Art, Activism and Climate Change

We are happy to announce the list of 20 participants selected for the workshop ‘Art, Activism and Climate Change’ by Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination, May 7-10, 2015, Rucka Artist Residency in Cēsis, Latvia:
Kaspars Goba, film maker, Latvia, Emīls Hlevickis, environmental activist, coordinator of Lucavsala eco community, Latvia, Dāvis Kaņepe, film maker, Latvia, Jana Simanovska, environmental activist, lecturer, Latvia, Liene Jurgelāne, trainer for NGO GLEN Europe on alternative economy and sustainable development, manager at KKC, Latvia, Agnese Bordjukova, choreographer, Latvia, Krista Pētersone, environmental geographer, Latvia, Lelde Zēna, environmental activist, employee at NGO Homo Ecos, Latvia, Austra Hauks, scenography student, Latvia, Sandris Ādminis, rights activist, Latvia, Alberto di Gennaro, theatre director, designer, Latvia, Alise Brante, environmental design student, Latvia, Aija Zučika, geographer, project manager at international environmental projects, Latvia, Mārtiņš Eihe, theatre director, Latvia, Ineta Zēna, volunteer at support centre for HIV patients, Latvia, Elīna Buka, architect, photographer, Latvia, Līga Efeja, executive assistant, Climate Action Network International, Latvia, Tibor Ferencz, action coordinator, Greenpeace, Czech Republic, Viktoria Murashka, activist, Ecohome, Brest Environment awareness centre, Belorussia, Anu Koskinen, actress, researcher, Finland.

The Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination (Labofii), a collective of artists – activists Isabelle Fremeaux and John Jordan, merges art and life, creativity and resistance, proposition and opposition. Known for touring the UK recruiting a rebel clown army, running courses in postcapitalist culture, throwing snowballs at bankers, turning hundreds of abandoned bikes into machines of disobedience and launching a rebel raft regatta to shut down a coal fired power station, they treat insurrection as art and art as a means of preparing for the coming insurrection.

“As a society we are caught between a sense of impending apocalypse and the fear of acknowledging it. In this ‘caught’ place our responses are blocked and confused. On one level we maintain a more or less up-beat capacity to carry on as usual… and all the while, underneath, there is this inchoate knowledge that our world could go at any moment. Unless we find ways of acknowledging and integrating that level of anguished awareness, we repress it; and with that repression we are drained of the energy we need for action.” Joanna Macy

Faced with the immensity and complexity of the catastrophic entwining of ecological, economic and social crises that threaten our entire way of life, in fact threatens life itself, we often feel paralysed. “We could do more”, our intuition nags at us, and yet something holds us back from actions commensurate with the scale of the problem.

Based on the powerful synergies that art merged with activism can create, this workshop will explore how improvisation, story telling and getting back to our bodies can offer new avenues to conceive of effective forms of disobedience.

Participants will be encouraged to share and reflect upon personal and historical stories of courage, creativity and disobedience, learn to trust each other and engage in horizontal processes of organising, as well as explore tools for effective and creative strategies that are required in order to organise appropriate responses to the injustices of the climate catastrophe. Working with local artists and activists and using a diversity of participatory and playful methods of popular education, it will aim to start a momentum towards collective organising and affinity group building for effective disobedience in response to the UN’s 2015 Paris Climate summit.

The workshop will be facilitated by Isabelle Fremeaux, co-founder of the Labofii. It is open for international participants and will be held in English. The Workshop is designed for everybody interested but will give priority to the professionals active in the fields of art, culture and climate.

In parallel to the workshop is the show We Have Never Been Here Before, written and performed by John Jordan, co-founder of the Labofii, on May 5 and 6, 19.00, at Gertrudes ielas teatris, Riga. The autobiographical lecture performance turns the theatre into an assembly of hope in the dark and asks how we can remain empowered when our worlds are being ripped apart and life itself is threatened with extinction. Participants are encouraged to attend the performance, as its content is key for full engagement with the workshop. Free tickets will be available for all selected participants.

This event is organised by the New Theatre Institute of Latvia in the framework of the European project IMAGINE 2020: Art and Climate Change supported by the EU Programme Culture and Culture Capital Foundation of Latvia