My field work has taken me to remote indigenous territories from the Amazon to the Arctic region where I have physically experienced environmental devastation and its deep impact on all forms of life. The main protagonist in my video narratives is the figure of the indigenous scientist emerging from a shared history of colonial conquest and modern natural science whose rationale has been a major driver in the current eco crisis. Based on field research in the Amazonian forests of Colombia, my recent art videos and collaborative action projects unite diverse strands of knowledge on the intelligence of nature and the relationship among all living beings who inhabit these spaces. Bridging scientific and indigenous perspectives, I have become involved in co-creating with the Inga people a Biocultural Indigenous University. This indigenous-led long-term endeavor proposes an ecocentric worldview engendering further research on forest epistemologies. At a time of global biodiversity loss, it is more important than ever to rethink the epistemic roots of our relationship to Earth and take a propositional approach to art.

Ursula Biemann

Poetics, Ethics and Politics of the Forest in Latin American Cultures
22—23 June, 2022

Poetics, Ethics and Politics of the Forest in Latin American Cultures

Interdisciplinary Conference

Collegium Helveticum, Zurich

Organized by Prof. Dr. Mayara Ribeiro Guimarães, the conference discusses relations between humans and non-humans, by reviewing histories of contact between different peoples and crossing over the scientific, political and poetic viewpoints that have the forest and its inhabitants as the center of critical debate. The event will bring together practitioners and scholars working in the literary and cultural studies and the arts, anthropology, ethnography, philosophy, as well as the biological and natural sciences to discuss the urgent transformation of the social and political relations of life and Earth.

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