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Seminar

OCEAN / UNI Studies in Blue Agency

Six global tales against eco-anxiety

Dates
Biweekly on Wednesday from 6 to 7.30 pm
Admission fee
Free of charge
OPEN CALL

Download here

REGISTRATION

Online registration

LANGUAGE

Lectures will be held in English

The fifth cycle of OCEAN / UNI, "Studies in Blue Agency", departs from case studies that embody critical aspects of our ecological times, expanding them on a wider scale—from the specific to the planetary level—to identify existing and emergent strategies of response. It is said that eco-anxiety can be alleviated through exercising agency or having an actual or perceived ability to act. Yet agency is not an exclusive feat of the rational human, or even collectives; it proliferates across complex assemblages of non-human actors and systems. It is necessary to acknowledge all elements of the biosphere as agents, creating relational bonds and effects that structurally modify the planet at all times. Together with them, it is possible to imagine a different planet: one that is not only conserved to survive, but even regenerated for mutual abundance.

Unfolding throughout Fall 2022
, the six live sessions narrate strategies for adapting and attuning to the shifting frictions among "us", our other-than-human neighbors, and the biosphere. The regional case studies contain critiques but also examples of affirmative interventions from ocean ecosystem regeneration, adaptation, activism, policy transformation, and social justice. In this context, art and humanities allow us to research the world together with other disciplines, becoming more than mere means of communication. Activism morphs from a political movement to a creative force: a fluid expression of our time and of the necessity to act, an essential request for access to agency that intersects the growing human desire for eco-justice with the power of more-than-human assemblages.

By foregrounding questions of agency and influence, and staging the entire semester as a structured methodological enquiry, "Studies in Blue Agency" charts who and what is playing which role in situated geographic case studies and Ocean policy domains—in other words, who and what has the capacity to act and with what effects? OCEAN / UNI builds on rich understandings of the myriad and alarming ecological tales that demand to be told, to explore multifarious practices and agencies coalescing with world-building effects. In tracing how and why such worlds have emerged and are sustained, but also challenged in practice, we envisage new worlds—regenerative, just and ultimately livable ones—that might also be ushered into existence.

WHO CAN PARTICIPATE

The program is intended for anyone eager to engage in deepening their relations with the ecological, political, aesthetic, ethical, and scientific knowledges around the realities and futures of the Ocean. Lectures will be held in English, so a good listening and speaking level is recommended to ensure meaningful exchange.

Participants are required to register for their attendance to the program online via Zoom
. Due to limited capacity applicants will be selected on a first-come, first-served basis. You are welcome to register in advance for more than one session. If you attend five sessions or more, you will receive an official certificate of attendance.

ONLINE REGISTRATION

OPEN CALL

CALENDAR

  • Wednesday, 5 October | 6–7:30pm (CET)
    First session
    STUDIES IN BLUE AGENCY: A PROLOGUE FOR CLIMATE ACTION​

    With Abhayraj Naik, Environmental Lawyer, Educator and Activist, Co-Founder of Initiative for Climate Action.
  • Wednesday, 19 October | 6–7:30pm (CET)
    Second session
    SECURING SMALL-SCALE FISHING JUSTICE WITHIN OCEAN CONSERVATION INITIATIVES

    With Monieba Isaacs, Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies, University of the Western Cape, regional coordinator and founding member of Too Big To Ignore, a global partnership for the future of small-scale fisheries; Muhammad Arju, ICCA Territories of Life (TBC).
  • Wednesday, 2 November | 6–7:30pm (CET)
    Third session
    MOVING BEYOND ECOLOGICAL DAMAGE AND ECO-SYNDROMES

    With Aylin Ulman, Marine Biologist, Founder of Mersea Consulting; Mert Gökalp, Marine Biologist and Filmmaker.
  • Wednesday, 16 November | 6–7:30pm (CET)
    Fourth session
    THINKING WITH THE SEABED: THE FUTURE OF OCEAN EXTRACTIVISM​

    With Dr. Patricia Esquete, Deep Sea Biologist, University of Aveiro, Portugal; Clement Yow Mulalap, Legal Advisor to Federated States of Micronesia and International Environmental Lawyer, Blue Ocean Law.
  • Wednesday, 30 November | 6–7:30pm (CET)
    Fifth session
    PERFORMING BLUE DE-GROWTH

    With John Childs, Lancaster University Environment Center; Massa Lemu, Visual Artist and Writer (TBC).
  • Wednesday, 14 December | 6–7:30pm (CET)
    Sixth session
    A FUTURE VERNACULAR? FOREGROUNDING LOCALIZED KNOWLEDGES FOR FUTURE-BUILDING

    With Rashad Salim, Expeditionary Artist and Activist.

ABOUT OCEAN / UNI

Initiated by Daniela Zyman in 2020, OCEAN / UNI is a collaborative learning initiative developed by TBA21–Academy for higher education institutions, independent researchers, practitioners, and Ocean enthusiasts that encourages building a far-reaching network and developing a transdisciplinary methodology. Established as part of the programming around the exhibition "Territorial Agency: Oceans in Transformation", OCEAN / UNI is conceived as a collaborative pedagogic space that invites fluid thinking with the Ocean.

The Curriculum aims to provide students, researchers, and the public with wide-ranging and accessible explorations through regular live sessions, reading groups, small-scale workshops or activations, collective visual notebooks, an online archive of gathered knowledge and materials, and through the ocean comm/uni/ty.

TEAM

The fall semester of OCEAN / UNI 2022 is curated and developed by Louise Carver, Human Geographer and Political Ecologist, TBA21–Academy Head of Knowledge Practices; Pietro Consolandi, OCEAN /UNI Research Lead, Artist and Writer; and Mekhala Dave, Law and Policy Analyst & Researcher; alongside Aleksandra Czerniak, Digital Project & Transformation Manager; Michal Kučerák, Digital Content Manager; Petra Linhartová; Head of Digital & Innovation; Fiona Middleton, Research & Community, and Markus Reymann, Director of TBA21–Academy. Graphic design: Lana Jerichová. Produced with care by the TBA21–Academy team.

ACADEMIC PARTNER 2020-2022

  • AA Architectural Association School of Architecture, London
  • Brera Academy, Milan, Italy
  • Ca' Foscari University of Venice, Italy
  • Columbia University, NY, USA
  • GEO—DESIGN, Design Academy Eindhoven, The Netherlands
  • Hochschule Mainz: University of Applied Sciences, Germany
  • Lancaster University, UK
  • Institut Kunst, FHNW Academy of Art and Design, Basel, Switzerland
  • NTNU Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway
  • Salon Swiss / Bern University of Applied Sciences, Switzerland