‘Récits des vivants / More-than-human Narratives’ is a series of five online seminars in which artists and activists will discuss how their work engages with environmental and animal questions, in questioning anthropocentrism and contesting injustice, and with a view towards fostering ecological awareness and meaningful sustainability.
About this event
Drawing on a broad range of media and artforms (painting, drawing, sculpture, performance, film, writing, graphic narrative), this series will explore key topics for our changing world, such as oceanic potentialities, revolutionary popular environmentalism, the biopolitics of industrial slaughter, animal ethics, and decolonial ecology.
In doing so, it will shine a light on the varied modes of resistance deployed by artists and activists to create and share alternative narratives for environmental justice, care and solidarity, engaging with multispecies, feminist, queer, and decolonial ecologies.
While this series will focus on more-than-human narratives through the lens of contemporary France, it aims to open a dialogue among scholars, practitioners, and activists working in the Environmental Humanities in any subject area. Across the series, we will discuss inspiring and militant ways of exposing and challenging anthropocentric, gendered, (neo-)colonial, heteronormative, nationalistic, and capitalist ideologies, as well as their material impacts on bodies and territories. We will explore narratives, imaginaries and practices that work to create possibilities for alternative modes of representing, engaging and living with the more-than-human in our troubling times.
All the seminars will be either in English, or in French with simultaneous English translation.
‘Récits des vivants / More-than-human Narratives’ is funded by the British Academy / Leverhulme Trust Small Grant scheme (SRG22\220097).
- Seminar 1: talk and discussion with visual artist Alexander Lee
– past date 08.02.23
- Seminar 2: political scientist, activist and author Fatima Ouassak
– past date 23.03.23
- Seminar 3: film director Maud Alpi
– past date 19.04.23
- Seminar 4: comics artist Anne Defréville
– 4th July, 3.45pm UK time
- Seminar 5: comics writer Jessica Oublié
– mid-July, exact date TBC
Tickets for these events will be available to book on Eventbrite.
Alexander Lee was born in Stockton, CA, and grew up on the island of Tahiti, French Polynesia. He earned his BFA from the School of Visual Arts (2000), his MFA from Columbia University (2002), and MPS from the Interactive Telecommunications Program at New York University (2004). His work, which has been exhibited extensively worldwide, spans drawing, sculpture, performance, painting and video, forming a thought-provoking decolonial practice-based reflection on Polynesia’s pasts, presents and futures and on environmental collapse from the multi-layered perspectives of the Pacific. Drawing on Polynesian natural-cultural forms, concepts and images, questioning and dismantling the history and legacy of imperialism and colonial narratives, Lee’s work is concerned with the necessity and urgency of transformation on our changing planet.
For an overview of Alexander Lee’s incredibly rich and powerful artistic practice see www.alexanderleestudio.com, and www.marisanewman.com/projects#/alexander-lee on his recent series of sculptures Rā’au.
All are welcome to attend this free event, which will be held online via Zoom on 8th February 1-2pm UK time. You will need to register in advance to receive the online joining link.
For the second seminar in our online series, it is an honour to welcome Fatima Ouassak, who is a political scientist and activist, and a key and vital voice in contemporary environmentalism in France. A militant for a feminist, popular, antiracist and radical ecology, she is the author of La Puissance des mères, pour un nouveau sujet révolutionnaire [The power of mothers: for a new revolutionary subject] (2020); and Pour une écologie pirate. Et nous serons libres [For a pirate ecology. And we will be free] (2023). Fatima Ouassak is the founder of the Classe/Genre/Race network, co-founder of the association Front de mères (Mothers’ Front) and the Maison d’Écologie populaire Verdragon (Centre of Popular Ecology). During this seminar Fatima Ouassak will talk about her activism and her call for a pirate ecology. The talk and discussion will be in French with simultaneous English translation.
All are welcome to attend this free event, which will be held online via Zoom on 4-5pm GMT on Thursday 23rd March. You will need to register in advance to receive the online joining link.
‘Les bêtes arrivent la nuit. Elles sentent. Elles résistent. Avant l’aube, un jeune homme les conduit à la mort. Son chien découvre un monde effrayant qui semble ne jamais devoir s’arrêter.’
‘The animals arrive by night. They intuit. They resist. A young man leads them to their deaths before dawn. His dog discovers a terrifying world that seems certain never to end.’
For the third seminar in our online series, we are delighted to welcome Maud Alpi. Maud Alpi is the award-winning director of the short films Le fils de la sorcière (2004), Nice (2009), Drakkar (2015), and the feature-length film Gorge Cœur Ventre/Still Life (2016), which was shot in a working slaughterhouse and on which this seminar will focus. During this seminar Maud Api will talk about the context in which she made the film, how her initial script and ideas evolved in contact with the non-human animals that are at the core of the film, and the aesthetic, ethical and political issues it raises for creating and articulating more-than-human narratives.
All are welcome to attend this free event, which will be held online via Zoom on Wednesday 19th April 2-3pm BST. The seminar will be in English. You will need to register in advance to receive the online joining link.