„We are changing the story. Climate crisis as a crisis of imagination” – Conference
„We are changing the story. Climate crisis as a crisis of imagination” – Conference organised by EIT Climate KIC and the School of Ecopoetics at the Institute of Reportage
The most recent UN Climate Change Conference has clearly demonstrated that the debate about climate urgently requires intervention. To begin with, there is a need for a new, constructive language and adequate metaphors. The ways in which the greatest planetary challenges and their possible solutions are narrated also require rethinking. With this ambitious aim in mind, we have to understand that these new ways of communicating climate-related challenges can only emerge on the intersections of science, literature and art. Creating new, convincing metaphors is only possible if literature becomes receptive to knowledge offered by science. On the other hand, it is impossible to convincingly address the newest scientific developments without the understanding that the rational mind is not the only means of knowing and experiencing reality. Poetry and art also offer important insights into the world. A mutual influence between different disciplines and ways of looking at reality – scientific and poetic – could mark the beginning of a profound transformation of ecological narratives.
EIT Climate Kic Poland and the School of Ecopoetics, a pioneer in its field on the European scene, join forces again in a project „We are changing the story. Climate crisis as a crisis of imagination”. The project attempts to work out new ways of speaking about the planet affected by ecological crises. EIT Climate Kic is a knowledge and innovation community supported by public and private partners, working for the acceleration of a transmission to a zero-carbon, climate resilient society. The School of Ecopoetics focuses on an ecocritical investigation of cultural narratives about climate and the environment and on inventing new stories about the relationship between humans and their planet in in our critical moment. In two video lectures, prepared especially for this project, Julia Fiedorczuk (Warsaw University/the School of Ecopoetics) and Grzegorz Czemiel (Maria Curie Skłodowska University in Lublin) ponder the possibilities of a synergic reinvention of the language of contemporary ecology. Grzegorz Czemiel (link) asks whether science needs art – and in what way. Julia Fiedorczuk (link), in turn, proposes the concept of ecological intelligence, involving not just knowledge produced by the methods of science but also the kind of knowledge or competence which results from artistic, literary or poetic interventions.
The two lectures constitute a starting point for an online conference which will be held on Dec 13th on the social media of EIT Climate KIC and the Institute of Reportage. During two panel discussions the invited guests will address the possibilities of an alliance between natural sciences and art in counteracting climate change as well as the proposed concept of ecological intelligence. The panelists include: Julia Fiedorczuk (Warsaw University), Piotr Skubała (University of Silesia), George Marshal (Climate Outreach) Aleksandra Gołdys (EIT Climate KIC Poland), Eva Meijer (writer, Holandia), Zoe Skouldung (poet, Wales).
Lectures and panels will be open to the the public in the online form. The language of the conference is English.
The project is supported by a series of podcasts in Polish which will be broadcast by radio TOK FM. In subsequent podcasts the invited guests address the question of an effective communication of climate change, wonder why people are especially fond of apocalyptic visions of the future and why those visions need to be replaced with other narratives, analyse contemporary climate narratives and look for the ways to overcome the marasmus of Anthropocene. The list of guests includes: Marta Marczuk (Lata Dwudzieste), Magdalena Budziszewska (Warsaw University), Andrzej Marzec (Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan) i Maciej Jakubowiak (dwutygodnik.com)
Online Conference: We are changing the story. Climate crisis as a crisis of Imagination
13 DEC 2021, time: 13:00 – 16:15 (UTC+1)
Panel 1 On the possibility of alliance between natural sciences and the arts in counteracting climate change
Julia Fiedorczuk (Poland) poet, writer, translator and researcher who has published extensively on ecocriticism and ecopoetics. She holds an academic post at the Institute of English Studies at Warsaw University. Her first poetry collection „Listopad nad Narwią” (November by the River Narew) was awarded the prize of the Polish Association of Book Publishers. She is also recipient of the Hubert Burda Award (Austria) and the Szymborska Prize (for „Psalmy,” 2018). She is a co-founder (with Filip Springer) of the School of Ecopoetics at Warsaw’s Institute of Reportage. She is a columnist for Przekrój and for the most popular Polish weekly, Polityka. Her last novel „Pod Słońcem” was published in 2020. Her work has been translated into over 20 languages.
Piotr Skubała (Poland) – Professor of biological sciences, PhD from the Faculty of Natural Sciences at the University of Silesia in Katowice. Soil ecologist, acarologist (dealing with the ecology of Oribatida soil mites), environmental philosopher, educator and climate activist, ethic expert for the European Commission in Brussels (HORIZON 2020), member of the GMO and GMM commission working under the Ministry of the Environment, a contributor at the monthly magazines “AURA. Ochrona środowiska” [Aura. Environmental Protection] and “Dzikie życie” [Wild Life], co-organiser of Environmental Culture Festival “Zielono Mi” [I’m feeling Green], organiser and co-host of meetings held by the Environmental Thought Club.
George Marshal (United Kingdom) – George has 30 years experience at all levels of communications and advocacy – from community level protest movements, to senior positions in Greenpeace and the Rainforest Foundation, to advisory roles for governments, businesses and international agencies. He is an award winning documentary maker and writes regularly on climate change issues including articles for The Guardian, The New Statesman, New Scientist and The Ecologist.
Marta Werbanowska is a postdoctoral University Assistant at the Department of English and American Studies, University of Vienna, Austria. She obtained her Ph.D. in English from Howard University in 2019. Her research and teaching interests include African American and Caribbean literatures with a focus on poetry, poetics of social and environmental/climate justice, Environmental Humanities, and Black Studies. Her work has been published in ISLE and the CLA Journal, among others. In 2014-15, she was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte. She is currently working on her first book project, tentatively titled African American Ecopoetics and Black Atlantic Ecological Thinking.
Panel 2 „How to build, communicate and teach „ecological intelligence”?
Aleksandra Gołdys (Poland) – Education Design Developer, Central and Eastern Europe at Climate-KIC. Her role is to co-design educational dimension in all innovative processes Climate-KIC is leading in our region. She works with partners: universities, schools, municipalities and entrepreneurs – all those who focus on systemic change for sustainable future.
Eva Meijer (Netherlands) – Eva Meijler Eva Meijer is an artist, writer, philosopher and singer-songwriter. Meijer wrote eleven books and her work has been translated into eighteen languages. As a visual artist, Meijer works in different media, ranging from performance art, music theatre, installation, video, drawing and photography. She currently works on new drawings. As singer-songwriter she released four albums and two EP’s, and she played concerts in The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, England and the USA.
Zoë Skoulding (Wales) is a poet and literary critic interested in translation, sound and ecology. She is Professor of Poetry and Creative Writing at Bangor University. Her collections of poetry (published by Seren Books) include The Mirror Trade(2004); Remains of a Future City (2008), shortlisted for Wales Book of the Year; The Museum of Disappearing Sounds (2013), shortlisted for Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry; and Footnotes to Water (2019), which was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and won the Wales Book of the Year Poetry Award 2020. In 2020 she also published The Celestial Set-Up (Oystercatcher) and A Revolutionary Calendar(Shearsman). She received the Cholmondeley Award from the Society of Authors in 2018 for her body of work in poetry, and is a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales.
Grzegorz Czemiel (born 1983) holds a PhD in the humanities from the University of Warsaw, and is Assistant Professor at the Institute of English Studies, Maria Curie Skłodowska University in Lublin. His academic interests include: English language poetry, cartogrphy, and ecological criticism and philosophy, with an emphasis on speculative realism. He has published a monograph on Ciaran Carson (Peter Lang, 2014) and articles on contemporary poetry and speculative realism. Furthermore, he is a translator of academic and essayistic prose, and poetry.
„We are changing the story. Climate crisis as a crisis of imagination” – Conference
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