Ecological turn in culture: Imagining cultural professions beyond sustainable development and greening

Lecture by Višnja Kisić and Goran Tomka
07.10. 2021Lokomotiva, ACT/Art, Climate, Transition

In the wake of the Capitalocene and its severing consequences, the issue of humanity’s relationship with more-than-human world asks for searching philosophical and existential trajectories beyond anthropocentrism and Culture/Nature divide. 

Instead of that, usual reactions to ecological crisis in the field of culture deals with reduction of CO2, energy consumption and other rather technical issues that go by the name of “greening”. We propose going several steps further in rethinking the place of cultural policies and productions in the complex web of life than such “green”, “sustainable” and “resilient” cultural policy and practice approaches entail. As they perpetuate anthropocentrism and Culture/Nature divide in understanding the world, which are at the heart of the ecological crisis, we don’t see them as plausible answers to the rethinking of the Capitalocene. 

This is why, in this lecture, we conceptualise what would a deeper ecological turn in culture would mean. We argue that the cultural field has to engage more widely and deeply with current ecological issues. This would mean embracing the ecological thought, undoing culture/nature dichotomy, rethinking the role of culture in ongoing extractivist and exploitative capitalist processes and embracing radical interdependence with the “more than-human-world”. We will look at various existing projects across Europe and Latin America that bring insights into possible ecological futures of the cultural field.