“The struggle of embracing our moment—is the struggle
that we live in the most destructive moment in 65 million years!”
Brian Swimme, Professor of Integral Studies and evolutionary philosopher,
The New Story, 2006
“There are opportunities even in the most difficult moments.”
Dr. Wangari Maathai, Nobel Peace Prize winner, first woman in Africa to get a Ph.D and Kenyan Green Belt Forest Movement Founder
The above quotes are from my website – I keep them in mind for my art and ecology practice and research. I am therefore delighted to have been asked to share my work and recent summary video at an important conference that is integrating academic and Indigenous knowledge, in Maynooth College, Dublin, 14-20 October 2016.
The theme of the symposia is ‘Attending to Places Wounded by the Legacies of Historical Violence.’
I will be discussing how my ongoing Hollywood forest project (since 2008), resists the ecocide of industrial clear-fell, monoculture forestry. My transversal work, that advances aesthetic, ethical and political and new forestry understanding, reveals a way of interacting to support continuously flourishing forest communities (of which humanity depends upon), and it is a new model for the emergent field of eco-social art practice.
Some of my ideas speak to developing an indigeneity to a place and its inhabitants. Indigenous academic, activist and author Canadian Okanagan Prof. Jeanette Armstrong speaks of acquiring “indigeneity” as critical for all societies. She argues it should not be based on ethnicity but through the relationships we foster with all the lifeforms that support a particular place (Armstrong and Jensen, 2014)
In contemporary art, an important recent meeting between Western and Indigenous encounters took place during the Rights of Nature Art and Ecology in the Americas exhibition at the Nottingham Contemporary Art Gallery (2015). C0-curator TJ Demos has reviewed why this exhibition is crucial for advancing urgently needed life-sustaining knowledge and practices in Elemental – an arts and ecology reader (2016), and I hope to reflect on these developments at Maynooth, through the lens of my practice and research. It is also encouraging to hear of another Irish-Indigenous meeting that happened during the weekend in Donegal, the First Nations Ireland: Exploring Indigenous Values of Irish Culture gathering– it set out to explore Aotearoa |New Zealand Maori indigeneity to rekindle place knowledge here in Ireland!
Details of the Mapping Spectral Traces Symposia at Maynooth 14-20 Oct 2016 are below: hope to see you there! I am so looking forward to the range of viewpoints that will be shared at this meeting.
The summary video that I will be showing is below – in case you can’t attend.
Through artistic performances, workshops, lectures, discussion, walks and exhibition, international and Irish-based artists, activists and scholars explore spatial justice. The symposium and exhibition are free and open to the public 14-20 Oct 2016.
Funded by the Irish Research Council New Foundations scheme, with support from: the Space&Place Research Collaborative; Maynooth University’s: Department of Geography, Edward Kennedy Institute for Conflict Intervention, Department of English, and Social Science Institute (MUSSI); Ómós Áite, Centre for Irish Studies, National University of Ireland Galway; Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation; Trinity College Dublin, Department of Geography; and the international Mapping Spectral Traces network.
Organised and curated by Dr. Karen E. Till.
Image courtesy Cathy Fitzgerald (c) 2016.