Framework for Resilience is a three-part series of online conversations which bring together activists, artists, researchers and educators to think about the world we are creating, the world we are destroying, the systems which will fall, and those which should prevail. This online event is part of The Living Planet, FACT’s year-long season which focuses on the non-human, and deals with themes such as climate change, ecology and communication, as well as the violence of ‘othering’. The invited speakers are from diverse areas of research, corresponding to the intersectionality of the topics and of FACT’s approach to programming.
This wide-ranging series of conversations broadly focuses on how we all experience the natural world. Speakers consider the ways in which we can better align ourselves with the needs and desires of our environment, as well as of every being within it. Their ever-evolving ways of working examine the social structures and control which prevent this, and create methods or technologies to disrupt, alter or dismantle these.
The title for these sessions is taken from an artwork, PESTS, by FACT Together artist, Shonagh Short.
SESSION ONE: ECOLOGICAL EMPATHY
11 February 2021, 2pm – 4pm, Hosted by Lesley Taker (FACT Exhibitions Manager)
This session, led by artist and researcher Luiza Prado de O Martins, will focus on the dismissive and destructive ways colonial powers have overtaken the natural world, extending the same attitudes to those who call these spaces home. Foregrounding the importance of empathy and practices of care, we will discuss the effects of taking a more mindful and generous approach to the places we live, and our neighbours. Reframing our role as one of caretakers (of culture, the planet, one another), and encouraging positive action and education, we can begin to see the way to a more inclusive form of co-existence.
Mediated by Luiza Prado de O Martins (Artist, Researcher) https://www.luiza-prado.com/
Edna Bonhomme (Researcher) https://www.ednabonhomme.com/writing
Céline Semaan / Slow Factory Foundation (Designer, Writer, Activist) https://celinecelines.com/ / https://slowfactory.foundation/
Shonagh Short (Artist, Socially Engaged Practice) https://www.shonaghshort.com/
SESSION TWO: CLIMATE JUSTICE FROM DE-COLONIALIST PERSPECTIVES
18 February 2021, 11am – 1pm, Hosted by Dr. Nicola Triscott, (FACT CEO)
This session, led by curator Helen Starr, starts from a collection of questions of how we engage with time, land and ownership: What happens if we consider that the very earth and trees, as well as non-sentient beings like AI and stones, have rights? How can we understand time and consequence differently: understanding that indigenous deaths caused climate change in 1600, and prevent the repeating of history? How do we peacefully transform a racialised colonial system which values the very commodities which are destroying lives, bodies, and lands?
Gathered speakers, including artists Jack Tan, Himali Singh Soin and Nabil Ahmed, consider how Western principles do not allow for ethical collaboration between beings, focusing rather on exploitation and one-sided gains. They instead explore how indigenous approaches might influence the way we establish ideas of kinship, and open up our sense of community to include other forms of existence, particularly in the future. If we approach the world with a different sense of time, and with empathy for all modes of existence, we might be able to create new forms of collaboration and notions of belonging.
Mediated by Helen Starr (Curator)
Nabil Ahmed (Artist, Educator) https://forensic-architecture.org/about/team/member/nabil-ahmed
Himali Singh Soin (Writer and Artist) https://www.himalisinghsoin.com/
Jack Tan (Artist) http://www.jacktan.net/
SESSION THREE: MIGRATION AND ADAPTATION
25 February 2021, 2pm – 4pm, Hosted by Maitreyi Maheshwari (FACT’s Head of Programme)
In 1990, the United Nations anticipated that ‘the greatest single impact of climate change could be on human migration’ with estimates predicting 200 million ‘climate refugees’ by 2050. While the scientific case for human-caused climate change has gained more certainty, the consequences for populations affected both by meteorological and political factors remain unpredictable. The disparity between countries and populations that had been a legacy of colonialism is becoming more pronounced as the effects of climate change are not contained within the borders of any single country.
Whether motivated by need, opportunity or force, human mobility has been an inherent part of the human experience for millennia. As people move and adapt to new environments, how is our sense of self affected by the perspectives offered by distance away from a ‘home’ and across settled generations? Our sense of self is often located in ideas of place and narratives drawn from history and biology, creating a tension between our desire to assimilate and belong somewhere or to preserve our origins. How might digital spaces create alternative definitions of community and identities shaped by more fluid notions of belonging? And how can new technologies allow us to adapt to changing ecological conditions?
Jessica El Mal (Artist) www.elmalart.com, @jessica_elmal
Niloo Sharifi (Multidisciplinary artist)