How can we cooperate across borders to tackle climate change?
While climate change seems to be intangible, nowhere and everywhere at the same time, it is entangled with everything and everyone. Against this backdrop, the Berliner Gazette’s 20th anniversary initiative MORE WORLD stimulates a critical dialogue. The goal is to better understand and grasp the causes of climate change through entanglements of ecosystems with communal, state and global structures – and ultimately to explore possibilities to tackle climate change from within such interconnections: If not only the devastations of climate change arise from a planetary web of interdependencies, but potentially also capacities to collectively counter global warming, then how can we progress from passive entanglement to active entanglement? Meaning, how can we progress from the everything-and-everyone-is-connected-condition as one which tends to paralyze us to a state of interconnectedness that enables new forms of cross-border cooperation? And how can we cultivate cooperative practices for the interplay between communal, state and global approaches adapting to climate change? To explore this, the Berliner Gazette will organize the 20th edition of its annual conference: a three-day program with workshops, performances and public talks.
Whose World is Ending? | Grand Opening | Oct 10 | 7:00 p.m.
It’s the end of the world as we know it. But whose world is actually ending? The climate debate has a massive problem: Its discourses, scenarios and prognoses largely cater to the interests of the Global North. Three speakers will provide new perspectives: political geographer and radio maker Anja Kanngieser (Australia), whose work on imperiled Pacific islands urges us to cooperate on the frontlines of climate change, high school student and environmental activist Clara Mayer (Germany), who dares to confront the corporate and political elites with the uncomfortable truths of climate change, and the poet and philosopher Sudesh Mishra (Fiji), who mobilizes indigenous cosmologies as sources of inspiration vis-à-vis environmental havoc. Moderated by Abiol Lual Deng (South-Sudan/US), who is an international relations expert and humanitarian policy consultant.
This talk will take place at ZK/U on Thursday, Oct 10 at 7:00 p.m. Free entry.
In a special opening performance the art collective The University of the Phoenix (Canada) will be offering participants an opportunity to join “The Order of the Immortal Stranger”: a global secret society for interspecies cooperation.
Networking Against Climate Change? | Oct 11 | 7:00 p.m.
The myth that digital tools are green by default and will save the planet has been debunked. Yet what is the potential of using digital networks to fight the climate crisis? Three speakers will tackle this question: activist Virginie Gailing (France), who is hacking the climate discourse online and offline with the do-it-together movement Extinction Rebellion, sustainability expert Nikki Maksimovic (UK), whose work with the Berlin-based Internet search engine Ecosia helps to plants trees by donating 80% of its surplus income for reforestation initiatives, and journalist and technology expert Marta Peirano (Spain), whose book “El enemigo conoce el sistema” explores how to fight climate change with communal technologies. Moderated by Jaron Rowan (Spain), a reseacher and activist.
This talk will take place at ZK/U on Friday, Oct 11 at 7:00 p.m. Free entry.
In the warm-up performance “Plant Ensemble”, the artist Xin Xin (US/Taiwan) will be using biofeedback in plants to synthesize sound.
How to Give Power to Climate Exiles? | Oct 12 | 3:30 p.m.
By the year 2050 there may be about 200 million people on the move due to climate change, with no option of returning to their homes. What should the world community do to empower climate exiles – in humanitarian and political terms? Two speakers will look for answers: the scientist Sujatha Byravan (India), whose pioneering research explores the politics of climate refugees and activist and writer Harsha Walia (Canada), whose work in the field of migration intersects with climate justice struggles. Moderated by Jennifer Kamau (Kenya/Germany) who is an activist and researcher and facilitates a migrant network called International Women Space.
This talk will take place at ZK/U on Saturday, Oct. 12, at 3 p.m. Free entry.
As a warm-up to this public talk, the workshop groups will pitch the results of their three-day process: position papers, multimedia stories and experimental projects.
After this talk, please join the 20 Years Berliner Gazette Gala. Choreographer and food artist Pepe Dayaw (Philippines) will be cooperatively creating a Bibimbap-Badubap (a Korean rice dish), amplifying the chopping sounds and remixing them into a jazz concert while cooking. Media artist, composer and researcher Kat Austen (UK) will perform a multimedia symphony based on her residency at the North Pole.
The BG annual conference will take place at the ZK/U – Center for Art and Urbanistics on Oct. 10-12, 2019. To investigate the complexities of climate change, the BG will create a three-day program with workshops, performances and talks. The workshops – arguably the heart of the conference – will bring together activists, researchers and cultural workers from more than 20 countries. The BG will invite key actors to form the core of the workshops, and enables the general public to register via the call for registration (details in bar on the right).
To tackle the key issues of the BG annual conference, five parallel workshop tracks will take five different approaches to cooperative practices dealing with climate change:
Eco-Data, Counter/Knowledge, Justice, Lifestyles and Resources (descriptions see below). The workshop groups will communicate before the conference in order to flesh out the workshop design collaboratively. Led by experienced group leaders, participants will be invited to come up with possible answers to the questions raised by the MORE WORLD initiative. The results will be made available as online resources via berlinergazette.de: they may include position papers, multimedia storytelling projects and collections of ideas. Check the workshop results from the previous BG annual conference and find photos from the workshops here.
Registration + Details
The call for registration targets (up-and-coming) hackers, journalists, activists and researchers. A limited number of participants will be able to register for one of the five workshops (Eco-Data, Counter/Knowledge, Justice, Lifestyles or Resources ) by contacting the following email: info(at)berlinergazette.de. The deadline is September 1st. Registration fee: 50 Euro. Please note: As the five workshops will be running in parallel, each participant will be invited to commit to a single track. On October 10 and 11, the workshops will take place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. On October 12, the workshop groups will present their results to the general public. The conference hosts will provide catering throughout the entire conference, including a warm lunch.
So, increasingly, mass movements of migrants and refugees are fleeing their devastated homes and destroyed life-worlds also because of wars breaking out due to climate change, such as in the Syrian conflict. There is more to come. And we must prepare ourselves for further entanglements. We also need to take notice of further interdependencies, which are becoming more complex and dynamic, for example, in the wake of digitalization.
These are far-reaching questions. But somehow we need to get started. If we want to meet the complexities of globalization at the height of their current development, we must first recognize that climate change, migration and digitalization are interlinked geopolitical complexes that can only be managed appropriately if tackled by an interplay of communal, state and global organizational structures. But this is easier said than done. After all, escapism abounds.
World shrinkage has two interconnected dimensions. Firstly, complex problems such as climate change are suppressed. Secondly, the diversity of the social, as it also arises in the course of migration, is suppressed. Everything is supposed to become clear and easily manageable – can that go well? That’s highly doubtful. After all, the problematic complexities at hand are brought about by the diversity of the social and vice versa. This said, complex problems cannot be overcome without the potential of social diversity. Therefore, it is vital to create more access to the We, which always also means creating more access to the world – and vice versa.
This text is excerpted from Krystian Woznicki's introduction essay. You can read the entire text in German on Berliner Gazette. The complete English version is made available by our media partners: Mediapart in France, openDemocracy in England, transversal in Austria. Publications in Belarus, Japan, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Turkey and USA are forthcoming [links available soon]. Feel free to re-publish or translate the text (CC-BY-4.0).
Impulse: Abiol Lual Deng
Many responses to climate change go hand in hand with revitalizing the idea that "the West is the universal norm". How can we (in "the West") become attuned to other conversations on global warming and other forms of communal rationality that can guide us out of the climate change crisis? The South Sudanese-American international relations expert and humanitarian policy consultant Abiol Lual Deng is looking for answers. Watch her MORE WORLD video statement above. Read more about her views in this text here.
Impulse: Kat Austen
Facing climate change, we are challenged to question our practice of positioning measurement as the primary mode of knowing the environment: "There is still a struggle over the validity of knowledges derived outside of a specific, quantitative paradigm: embodied knowledge, traditional knowledge, tacit knowledge – these are all important in our human lived experience, and we neglect them at our peril", the artist and researcher Kat Austen says. Read more about her artistic research on ice, climate change and migration at the North Pole in the MORE WORLD interview here.
Impulse: Alex Karschnia
Right-wing populism shuts down access to the world: While complex problems such as climate change are suppressed, the diversity of the social, as it arises in the course of migration, for instance, is suppressed as well. Is that compatible? The Berlin-based performer, author and activist Alexander Karschnia argues that we need to begin anew – with a radical reorientation of politics towards communal practices that emerge from within the planetary web of entanglements that we call climate change. Watch his MORE WORLD video statement above.
The Berliner Gazette (BG) is a nonprofit and nonpartisan team of journalists, researchers, artists and coders. We experiment with and analyze emerging cultural as well as political practices. Since 1999 we have been publishing berlinergazette.de under a Creative Commons License – with more than 1,000 contributors from all over the world – as well as organizing conferences and editing books.
Latest BG projects include 2018: Ambient Revolts – BG con | 2017: Signals – Exhibition | A Field Guide to the Snowden Files – Book | Friendly Fire – BG con | 2016: Tacit Futures – BG con | 2015: UN|COMMONS – BG con | 2012: BQV. Büro für Qualifikation und Vermögen – Documentary | 2006: McDeutsch – Book
Latest BG Projects
BG on Social Networks
If you wish to be updated via email, you are very welcome to join our mailing lists. On our English language mailing list we share updates on BG projects as well as initiatives from our network associates and neighbors. You can subscribe here. On our German language mailing list we provide updates on what we publish in the online newspaper berlinergazette.de as well as selected info on events in Berlin. More information and a subscription option please find here.