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Eco-creativity: Music, Religion, Activism

Friday, November 13, 2020 - 10:00 to 17:00
An Online Conference, The Open University

Activist movements around the world, from Extinction Rebellion to the Occupy movement and Black Lives Matter, are using new technologies, protest strategies, and symbolic and expressive resources to imagine another world.

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.

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?

The Open University invites short bios and abstracts of up to 200 words for a one-day online conference on Friday 13th November 2020. Papers may be presented either live on the day or sent to the organisers in advance as pre-recorded videos. Enquiries and abstracts should be sent to Abstract deadline:  7th September 2020. Speakers will be notified by 14th September.

Convenors: Dr Maria Nita and Dr Mark Porter

Keynote Speaker: Dr Judit Farkas, University of Pécs, Department of European Ethnology

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

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