About the Symposium

This symposium will be an interdisciplinary collaboration inspired by the possibility that the gap between scientific knowledge and effective political, legal and social action can be bridged by alternative forms of narrative, incorporated into and developed by artistic creations, works of fiction, social and other media, performances of all types including theatrical, activist and absurdist, visionary planning and innovative litigation such as the Children’s Trust lawsuits. In this collaboration, we envisage a partnership in which representatives from different communities and across academia work with diverse narratives, in particular the scientific narratives, to develop ways to ignite the public imagination and bring about effective action on climate change.

The collaboration acknowledges and seeks to support First Nations peoples’ ways of knowing and being, diverse forms of story-telling, and collaborations that support pluralistic, flourishing lifeworlds, both human and more-than-human.

The insidious process of cognitive dissonance renders many scholars incapable of contributing their expertise to the critical issues of our times, such as climate change. The academy continues to labour within the confines of coloniality and within a politics of knowledge which transforms subjects worthy of our moral consideration into objects and thus contributes to social alienation and political disempowerment. To paraphrase Mary Midgely, we are not aliens on a strange planet: our history and biology, which place us here, ensure that the facts of this planet have abundant meaning for us.

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