The 2nd Peaceful Coexistence Colloquium - Reimagining Ethics and Politics of Space for the Anthropocene
June 6-9, 2017, Pyhä, Finnish Lapland
The Earth is in the middle of an enormous crisis, often referred to as the ‘Anthropocene’, the age of humans. In this new geological time humans interfere with the processes of the non-human world to an ever-greater extent and at a faster rate than ever before. This has produced an ecological crisis, but also socio-cultural one: unjust and inequitable distribution of wealth has accelerated since the Industrial Revolution.
As a response to this socio-ecological crisis, political and economic actors have called for a transition to sustainability, a post-industrial mode of production fueled by green and clean technology. This reformist agenda, employing notions such as ‘sustainable development’, ‘sustainable growth’ and ‘green economy’, posits that advances of modern technology and economic development are the ways to solve the problems of the Anthropocene. Yet, the offered solutions neither challenge the root causes of the ecological destruction, namely economic growth combined with the growth of population (e.g. IPCC, 2014; Paris agreement), nor the prevailing social injustices maintained by the capitalist mode of production. Instead, the Anthropocene problems are treated as externalities or market failures that can be addressed by more efficient organization of economic activities.
It is our intention in this colloquium to move beyond the techno-capitalist regime and call for new and more radical ways for addressing current social-economic crisis. To this aim, we envisage a new narrative of change that is based upon deep transformations rather than mere social and economic reforms. Such a narrative does not outline the transformation, but rather renders visible ‘small’ transformations taking place throughout the globe. We view that these numerous and various transformations enable to alter unjust practices and power structures in a more sustainable and context-specific way. Importantly, such a new narrative highlights, rather than suppresses, the potentiality residing in non-Western ways of relating to and living in the earth.
More specifically, the colloquium will focus on reimagining the Anthropocene through the concepts of ethics and politics, and will do so by emphasizing the question of space. This is because many of the problems of the Anthropocene revolve around the question of how space between the human sphere and the rest of the world is, or is not, shared – an ethical and political question in itself. The Anthropocene also profoundly challenges the temporal and spatial horizons of ethical actions, and arouses novel ethical concerns related to the representation of spaces. Indeed, the ontologies of space radically affect the episteme through which the human-earth relations are understood, challenging the conventional norms for coexistence. The Anthropocene also invites to reassess the often Eurocentric and rationalistic assumptions inscribed in ethical theories and to explore conceptual and practical links between ethics and politics. Furthermore, the changes occurring in the Earth, and in technology and medicine, open up novel ethical questions, relevant for many fields from law to social sciences and humanities. The colloquium therefore seeks to consider the scope of ethical and political analyses in a broad sense so as to better to capture the complex and novel nature of on-going transformations.
The 2nd Peaceful Coexistence Colloquium is organized by University of Lapland, in collaboration with a group of international scholars (see our webpages). The colloquium – that takes place in Pyhätunturi, Finnish Lapland – will be an intimate event, where we engage in creative ways of working and co-exist with the Lappish nature. We wish to bring together researchers from various disciplines united by the interest in developing new and radical ways for thinking of and acting in the Anthropocene, and by willingness to share their findings and thoughts. We welcome conceptual, methodological, empirical and artistic contributions related to the colloquium theme.
Please send your abstract of 500 words to firstname.lastname@example.org by December 15, 2016. Notification of acceptance by February 1, 2017.
Hope to meet you in breath-taking Lapland! For further information, see www.ulapland.fi/peacefulcoexistence
Four papers from the 1st Peaceful Coexistence Colloquium (University for Peace, Costa Rica, 2015) and six invited contributions will be published by Routledge in the "Transnational Law and Governance" -series (edited by Paolo Farah) under the title Sustainability and Peaceful Coexistence for the Anthropocene (edited by Pasi Heikkurinen) in Spring 2017. This year's conference presenters also have the option to publish within the same series or as a journal special issue.
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