Self-Combustion or Transformation: Getting Out of the Climate Crisis with Art and Culture?


Researchers warn us, politicians appeal to us, and newspapers present us with drastic pictures on their front pages. Hardly any other environmental protection topic has preoccupied the public within the last two decades as much as climate change caused by humans. And yet, quite obviously, hardly any knock-on effects have been learned from the climate debate. Has the international community of nations failed in its fight against global warming up to now? And why is it so difficult to take a hard look at the consequences of one’s own actions? How ready for change and consequently also adaptable to the future are our societies?

Environmental protection was regarded as a matter for the natural sciences for a long time. A technical solution had to be found for every environmental problem and a master plan would be approved. However, environmental politics and climate research are gradually coming to the conclusion that without public acceptance any declaration of intent will merely survive on paper. In the future, the cultural dimensions of sustainability and the role of art must be taken more strongly into consideration. As a result, the panel discussion is also taking up the subject of climate and the climate crisis as cultural and historical constructions of reality, and will discuss to what extent the relationship between art and science can contribute to a new understanding between humans and nature.

An event of the Umweltbundesamt (UBA, German Federal Environment Agency) and the Akademie der Künste.

Eva Horn, cultural and literary scholar, author of the book Zukunft als Katastrophe
Anders Levermann, climate researcher, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and Columbia University, New York
Karsten Sach, head of the department for climate protection in Europe, international collaboration through the Bundesumweltministerium (BMU, Federal Ministry for the Environment), chief negotiator of the German Federal Government during international climate negotiations
Matthias Sauerbruch, architect, member of the Akademie der Künste

Hanna Gersmann, editor-in-chief of the magazine zeozwei

Opening remarks:
Kathrin Röggla, vice-president of the Akademie der Künste
Maria Krautzberger, president of the Umweltbundesamt

Friday, 15 Jul 2016

7 pm

Pariser Platz

Plenary Hall

An event of the Umweltbundesamt (UBA, German Federal Environment Agency) and the Akademie der Künste, with Eva Horn, Anders Levermann, Karsten Sach, Matthias Sauerbruch.
Presenter: Hanna Gersmann. Opening remarks: Kathrin Röggla, Maria Krautzberger.
Before the discussion: Artist videos 3ster mit Ausblick by Michael Sailstorfer/Jürgen Heinert and Museo Aero Solar by Tomás Saraceno et al.

€ 5/3
In German language


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