Different Languages

Cultura21 Launches New Website

Dear all,

Today, I have the pleasure to announce on this list, two important news from Cultura21: Our relaunched, redesigned, multilingual website at cultura21.net, and the new Cultura21 eBooks series:

New Website: just launched

Please visit http://www.cultura21.net to discover our redesigned website. On this new website, you will find information not only about the activities of Cultura21, but also about other news relevant to Cultura21 themes. Don’t hesitate to browse through the 46 “pages” (top menu bar) and 100 “posts” (right-hand “categories” menu) already available on the website. You will also find a new ‘forum’ on the website (for which you will have to register, in order to contribute).

The website is currently available in the following languages: English, French, German, Spanish, and Esperanto. Further languages will follow (Danish and Turkish are expected for the future).

The web-magazine and the wiki remain available at the same web addresses as usual, and they are linked from the new website too.

With many thanks to the editors who made this possible, and most especially to Roland Prüfer, our designer and webmaster!

Cultura21 eBooks series: 3 volumes already available

The Cultura21 eBooks Series on Culture and Sustainability, edited by Sacha Kagan and Davide Brocchi, presents findings from inter- and trans-disciplinary perspectives in research and practice. The eBooks are published openly online by Cultura21 Institut e.V. in order to support broad dissemination and to stimulate further debates in civil society and further action-research in the field.

The eBooks, which are available as PDF files, are published as part of Cultura21’s Web Magazine and thus can be found at: http://magazin.cultura21.de/piazza/texte and the latest eBook from the series can be found also on our new multilingual website at http://www.cultura21.net.

So far (since December 2010), three eBooks have been released already, in three different languages (German, French and English):
– Vol. 1: Lisa Grabe. Das „Projekt Nachhaltigkeit“. Zu den Grenzen des Nachhaltigkeitskonzepts aus kultureller Perspektive. PDF direct link
– Vol. 2: David Knaute. Le Syndrome Karamoja: Repenser la crise des sociétés pastorales dans le contexte de la globalisation. PDF direct link
– Vol. 3: Julia Hahn. Creative Cities and (Un)Sustainability – Cultural Perspectives. PDF direct link

Kind regards,

Tuesdays at the 10th: SILA from Mo`olelo

In June 2009, Mo`olelo received a two-year grant from The James Irvine Foundation to commission playwright Chantal Bilodeau to write  a new play that explores the intersection of race, class and climate change.

Chantal journeyed to the Canadian arctic in August 2009 and met with scientists and Inuit activists.

Please join us for a reading and discussion of the first draft of this play, currently titled Sila, on June 15. Your feedback will help Mo`olelo and the playwright as we continue to develop the script.

About the play:
The Arctic is melting and everyone wants a piece of it. In the race to shape the future of the region, four characters – an ice scientist, an Inuit activist, an officer for the Marine Communications and Traffic Services and a polar bear – see their values challenged as their lives become intricately intertwined. Mixing puppetry, projection, spoken word poetry and three different languages (English, French & Inuktitut), Silais a plea for increased collaboration in dealing with the big challenges of our time.

Directed by Seema Sueko
Featuring: Mike Sears, Jacob Bruce, Randy Reinholz, LaVonne Rae Andrews, Tonantzin Carmelo

When: Tuesday, May 25
5:15 PM Pre-reading munchies by Cooking 4 Life - Cooking-4-Life will be offering a free sampling of healthy vegetarian lasagna, delicious coleslaw salad and an opportunity to register for one of their free gourmet dinners in the lobby  of the theater before the reading.
6:00 PM Reading

Where: The 10th Avenue Theatre, 930 10th Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101

Cost: FREE (Suggested donation of $5 at the door)

Reservations: Space is limited. RSVP at tickets@moolelo.net or 619-342-7395

Traffic & Parking: Please note that there is a 7:05 PM Padres game at Petco Park on June 15. We recommend arriving at the theater early, for the 5:15 PM reception to avoid the game day traffic. There is metered street parking around the building, and a $5 parking lot one block away at the northeast corner of 11th Avenue and E Street. The machine at this lot accepts Visa, Master Card and exact cash – please note on some game days the parking fee at this lot is raised to $10.

Emotional Appeal

Nudge, Nudge, Wink, Wink – there needs to be more promiscuity across different disciplines if there’s to be more fruitful solutions to environmental change. On Earth Day, Seed magazine published a well-toned article about economist Ben Ho, and suggested a need for joined-up thinking on climate change between behavioral economics (hence the reference to ‘Nudge’) and social sciences (erm… ‘winking’ is anthropological). And these latest understandings from the sciences about human behaviour bring big questions into focus for art practioners.

Do the arts understate their potential role in generating a more holistic understanding of contemporary life? And what are our expectations of art? What kind of insights do artists bring about in relation to social change and environmental change…? (The most talked about art book on this is Bradley and Esche’s ‘Art and Social Change’, which is worth reading in conjunction with Mute magazine’s in-depth discussion).

The idea that people’s decisions are governed more by their subconscious emotional responses than by an impartial rationality is well argued by behavioural economics (and the RSA projects, Social Brain and Design & Behaviour). And that the social sciences grew from analysising how and why people behave they way they do, prompted Ho to reiterate the ol’ ecological adage: “The only way to get anything done is a holistic approach,” but then he emphasises the need for productive argument “We’re all speaking different languages, and that leads to conflicts. But that has to be the way forward.”

And this is surely the way forward for the arts too – art benefits hugely from engaging with other disciplines and there is real need for productive honest progressive debate about the ‘use’ of the art in relation to contemporary environmental change, without returning to the entrenched positions of instrumentalism v art for arts sake. Isn’t it the case that speaking provocatively about personal ethics and politics enhances our understanding of artists’ work?

And if emotional appeal is now regarded, by the natural sciences, as a highly persuasive human resource, why has visual art appeared to move so far away from ‘emotional expression’? And if it hasn’t really moved away from emotional expression – but has transposed it into provocative gestures , such as Jeremy Deller’s work (see Michaela’s blog) – should artists feel any responsibility to make their own position explicit as part of a public debate? Art should still infuriate and delight us – so isn’t it time for the arts, and the discussion that surrounds it, to get more overtly passionate, excitable and intellectually promiscuous again? Wink, wink …

“Human beings’ decision-making processes, as individuals and collectively, are probably at least as complicated as the climate system itself,” Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Project on Climate Change. From  Seed.com

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology