As a global generalised crisis continues to prevail, a feeling of running ‘out of time’ becomes more and more dominant. What happens when the point of no return is reached? How can futures still be imagined and collectively built? Can next generations make up for the time lost by previous ones?
Living in ruins is not easy nor desirable. In times of environmental and sociopolitical damage, ruins can be meant literally or metaphorically. In both cases, though, they connect to the imaginary of limitless and unquestionable progress, and they are the outcome of an accelerated rhythm calling for efficiency, optimisation, and economic prosperity. Ruins bear the marks of the brutality from exploitation and extraction. At the same time, however, they hold the potential to see through their cracks and gaps, and to create the ground for livable lives.
Wishing to disconnect time from linearity, productivity and progress, the talks of EMAF 2023 explore time with regard to the temporalities and rhythms of different worlds. Paradigms of degrowth come to the foreground shedding light to the possibilities and challenges of scaling down human activity and its impact. The ideas, proposals and projects discussed underline the urge to respect the limits of the planet and to acknowledge dependencies on a social and ecological level.
Within this context, a particular emphasis is placed on the role of technology looking into its controversies in making, taking, or wasting time and in shaping futures. Examples of low-tech, traditional or community knowledge are introduced as models for a more sustainable way of living. Initiatives and institutions that aim and advocate for behavioural and systemic change are discussed paying attention to their programme with regard to the use of energy, resources and time.
Although turning back time is not possible, the potential to let go of the imaginary of progress, to slow down and to change pace is still a viable option. The speakers of EMAF 2023 embrace such possibilities examining how it can happen from individual to collective and from community to society.
With the participation of: Tung-Hui Hu, Kris De Decker, Hypercomf, Florine Lindner, Karolina Sobecka, Joana Moll, Andrea Vetter, Muerbe u. Droege,