The art exhibition in Barcelona is Colectivo Grietas' first public intervention. With this project, we approach socio-ecological transformations through different lenses: from people's relationships to the city, to land, to their bodies, to non-human beings; from their emotions and their sense of (in)security; and their reflections on a degrowth-oriented future.
The exhibition will be an interactive space, where a diverse audience (people living in Barcelona, family and friends, university colleagues) can reflect on the interconnections between these themes. We challenge the audience to ask themselves: where are transformations taking place? Why could I wish to participate? And if I am already participating, how does it make me feel and transform me in return?
Meanwhile, we are asking ourselves the same questions because the process is as important to us as the product: behind the exhibition is a creative lab for collaboration, where we help each other to think deeper into our topic and to develop our artistic approaches.
Description of the project. Main features, strengths and differentials.
Why contribute to the project?
You will make possible an interactive, radical, and diverse art exhibition in the heart of Barcelona (that will even take to the streets!), open for free to any audiences wishing to engage with contemporary social and environmental issues.
You will help us, the Colectivo Grietas (Angela, Sims, Giulio, Maria, Sam, Eva, Emilie, Wiebe, and Emma), to realize a final master project (TFM) that goes beyond the university walls and brings urgent issues and difficult topics to whom is less involved. Taking our knowledge and creativity outside of academia, we also want to be challenged beyond our comfort zone, and inspire new discussions and collaborations.
You will foster the practice of art for social change, which aims to communicate in effective forms the problems and needs of our contemporary society, which envisions alternatives to a destructive system and asks people to join the vision. Art moves us in ways that defy explanation and we believe it can be the catalyst for greater transformations.
We also inform you that donations made in Spain are tax deductible up to 80%, please consult the Goteo FAQ and the tax calculator for more information (goteo.cc/calculadora).
What will the exhibition be like?
The exhibition explores the theme of socio-ecological and eco-emotional transformations, under different thematic lenses, mainly in Western Europe. We want to challenge the audience to ask themselves; where are transformations taking place? Why could I wish to participate? And if I am already participating, how does it make me feel and transform me in return?
We spend a lot of time diagnosing problems in our world, and complaining about them, but we are often stuck at the rational level. Once we take a critical look, we get overwhelmed by the scale of issues like inequality and poverty, environmental degradation, systemic violence, to the extent that we may become detached from these realities. Or, we face problems in our own lives and feel isolated in dealing with them, so we struggle with connecting to larger-scale visions. As students in a Master's degree that constantly engages us with these deep issues, we really felt it was time to reconnect our minds to our hearts a little more. To overcome the degradation we must focus on regeneration and interdependence. We wanted to reach out to people around us (to the people in our city(ies), to our families and friends, to our academic circles) and inspire them to feel, not only think, the transformations they might want to see in the world. Transformations outwards, creating societies that are more just, happy, and connected to their environment. And transformations inwards, where we create better relationships with ourselves and our communities.
The exhibition is a collective project led by nine students in Degrowth, Political Ecology & Environmental Justice, with contributions from other students. It is a creative lab for collaboration, where we help each other to think deeper into our topic and to develop our artistic approaches. We approach transformations through different lenses: relating to our relationship to the city, to land, to our bodies, to non-human beings; relating to our emotions and our sense of (in)security; and relating to degrowth-oriented policy. Starting with academic research into these topics, we use different media (theater, audiovisual, photography, ...) to explore and expose them.
Why this is important
- We need to build more bridges between academia, art and activism to break the 'bubbles' and increase their collective power for fostering transformations.
- We want to create a dialogue between academic knowledge and popular culture by conveying what we learnt in accessible ways and interacting with the audience.
- To strenghten networks around specific issues by visibilising common practices and discourses, revealing interconnections. People interested in taking action may find affinities with each other and with the stories being told.
- We need radical cultural changes if we want to tackle big issues like inequality, environmental degradation, the climate crisis. New forms of social organisation and behaviors will not emerge if we do not begin to imagine them. Rather than being prescriptive though, we encourage each other to take inspiration from 'past and present utopias'.
This exhibition is aimed at people who may be aware of the issues we touch upon but do not feel connected to transformative visions, or who seek to expand their understanding of their potential.
If you are an activist, artist or academic who shares our belief that more can be done to foster alternatives to systemic issues, support us by donating to this project and joining the exhibition! If you are a friend, a family member, or just someone who wishes us well, help make this project a reality and come discover more about these topics that are dear to our heart!
(Note that donations made in Spain are tax deductible up to 80%, please consult the Goteo FAQ and the tax calculator for more information (goteo.cc/calculadora)).
Team and experience
Who is Colectivo Grietas, the team behind the project?
For 4 years now, the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB) has been offering a Master programme in Political Ecology, Degrowth and Environmental Justice, co-organized by its Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals (ICTA) and the academic association Research & Degrowth.
For the final assignment of the programme, students have the opportunity to choose between a dissertation or a non-academic output. This is where Colectivo Grietas comes in: 9 students from the Masters (supported by all of their dear colleagues & friends!) decided to embark on a joint artistic project, presented in the form of an exhibition.
Colectivo Grietas chose its name in reference to points of rupture existing in our capitalist society. These ruptures are both the result of destructive and harmful practices, and places where new possibilities can grow. We approached this project as a collective because we think that conviviality and horizontality are key practices to work towards social and environmental well-being. Besides sharing great moments, we are learning a lot from working together. We all come from different places & academic backgrounds: Angela del Rio (Bilbao, Spain), Eva Navarro (Barcelona, Spain), Sims Meyer-Rodrigues (Hollywood, Florida USA), Samuel Suter (Luzern, Switzerland), Emma Marzi (Pesaro, Italy), Giulio Torello (Pesaro, Italy), Emilie de Bassompierre (Brussels, Belgium), Maria Murra Batarse (Torreon, Mexico) and Wiebe Heetvelt (Haarlem, Netherlands).