Indigenous Cultural Resurgence and Environmental Justice on the Global Stage
Part of Politics and Performance Speakers Series
Credits: 2 ECTS (for seminar)
Thursday, 25 November 2021, 16:00-18:00 CET
Helen Gilbert (University of London, United Kingdom)
Once largely ignored beyond their local contexts, the ecological concerns of indigenous groups now register to broad international constituencies, in both public and scientific arenas, as they increasingly align with evidence of our planet’s precarity as a life-sustaining system. This situation has lent traction to campaigns demanding recognition of traditional ecological knowledges, even as schisms emerge between mainstream and indigenous environmental movements. With examples drawn from Australia, Canada and the Pacific, my presentation focuses on embodied arts that draw instrumentally on indigenous ways of knowing and doing to perform (and inform) their activism, offering, in the process, new insights into the conceptual apparatus of the Anthropocene. Discussion of how the campaign for environmental justice inflects such insights will be informed by Rob Nixon’s theorisations of incremental ecosystem destruction as a ‘slow violence’ dispersed across time and space.
Helen Gilbert is Professor of Theatre at Royal Holloway University of London and author or editor of several volumes in postcolonial theatre and performance studies, including, most recently, Marrugeku: Telling That Story (2021) and In the Balance: Indigeneity, Performance, Globalization (2018). Her research explores arts-based activism in marginalized societies in Canada, Australia, South Africa and Oceania, with a current focus on environmental issues, notably climate change and other Anthropogenic disruptions to the water cycle. In 2015, she was awarded a Humboldt Prize for career achievements in international theatre and performance studies.
Photo Credit: Errorista Landing, Operación B.A.N.G. Peoples Summit. Mar del Plata, Argentina. 2005. Internacional Errorista Photo: Archivo Etcétera.