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Festival: EcoFutures: Queer, Feminist and Decolonial Responses to Ecological & Environmental Changes

Text by CLOT Magazine

An upcoming 3-week festival, which includes a curated 2-week long group exhibition, an open day, an international conference, workshops, screenings, performances, artists’ residencies and a club night, is kicking off next week in different venues in East London.

Giulia Casalini is the curator of the interdisciplinary artistic programme responding to urgent environmental issues such as climate change, pollution, health and sustainability through an intersectional, feminist and queer lens. The contributions to the programme will include over 40 invited artists, speakers and collectives, as well as over 30 works selected from an open-call process.

Giulia shares that with Ecofutures they hope to create a local-global dialogue, network and showcase of artists, theorists and activists working to produce change through anti-patriarchal and decolonial perspectives. They also want those who come to their programme to challenge their own identities and decentre their ideas of themselves as ‘humans’ in relation to ‘non-human’ others.

The programme spans 7 venues and 10 partner organisations, exploring a range of current urgent topics: from ecological disasters to the figure of the ‘climate refugee’; from plastic use to the contamination of aquatic bodies and the human; from rising air toxicity to the increase of human and animal diseases; from neo-colonialist soil exploitations to indigenous land reclamations and green economies; from high-speed neo-capitalist consumption to the rising production of trash and techno-waste; from the rise of temperature and sea levels and their direct effects on the environment, with a focus on the Majority World.

The festival will mix ecological debate with digital media and queerness angle. When asked why she thinks is relevant to bring this cross-disciplinary approach and reflection about nowadays, Giulia responds that by employing a range of media, the artists present both current and future depictions of human/non-human interconnections within the ecological landscape that we inhabit. Some of the artists are doing so through queer strategies, such as, by deconstructing the presumed fixity of our identities in order to allow for a less anthropocentric way of relating to geology, climate, plants, animals and other entities.

Some of these artists include micha cárdenas, who will be showing Redshift & Portalmetal, which tells the story of Roja, whose planet’s environment is failing, forcing her to travel to other worlds. The project is an online, interactive game, including film, performance and poetry; Pinar Yoldas, with MOTHERGOD , where she engineers a speculative future with gene editing technologies like CRISPR. Mary Magic and The Molecular Queering Agency is a live participatory performance using urine worship, hormone oxygen masks, and audiovisual projection.

At the same time, Quimera Rosa will showcase Trans*Plant. This transdisciplinary project urges us to develop a non-hierarchical approach towards nature, therefore rejecting Western anthropocentric binaries that separate man/woman, white/non-white, straight/queer, science/witchcraft, and normal/abnormal altogether.

(Media courtesy of Ecofuture)
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