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Patterns of Environment-making: the Arctic and its Global Contexts

Awarded: NOK 0.15 mill.

This workshop gathers a group of international humanities scholars (Indigenous and Western) from Europe, Canada and the USA and 2-3 Arctic Indigenous visual artists to build and disseminate critical research on the historic and ongoing causes of climate and environmental change in the Arctic. Through novel research that draws on postcolonial, Indigenous and ecofemnist theory and a world-historical perspective grounded in Jason W. Moore’s (2015) concept of the Capitalocene, the workshop extends the historically shallow and universalizing Anthropocene explanations of the climate crisis. It also challenges the techno-scientific green solutions, which, still based on the capitalist logic of extracting cheap nature, often meet with resistance from Arctic Indigenous communities. Appreciating connections between the past and the present, the local and the global, the workshop considers the capitalist contexts of environmental change in the Arctic and the region’s own colonial histories. It examines 1) the intellectual and practical ways in which dominant society historically contributed to the climate crisis through the creation of ‘cheap nature’ and radically transforming social worlds, 2) Indigenous resistance towards, and alternatives to, the colonial and capitalist world system’s exploitation and appropriation of humans and nature. ‘Patterns of Environment-making: the Arctic and its Global Contexts’ is innovative because of its strategic positioning as part of the Riddu Riddu Festival. In situating the workshop in a non-academic setting and within an established Indigenous platform, it becomes a genuine outreach project that invites and listens to the perspectives of a relevant public. The workshop is innovative in its inclusion of artists, whose ways of thinking, creating and communicating through artistic, conceptual and material means have the potential to move intellectually and emotionally in different and more immediate ways than academic presentations.

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