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Eco-creativity 2021: Art, Music, Ritual and Global Climate Politics

Friday, November 19, 2021 - 13:00 to 17:00
Virtual Conference, The Open University
Extinction Rebellion Red Brigade activists protesting in Bristol, July 2019

Extinction Rebellion Red Brigade activists protesting in Bristol, July 2019

This 2021 Conference is hosted by the Religious Studies, Art History, Music and Politics Departments in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at The Open University.

Conference conveners: Dr Maria Nita (Religious Studies), Dr Samuel Shaw (Art History) and Dr Carla Benzan (Art History)

Conference team: Dr Marion Bowman (Religious Studies), Dr Paul Francois-Tremlett (Religious Studies), Prof Graham Harvey (Religious Studies), Dr Mark Porter (Music), Dr Byron Dueck (Music), Dr Philip Seargeant (Applied Linguistics), Dr Dan Taylor (Politics) and Prof George Revill (Geography)

Following on from the first edition of the Eco-creativity conference in 2020, we continue to explore the interactions between climate change and cultural change, with particular interest in innovations in art, music and ritual. We ask, what are some of the creative cultural processes that enable activists, artists and Indigenous groups to impact global climate politics?

Thus, Eco-creativity 2021 aims to bring into focus the specific cultural repertoires and the ensuing opportunities and limitations of the quickly developing ritualised ecological arts that have come to accompany climate politics, from conferences to global days of action, and from mediatised political discourses to protest marches. Particular attention will be paid to the role played by visual and performance art in protest actions. We aim to explore the variously culturally bound and counter-cultural responses and strategies that have emerged in recent years, both in and outside the contemporary art world.

A key concern of the conference is that of closely examining the roles of art, music and ritual in creatively engaging culturally diverse participants and audiences with climate change and the ecological crisis, and thus evaluating their impact on global climate politics. We hope to explore a diversity of perspectives and cultural contexts, including examinations of niches of alternative cultures and artwork that engage with local groups or with global online publics.

Opening Keynote: Professor Bronislaw Szerszynski, Lancaster University

Plenary Keynote: Dr Maria Asavei, Charles University in Prague


We invite proposals for papers and panels on any aspect of this theme. Submissions may range from 10, 15 and 20 minutes. We welcome panel submissions in alternative formats, including artistic performances.

Please email us a 200-word abstract plus a short 50-word bio, in one file to

Deadline for abstract submission: 30 September 2021

Speakers will be notified: 5 October 2021

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