The politics of environmental knowledge
Shaping environments through research, art, and activism in the Baltic Sea Region and beyond
How do the politics of environmental knowledge shape the ways in which environments are created and governed in the Baltic Sea Region? And how can critical research, art, and activism reimagine the interfaces of power and knowledge(s) to highlight perspectives and environmental problems?
The Baltic Sea Region faces multiple socio-environmental challenges which require substantial societal shifts. Such shifts are activated and negotiated in formal politics as well as in everyday lives and call upon different ways of knowing our natural and social environments. How do the politics of environmental knowledge shape the ways in which environments are created and governed in the Baltic Sea Region and other natural and cultural ecosystems? And how can critical research, art, and activism reimagine the interfaces of power and knowledge(s) to highlight marginalised perspectives and environmental problems?
Participants will be asked to make a presentation that relates to one of the themes below for a maximum of 10 minutes. The presentation might be in a form of an academic paper, a non-academic text, a political initiative, or a work of art.
- Theme 1: The power and politics of (expert) environmental knowledge
Environmental governance depends on expert knowledge of various kinds, but these are never neutral tools. They carry with them risks of scientification, depoliticisation, and technocratic forms of governance and may favour certain interests over others. In this session, we address two related questions. First, how does expert knowledge shape the ways in which infrastructures, technologies, and environments (natural and social) are created, negotiated, and governed? And second, which interests, perspectives, and environmental problems are left out when expert knowledge defines environments?
- Theme 2: Art, activism, and critical research in environmental politics
How do different forms of knowledge, such as art, activism, and critical research, contribute to our understanding of current environmental challenges? What are their roles in creating and managing our natural and social environments? And how can they open up closed spaces in environmental politics and highlight marginalised interests, perspectives, and environmental problems?
- Theme 3: Challenging borders
In this theme, we explore collaborations between environmental researchers, artists, and activists and across geographical/theoretical borders. It is often at the intersection of the different domains and fields that spaces for change emerge. When is such transdisciplinary/transboundary work useful or justified? When is it difficult? How can it shed light on environmental problems? What can we learn from each other to transcend these challenges?
- Deadline for applications: 17 March
- Confirmation by: 1 April
- Dates and time: 23 May 11.30 to 24 May 15.30
- Place: Stockholm, exact location to be confirmed
- Travel and accommodation costs of presenters will be covered, subject to availability of funds
13.30-15.00 Panel and discussion
15.30-17.30 Presentations in breakout sessions
9.00-9.30 Informal mingle and coffee
9.30-12.00 Presentations in breakout sessions
13.30-15.00 Discussion and wrap-up
The conference is organised by Södertörn University and the Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES) and financed by the Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies (Östersjöstiftelsen).