November 4, 2019

Otto Wagner Lecture 2019: Vandana Shiva

Academy of Fine Arts Vienna

Rosa Barba, Bending to Earth (film still), 2015. 35mm film, color, optical sound; 15 min. © Rosa Barba.

Otto Wagner Lecture 2019
IKA Institute for Art and Architecture

The annual Otto Wagner Lecture gives the floor to speakers addressing a wide range of topical issues that are relevant to contemporary debates in architecture and can serve to expand them.

Keynote lecture: November 11, 2019, 7pm
Vandana Shiva: Soil not Oil
The transfer from the age of fossil fuel for the awareness of a living Earth

Chair: Anette Baldauf, Ujjwal Utkarsh
Lecture in English

Industrialism and industrial agriculture have been fuelled by coal and oil. All the coal, petroleum and natural gas we are extracting and burning to run our contemporary, oil-based industrial economy was formed over 600 million years. We are burning up millions of years of nature’s work annually. This is why the carbon cycle is broken. A few centuries of fossil fuel-based civilization are threatening our very survival by rupturing the Earth’s carbon cycle, disrupting her key climate systems and self-regulatory capacity, and pushing diverse species to extinction at 1000 times the normal rate. We are in the beginning of the sixth mass extinction. Industrial agriculture based on fossil fuels and toxic chemicals is the single biggest contributor to different aspects of the planetary crisis—climate change, biodiversity erosion, soil desertification and a water crisis. Extinction is a certainty if we continue any longer on the fossil fuel path. A shift to a biodiversity-based civilization predicated on our return to the earth—in our minds, our hearts, our lives—is now a survival imperative. We need to shift from oil to soil; we need to shift from extractivism based on dead, fossilised carbon to regenerating living carbon in our biodiversity and our living soil. We need to make a transition from the fossilised idea that nature is inert and dead, to the awareness that the Earth is alive, we are part of the Earth, and co-creating and coproducing with her rich biodiversity, we can regenerate the Earth and provide nourishing food for all. #ZeroHunger is an achievable goal if we shift from fossil fuel intensive, chemical intensive, industrial agriculture to biodiversity-based, ecological agriculture.

The Age of Soil is the age of the Ecocene, of Earth care, of regeneration and hope for the future.

Vandana Shiva is a physicist, seed activist, and author. She is part of the International Forum on Globalization and was awarded the Right Livelihood Award, the alternative Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. Shiva critically negotiates biodiversity, agriculture, food, biotechnology, intellectual property, bioethics, and genetic engineering. Her writings, such as Ecofeminism (1993), Earth Democracy: Justice, Sustainability, and Peace (2005), Staying Alive (2010) and Making Peace with the Earth (2013) are pioneering works on the use of seeds, third-world women, and eco-feminism.

Film screening
November 10, 2019, 3:30pm
Filmmuseum Wien
Free entry

Earth Others
A film screening for and with Vandana Shiva exploring routes and roots of ecological entanglements curated by Kelly Ann Gardener and Christina Jauernik.

A leaf a gourd a shell a net a bag a sling a sack a bottle a pot a box a container. A holder. A recipient.
(Ursula K. Le Guin, "The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction," 1986)

Imagining and caring for other worlds, Earth Others gathers several positions contemplating the precarious conditions of living on a devastated planet. They relate shared places to their exhausted futures and spectral pasts, tracing different practices of co-inhabiting knowledges and stories by thinking with landscapes, animals, ponds, vegetables.

Rosa Barba, Bending to Earth (2015)
Karrabing Film Collective, When the Dogs Talked (2014)
Joan Jonas, Moving Off the Land II - excerpt (2019)
Laure Prouvost, Stong Sorry Vegetables (Hands) (2010)
Pedro Neves Marques, YWY, The Android (2017)—tbc
Sophia Al-Maria, The Future was Desert, Part I (2016)

For questions about the program, please contact: c.jauernik [​at​]

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