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Eco-creativity Conference 2020: Music, Religion, Activism

This virtual conference took place on Friday, November 13, 2020 (12:00 to 17:00)

Eco-creativity Conference 2020 Programme 

As humanity wrestles with human-driven climate change, eco-creative actions are re-shaping music, religion and politics. Environmental protesters invoke spiritual themes, sing chants and engage in large-scale symbolic gestures. Artists and composers have taken on new commissions in order to create spaces of response to the current crisis. Indigenous performers are sharing ritually informed “worlding” events with global and metropolitan audiences. Requiems for lost species are being commissioned, new songbooks have been compiled, musical rituals have been developed for worship in outdoor environments, and a vast range of engagements emerge as groups and individuals respond creatively to the ecological crisis.

Music, Religion, Activism


Within these responses, the nexus between music, religion and activism takes on a significant role, creating new assemblages in which affective and symbolic dimensions are negotiated.

This interdisciplinary conference seeks to foster dialogue around the interactions between music, religion and politics in the context of the ecological crisis. We invite contributions around such questions as:

  • What new forms of music, ritual and protest are emerging, and what significance do these have in the context of the ecological crisis?
  • How do these intersect with aspects of ethnicity, race, gender and power?
  • What challenges do communities face in developing musical-ritual forms in response to the current moment?
  • Where and how do these bring existing practices into question?

Convenors: Dr Maria Nita and Dr Mark Porter

Conference Team: Dr Byron Dueck, Dr Paul-François Tremlett, Dr Agnes Czajka, Dr Marion Bowman and Prof Graham Harvey

Student Engagement Facilitator: Maisy Griffiths-Taylor

This conference is hosted by the Music, Religious Studies and Politics departments at The Open University. 

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Keynote Speaker:

Dr Judit Farkas

Dr Judit Farkas

University of Pécs

Judit Farkas is an associate professor of Anthropology at the Department of European Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology of the University of Pécs (Hungary). Her field of research includes religious, social and ecological movements: Krishna-believers in Hungary and Hungarian ecovillages. Her work has been published in both English and in Hungarian.

Banner image & Inset image: @Maria Nita

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