Call for participation: Degrowth & Cultural Politics conference

From 24 to 28 August, the International Degrowth Conference ‘Caring Communities for Radical Change’ will take place in The Hague.

Want to know how you can participate? Download the call here.

Scientists increasingly highlight the need for industrialised societies to implement a rapid transition to degrowth economies and socio-cultures in order to achieve urgent sustainability targets. Currently, the actors advocating degrowth are not only activists and seemingly radical scholars, but also intergovernmental science-policy bodies and citizens organisations. Yet, as it stands, governments and civil societies remain skeptical of degrowth. Often, calls for degrowth are associated with regress, austerity and extremism.

This conversation explores how to mobilise popular cultural forms, practices, narratives and identities for a degrowth transition. Examples include but are not limited to: Mobilising trends in popular culture – such as minimalism or mindfulness – for a vision of degrowth living and social change. Building coalitions between diverse cultural identities for a degrowth movement. Creating stories and artworks for degrowth campaigning. Inventing art-actions and performances for degrowth activism. The list goes on.

Both practical and theoretical approaches are welcome! A central practical aim of this key conversation is to establish a prolific repertoire of cultural tactics for degrowth campaigning and activism. A central theoretical aim is to better understand the relationship between cultural practice and degrowth politics.

As it stands, this relationship sometimes poses a hen-and-egg question: what comes first, the political reform or revolution of social institutions and political economies, or the rearticulation of cultural values, rituals and ideologies. While most degrowth advocates would probably argue that both go hand in hand, it is still quite obscure how his process works and – importantly – how it can be influenced.

This conversation considers culture as a key site of political struggle and transformation. Following this perspective, the political struggle between growth and degrowth is always simultaneously about policies and ideologies, legal regulations and everyday habits, democratic bodies and embodied identities, grand visions and mundane aesthetics. Through analysis and creativity, we can explore these various entanglements, and – in so doing – build an effective and diverse cultural politics for degrowth.

For further info, please do not hesitate to contact Miriam Meissner or have a look at the website.

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