Midterm Conference: Sociology of the Arts and Creativity - ESA-Arts 2016

Activity: Participating in or organising an academic or articstic eventExternal workshops, courses, seminarsResearch

Sacha Kagan - Organiser

Artistic and other Creative Practices in the City: Urban Resilience between a Future II Simple and a future too simple

The workshop will open up a space to share from and reflect on a summer school organized in Espinho by the Centre for Social Studies (CES) at the University of Coimbra, in collaboration with the ESA Research Network Sociology of the Arts. The summer school will have been held just before (September 5-7) and in connection to the Porto ESA RN2 Midterm conference. The summer school will have looked into ‘resilience’ as a space for translocal bottom-up learning, emerging artistic-cultural-ecological approaches, or as a ‘Space of Possibilities’, not a 10-point governmental program to be implemented. Several key characteristics of resilience (redundancy, diversity, learning modes, and self-organization) may potentially be fostered in urban neighborhoods
through creative practices entangling natural and cultural resources and processes such as ‘ecological art’ and ‘social practice’ interventions, ‘urban gardening’ projects, autonomous social-cultural centers fighting against gentrification, and artivist actions that question unsustainable city planning and societal behaviours. However, how far does the potential of such practices reach? When and how do they scale up to wider urban institutions as drivers of transformations, fostering systemic innovations? What limits and challenges do they encounter? How far do they foster urban resilience towards sustainability as a transformative search process of fundamental change, or are they coopted into neoliberal urban development?

Description of Methods and Distribution of Facilitator Roles:
These questions will have been explored and discussed at the summer school, on the basis of cases being researched by the school organizers and participants. The summer school will have explored comparative insights across different urban initiatives and projects. Some of what we will have freshly learned at the school will be transported to the workshop at the Porto Conference, and transposed into a new, shorter format: The workshop will perform the sharing of selected themes and cases from the summer school. It will take on a ‘creative workshop’ form insofar as it will aim to allow the
unfolding of an interactive and creative examination of emerging insights from the summer school. This will involve forms of role-playing and will open interpretative spaces around selected media. (The exact workshop format will be finalized on the basis of the
outcomes from the summer school.) The process will be performatively initiated by the workshop-moderation team (the summer school organizers), but will also depend on the responses of all workshop participants.

A short side-note on language and method: As you will have noticed by now, the workshop description you are reading makes ample use of ‘Future II Simple’, a tense that expresses an action that will be supposedly finished at a certain time in the future. Our frequent usage of such an unusual tense in this text is of course not just an accident: This workshop will constitute an invitation to open a space of futures-oriented imaginaries, questions, and maybe also social fictions, addressing possible futures and inviting you, fellow social
scientists and interdisciplinary researchers, to exercise with us a “what if” speculative approach to research, in order not to think up a Future too Simple.
Insights generated at the summer school and at this workshop will inform two ongoing research projects:
 “Culturizing Sustainable Cities: Catalyzing Translocal Learning and Advancement of emerging Artistic-cultural Environmental Approaches” – Nancy Duxbury, Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra, Portugal;
 “The City as Space of Possibility” – Volker Kirchberg, Ute Stoltenberg, Ursula
Weisenfeld, and Sacha Kagan, Leuphana University Lüneburg, Germany.

Workshop Coordinators and Facilitators:
- Sacha KAGAN , Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Institute of Sociology and Cultural Organisation, Leuphana University Lueneburg, Germany
- Nancy DUXBURY , Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra, Portugal
- David HALEY , Manchester Metropolitan University, MIRIAD, United Kingdom
- Verena HOLZ , Faculty Sustainability Science, Education for Sustainable Development, Leuphana University Lueneburg, Germany
- Nathalie BLANC , Laboratoire LADYSS UMR 7533 CNRS, Université Paris Diderot - Paris 7, France
Midterm Conference: Sociology of the Arts and Creativity - ESA-Arts 2016


Midterm Conference: Sociology of the Arts and Creativity - ESA-Arts 2016: Working on Identity and Difference


Porto, Portugal

Event: Conference