April 25, 2022

The Damaged Planet

Academy of Media Arts Cologne (KHM)

Beate Gütschow, The Damaged Planet, 2022.

Solidarity with our wounded planet—lectures in German and in English. Registration via: thedamagedplanet2022 [​at​]

Opportunities for action in the climate crisis are being discussed worldwide: many political processes have been initiated, the EU is working on a Green Deal, and some countries have begun to convert to a CO2-neutral energy supply. Nevertheless, the limited time window available for a global ecological transformation is not being taken into account. At our conference, we want to meet these challenges with radical approaches and concrete action; the prevention of extinction of species as the second fundamental pillar for survival continues to be ignored. Questions of social justice arise: how can we ensure that the upcoming transformation does not disproportionately burden lower and middle incomes? What is a fair compensation for the damage already caused in the countries of the Global South?

The event starts with theatre makers Carmen Hornbostel and Milo Rau, who consider their ecosocial work at NTGent to be a collaboration with activist groups. The artist Beate Gütschow, who teaches at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne (KHM), is linking political and artistic commitment in her photographic work as well. Students and alumni of the KHM Fabiana Fragale, Jens Mühlhoff and Kilian Kuhlendahl present a film about activism in Germany, created from footage filmed by Steffen Meyn during the occupation of the Hambach Forest, where he tragically died in 2018. The activists Leonie Bremer, Peter Emorinken-Donatus, Esteban Servat and Louise Wagner report on their actions collectively. The film and media scholar Alenda Y. Chang deals with ecology in video games and advocates for a media-mediated representation of the interests of endangered species. With his Multispecies Ethnographies, philosopher and author Thom van Dooren presents an ethics of care in which knowledge is not disconnected from one's own actions. The literary scholar Nicole Seymour looks at emotions in eco-art, activism and discourse from a queer-feminist perspective and asks if there are also counterproductive narratives of the ecological crisis. Agnes Stilliger, art historian and ethnologist, talks about environmental racism and de-colonial art practices in Africa. Political scientist Markus Wissen and legal sociologist Doris Schweitzer ask how economy and law can be re-imagined and make a strong plea for an alternative economy beyond profit, including a new law for/of nature.

Friday, May 6, 2022

12–12:30pm, Introduction
12:30–1:45pm, Carmen Hornbostel / Milo Rau, "A Theater of Sustainability? Production, Distribution, Theory, Politics."
2–3pm, Fabiana Fragale, Jens Mühlhoff and Kilian Kuhlendahl, "A struggle with bodies and images."
Coffee break.
3:30–4:30pm, Leonie Bremer, Peter Emorinken-Donatus, Esteban Servat and Louise Wagner, Panel discussion with activists from Fridays for Future, Bündnis Ökozidgesetz, Shell Must Fall, Ende Gelände.
4:45–6pm, Doris Schweitzer "'Rights of Nature' as a critical intervention?"
Coffee break.
6:30–7:45pm, Markus Wissen "Imperial and solidary way of life."

Saturday, May 7, 2022
10:30–11:45am, Agnes Stillger, "For the preservation of the balance of all living things. Ecology-critical art practices in Africa."
12–1:15pm, Thom van Dooren (in English) "Stories from the Snail Ark: Hope in a Time of Loss."
Coffee break.
2:30–3:45pm, Beate Gütschow "Report from the research sabbatical."
4–5:15pm, Alenda Y. Chang (in English), "Cloudy with a Chance of Play."
Coffee break.
5:30–6:45pm, Nicole Seymour (in English), "Climate Change and the Limits of Satire."
7pm, closing discussion.

Organizers: Pascal Dreier, Beate Gütschow, Thomas Hawranke, Ute Hörner, Fatima Kastner, Isabell Lorey and Kathrin Röggla.

Thank you!

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