On Friday 6 December 2019, we held our annual Symposium in Friends House, London, entitled Staying with the trouble: Critical and creative approaches to the climate and biodiversity crises. This is one of the key themes in our Research Strategy, and Donna Haraway very kindly lent her book title to the event.

We welcomed a sell-out audience and collaborators from a broad range of creative backgrounds for a series of conversations, facilitated by performance ecologist Ruth Little.

View or download the Symposium programme here (PDF, 1.5MB).

Recognising there are contested understandings of ‘landscape,’ we believe arts and creative practice has core value to research, asking key questions, and challenging received wisdom and current thinking to develop new visions for just and sustainable relationships between people and landscapes.

In early 2018, we part-funded a workshop in partnership with Valuing Nature at the National Gallery in London entitled “Arts and the artist in landscape and environmental research today.” This led to a report produced by Valuing Nature, on “Valuing arts and arts research,” and laid the groundwork for this Symposium.

Left to right: Ruth Little, Amanda Thomson, Andrew Patrizio, George Revill, Lisa Garforth, Anupama Ranawana

Our event collaborators (more info here) are based at universities and each have some form of creative practice, from visual arts to sound to writing:

The Symposium took the form of three conversations, which are below, to listen or download.

In which we discuss what landscape is, and the unseen within landscapes; how nature/culture produces landscape; bioviolence toward bodies, and bodies of land. (MP3, 25MB)

In which we discuss place and place-making, particularly in the face of rapid change; homesickness and solastalgia; embodiment; processes of care; hope. (MP3, 25MB)

In which we hear a live audio performance/work-in-progress from sensingsite called ‘Landfill;’ discuss how to ‘extend the edges’ of practice and making space for uncertainty; the importance of pause in an emergency; the roles of science fiction and comedy in reorienting ourselves; thresholds of interspecies living; skills for staying with the trouble. (MP3, 31 MBs)

The themes discussed in the Symposium will form the theme for our upcoming funding call for research projects, announced in early 2020.

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