Magical Thinking: Towards a Future Worth Living – Conference Day 1

Sat 22 Feb 10:00 — 18:30
De Brakke Grond

This conference proposes the magical thinking’ – a belief that thoughts and actions can influence the world – as a provocation. In current dystopian scenarios of future life on Earth, from environment to democracy, imagining a future worth living might reduce anxiety that paralyses action, thereby creating an openness to more inclusive thinking. The questions that need answering are: What is a future worth living (and for whom)? Which tactics can get us there? How can one get from climate emergency and catastrophic populism, fuelled by extractive capitalism, to a world of social/​ecological justice and multispecies equality? With focus on artistic research and strategies of visibility and mobilisation through art, this forum wishes to open up critical discussions and propose routes towards a future worth living.

Beyond the Divides

A hope for planetary survival and life beyond many ‘ends’ – from democracy to the still current geological epoch – lies in overcoming the deepening polarisations in every aspect of our everyday human and non-human affairs. This panel proposes a rethinking of these divides referencing many histories of oppression in order to imagine a future of social and ecological justice. 

This panel will be moderated by Sekai Makoni.

Ecocide – The Missing Crime

International criminal justice offers limited protection to the environment and people affected by it. Various proofs of offenses of extractive colonialism and racial capitalism acquired by non-governmental bodies – civil society groups, NGOs, journalists, etc. – build the case for recognising ecocide as an international crime. This panel brings together two artist-theorists who share their expertise and artistic practices of observing and listening to those struggling societies at the frontline of environmental crisis in the Pacific.

This panel will be moderated by Emma van Meyeren.

Imprints, Damages

What is a rock and why is it considered an entity separate from its environment? How are energies imprinted on human bodies, its cells and tissues, underneath the ground? What can be learned from microorganisms, bacteria, algae and other critters living in water? How is it possible to relate to surroundings invisible to the naked eye? This conference block presents several artists and artistic collaborations that rethink the world beyond human senses, experienced through imprints, damages or technologies.

This panel will be moderated by Margarita Osipian.