable sources of energy. We will explore the behavioural and infrastructural shifts that are needed to make this a transition happen. What disruptions does it involve and how can they be a creative force rather than a paralysing nuisance?
The structures and mind-sets of our modern society have made unsustainable living the default and sustainable living the exception.
We are interested in the role of art, creativity, imagination and making in generating socio-environmental change towards more 'sustainable' ways of living together.
How do these element help us to think through issues beyond that what we are accustomed to? How do they allow us to navigate the often painful disruptions that accompany processes of change? How might they generate the mental space needed to conceive of radically positive alternatives? And how do they allow a range of knowledges to be expressed - narratives that are subjugated because they are e.g. regarded as 'under-age' or not scientific?
‘We always live at the time we live and not at some other time, and only by extracting at each present time the full meaning of each present experience are we prepared for doing the same thing in the future.’
CONTACT IMAGINATIVE DISRUPTION
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