AffiliationDerby University; Sheffield Hallam University
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Abstract'Myths for a Wetland Imaginary' 09,24 HD film, at ANTONYM: Life With and Without Animals, Art Core, Derby, UK Myths for a Wetlands Imaginary, digital film, 09.24 a place of their own (artist duo Paula McCloskey and Sam Vardy) present a film made as part of their ‘Myths for a Wetlands Imaginary’*, a project that explores potential of art to create resistant wetland imaginaries as alternate to dominant carbon and capitalist ones. This film was developed through a residency at Walthamstow Wetlands Centre, which included participatory workshops (mapping, stories and myth-making), site-responsive performance walk and multi-media installation. Myths for a Wetlands Imaginary asks how a transdisciplinary art practice working with the sciences and indigenous knowledges opens up alternate ways for disparate communities to think about climate change, biodiversity and colonialism; and what the role of art can be in producing resistant counter-imaginaries to capitalist and carbon imaginaries? Wetlands are one of the earth’s most important ecologies, yet also one of the most threatened. This project situated wetland loss as part of global colonialism, and attended to a paradoxical condition of wetlands which has immense potential: while their global destruction is due to dominant carbon/capitalist imaginaries they can yet open up new imaginaries through their unique ecologies, biological processes, entanglements of human/nonhuman, local and global relevance, and in enabling different knowledges. 'Myths for a Wetlands Imaginary' makes visible intimate relationships between personal, local, experiences of wetlands and their planetary dimension. The film articulates something of the complex biological, ecological and political ideas of new multiple relational possibilities. The cumulative activities of Myths for a Wetlands Imaginary of which the film is part start to reveal a ‘global wetlands imaginary’ as an ecological imaginative space for human and more-than-human co-existence, as a metaphor for new forms of multispecies solidarity. The exhibition ANTONYM: Life With and Without Animals presents the work of eight artists from the UK, USA and Iceland. Each makes artwork that engages with the more-than-human world, reflecting on contemporary threats to nonhuman life as well as on the pleasures of our relationships with other species. The exhibition coincides with the online conference Life With and Without Animals at the University of Derby, and both events are organised and curated by Steve Baker and Angela Bartram.