EcoFutures Festival will stage a series of urgent performances, exhibitions, workshops, and more about the climate crisis
Creativity has long offered an alternative lens for which to view – and propose solutions to – some of the world’s most pressing issues. Currently, at the top of that agenda is the climate crisis. From climate change to extinction, pollution, sustainability and health, the world as we know it is under great threat. Waiting around for world leaders to do something feels hopeless. Instead, artists such as Olafur Eliasson are placing ice blocks outside of the Tate Modern and teenage climate activists are giving poignant speeches at the World Economic Forum to raise urgent awareness about the dwindling health of our planet.
A 2018 report published by the UN titled “Women, Gender Equality, and Climate Change” stated that women will be more affected than men by the crisis: “primarily as they constitute the majority of the world’s poor and are more dependent for their livelihood on natural resources that are threatened by climate change”. That same year, UN Climate Change also announced that developing countries are at far greater risk from climate change and the rest of the world needs to act now in order to support them.
Tackling these issues head on, this week, EcoFutures Festival launches in east London. Curated by Arts Feminism Queer (aka CUNTemporary), the live art programme will bring together over 70 artists, activists, and theorists from across the world – across seven venues and 10 partner organisations – to urgently discuss important issues relating to the crisis through a feminist, queer, and decolonial lens.
Across two-and-a-half-weeks, EcoFutures will channel conversations through club nights, performances, art exhibitions, workshops, and many other happenings. EcoFutures states that issues will range from “ecological disasters and their impact on climate refugees; plastic/toxic waste and the contamination of aquatic and human bodies; the relationship between increasing air toxicity and human and animal diseases; high-speed capitalist consumption and the ungovernable production of trash and techno-waste; from neo-colonialist soil exploitations to indigenous land reclamations and green economies; the rise of temperature and sea levels and their direct effects on the environment, with a focus on the Majority World”.
As EcoFutures prepares to launch on Thursday, we asked the team behind it to share fives must-see happenings. The full programme can be seen here.
STARING AT THE SUN, A GROUP EXHIBITION
“A group exhibition that produces lived and speculative alternatives to the ongoing ecological and environmental destruction. The artists draw from indigenous knowledge, eco-sustainable modes of living, non-exploitative human/non-human relations, queer bio-hacking, gendered approaches to climate change, nature-based spirituality and ecosexuality. New and recent works by Helena Hunter, Liz Rosenfeld, Mary Maggic, Micha Cárdenas, Nadja Verena Marcin, Pinar Yoldas, Tabita Rezaire, Zheng Bo and Eca Eps.”
At the Mile End Art Pavilion, 5-10 April (12-7pm daily) / opening night and performance 4 April (6-10pm)
DEEP TRASH: ECO TRASH, AN IMMERSIVE PERFORMANCE CLUB NIGHT
“The signature biannual live art club night ‘Deep Trash’ returns with over 40 artists showcasing video, sculptures, interactive (video)games, photos and more. With live performances by Arise Amazons! (flying from Sweden) Danielle Imara, Eunjung Kim & Burong (曾不容), Fallon Mayanja (flying from Portugal for the occasion), intimate animals, Joseph Morgan Schofield, Miss HerNia, Niya B, Tom Coates and Veneration (Victoria W & Nicole B). All of this at the rhythm of techno music till closing time.”
At Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club, Friday 19 April (8pm-2am)
WATER MAKES US WET, A FILM BY BETH STEPHENS AND ANNIE SPRINKLE
“Come explore Ecosexuality and the politics of water in their full potential in this film by Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens. In 2008, Beth and Annie married the Earth and came out as ecosexuals, shifting the metaphor ‘Earth as Mother’ to ‘Earth as Lover’. Their ‘Ecosex Manifesto’ launched a movement and they officially added the ‘E’ to GLBTQI-E.”
At Genesis Cinema, 11 April (630pm)
MOTHER THE VERB, A PERFORMANCE AND WORKSHOP BY IVY MONTEIRO AND JAVIER STELL-FRÉSQUEZ
“This performance and workshop, devised by Ivy Monteiro (Brazil) and Javier Stell-Frésquez (Piru & Tigua Native American from El Paso, Texas), will be reflecting on the concepts of motherhood and ecology from queer, trans and indigenous/of colour perspectives. The performers are coming respectively from San Francisco, US, and Switzerland for this London premiere – don’t miss this one-time occasion!”
At Chisenhale Dance Space on Friday 5 April (730pm London performance premiere) and Sunday 7 April (1-5pm workshop)
SF TRANS*PLANT, A WORKSHOP BY QUIMERA ROSA
“An intensive five-day workshop on bio-hacking and identity deconstruction run by the transfeminist collective Quimera Rosa. In Trans*Plant the artists utilise self-experimentation to perform ‘human > plant’ transitions in order to challenge colonial and binary relations between culture and nature, human and non-human, as a way to produce a non-anthropocentric ecology.”
At the Mile End Art Pavilion, 9-13 April (2-6pm daily)