We presented a paper as part of Resilience: Just do it?! Governing for resilience in vulnerable places in Groningen (Netherlands). This paper’s title is “Socially engaged art practice for a living landscape” in which some:when is the core of its content. By collaborating together, Jethro and I have developed a complex approach to art which is applied and develop in some:when, and articulating it in this paper (and presentation) has given us more learnings and challenges. The abstract of this paper is the following:
The changing climate and increasingly frequent extreme weather events have brought a new urgency both to hydrological debate and to questions of social preparedness and resilience (Adger, 2000). The current interest in resilience and community engagement merits a new attention to the creative and experimental methods devised by socially-engaged arts practitioners, during almost a century of critical, innovative engagement with (and in) community settings.
We identify two distinct registers at which resilience and socially engaged art intersect. Firstly, creative practice and engagement with the unfamiliar offer new skills and expanded frames of reference, to support increased resourcefulness and adaptability. Secondly, through building meaningful relations across perceived boundaries, artists offer routes to both greater cohesion and critical engagement, thus addressing wider questions of power, equality and visibility, that can be seen as key factors in the resilience of particular communities in responding to extreme weather events.
This paper reviews the current collaborative practices of two socially- and hydrologically- engaged artists, asking how critical frameworks can be applied to support these concerns, in working with flood-affected communities in South West England. Artists Jethro Brice and Seila Fernandez Arconada reflect on some of the historical and contemporary models which inform and guide their practice.
Thanks to the all participants, speakers and in special to the organisers, the Coastal Resilience Research Group at the University of Groningen.