This article is embraced in a series of publications for a new thematic issue of the journal entitled: ‘Animals as partners: cultural, ecological, therapeutic implications.’ It offers a critical exploration of how a shifting cultural, aesthetic, political and media-shaped landscape assigns various roles and values attributed to animals in contemporary society, and the consequences for living conditions of animals and humans alike. It integrates research from innovative critical animal studies and a range of areas such as ecology, sociology, philosophy, and cultural studies, and considers human-animal relationship from the post-human, environmental humanity and eco-human perspectives. In order to grasp the relevance of the deeply intertwined relationship between human and animal, or between the culture/nature dichotomy, the nexus between science and contemporary art is discussed and illustrated with artworks of some renowned artists.
This article is embraced in a series of publications for a new thematic issue of the journal entitled: ‘Animals as partners: cultural, ecological, therapeutic implications.’ Following the thinking of Jacques Derrida, in which difference implies commonality, this essay problematizes the distinction between human beings and animals which is taken for granted in and constitutes the Western philosophical tradition. Philosophy defines human being by the capacity to reason in opposition to animal existence, but suffering is common to both humans and animals. Derrida refers to the novel, Elizabeth Costello, by J. M. Coetzee, in which the eponymous character, Elizabeth Costello, testifies to feeling “wounded” by the suffering of animals as the primary mode of encountering them, thus shifting the discussion from reason and philosophical discourse to that of feeling and the arts.
This interview is embraced in a series of publications for a new thematic issue of the journal entitled: ‘Animals as partners: cultural, ecological, therapeutic implications.’ In an interview, Scottish artist and art therapist Beverley A'Court talks about the holistic, environmental/ecological approach in art and art therapy. Considering the role of the environment from the point of view of such art therapy, she dwells on the phenomena of spontaneous participation of animals in creative acts and the art therapy process, their ability to “resonate” with the experiences of clients and respond to their emotional needs. Holistic art therapy is presented as allowing on a new basis to understand the participation of different forms of life in interaction and co-creation with each other aimed at restoring health, beauty and well-being.
In 2018, a writer and an architect created a program called ECOPOESIS with the goal of gathering diverse groups to discuss climate change as feeling and experience, while engaging in shared design craft work. The project has three forms to date, curated, invitation-only gatherings, large public events attached to festivals, and online global reflections on local ecologies aligned with Earth Day. As in-person gatherings produced to counteract the doomsday data fixation around climate change, ECOPOESIS leverages human imagination via design, writing, and art to provoke pragmatic and positive hope for creating the Next Earth. This essay describes the participation of ECOPOESIS in The Performance Arcade Festival in New Zealand, dedicated to the topic of climate change. The Festival showed the role of the expressive arts and its ability to support the unity of the human community and to undertake large-scale initiatives, based on imagination and creativity, in order to overcome the consequences of the destruction and trauma brought about by climate change. In describing the group’s participation in this festival, the author refers to the devastating cyclone that occurred during the event and affected some areas of New Zealand.
'Ecopoiesis: A Manifesto for Ecological Civilization' contains the main provisions related to a new type of civilization, which should replace the industrial civilization, which has actually exhausted the potential of its development and has become the leading force for the destruction of humans and the living environment. A Manifesto for Ecological Civilization is the basis of the scenario for the development of culture and various public institutions, recognizing the potential of people to control their own destiny, to take effective steps to preserve life on earth.
The new issue of the journal falls on the dramatic moment of the military confrontation in Ukraine, which provoked the most serious humanitarian, economic and moral losses. The current situation is also deeply ecologically destructive. It is characterized by the priority of geostrategic thinking, and relegates to the background the tasks of sustainable development and the implementation of international policies related to confronting the environmental crisis. A new ghost of ‘Dark Ages’ hangs over humanity, but ‘Dark Ages’ are really ages in which oppressive hierarchical social structures are dissolved, ecosystems are able to regenerate, and the creativity unleashed among people paves the way for the rise of new, less oppressive and more sustainable civilizations.
Several experts in expressive arts, therapy and ecopsychology share their views on various aspects of colonization and decolonization. The participants in the discussion refer to the current situation in the world, characterized by the transition from a globalized monopolar world order to a multipolar/multilateral one. The issues of colonization and decolonization are considered in this discussion from an ecopoetic point of view, taking into account the ecological and cultural-historical perspective. The discussion is built in the form of a polylogue, where different authors use scientific and biographical discourse, academic and poetic language in order to convey the drama of the current situation and their response to the existential challenge associated with the decisive historical moment of ecological, cultural and geopolitical decolonization.
The broad range of ecopsychology topics is discussed in this interview with one of the Russian ecopsychological founders and leaders, Viktor Panov. As he reviews the specifics and different directions of this scientific and practical discipline, Panov pays special attention to ecopsychological research associated with the psychology of environmental consciousness. During the discussion, different types of human interactions with natural objects are described, including those corresponding to the nature-centric type of ecological consciousness.
This paper presents the application of the nature-assisted approach in the context of clinical art therapy with war veterans. The work was carried out in the psychotherapy department of the hospital for war veterans. Some nature-assisted art therapy techniques using natural objects and taking photographs were applied during a short-term art therapy program in order to reveal and support clients’ ecological identity as a healthy and resilient aspect of their Self. Examples of nature-assisted creative activities used in group art-therapy sessions are given.
This review outlines a book centered on the historic damages caused by the early colonizers of America and how their descendants may recognize and heal the harm done to the earth and Native peoples. Louise Dunlap tells the story of the beloved land in California’s Napa Valley: how the land fared during the onslaught of colonization and its consequences of drought and wildfires that are present today. She looks to awaken others to consider their ancestors’ role in colonization and encourage them to begin reparations for the harmful actions of those who came before. More broadly, the book offers a way for readers to evaluate their current life actions and the lasting impact they can have on society and the planet.
We are pleased to introduce a new section of our journal, "In Resonance with the Earth." We see poiesis as providing the basis for human beings' creative responses to their environment. The arts in particular offer forms that crystallize these responses in ways that touch and move us. "In Resonance with the Earth" will contain poetry, artworks, photography and poetic essays relevant to our theme. We encourage readers to find their own poietic ways of responding. This issue embraces a selection of essays, poetry and artworks etc. by David Moss, Carrie Herbert (UK), Alexander Kopytin (Russia), Judith Alalu and Odette Velez (Peru), Stephen K. Levine (Canada), Vadim Ryabikov (Russia), Margo Knill Fuchs (Switzerland)
This reflective essay explores the possibility of an ecological grief work as experienced by a group of women, the attendees of the Istanbul Expressive Arts Institute, on the island of Burgaz, near Istanbul. In 2021 the Marmara Sea experienced a condition called the mucilage, also called sea snot, a serious threat to the ecosystem of the sea creatures, as well as the dwellers of the city. By honoring the significance of the Marmara Sea for the city, the authors share how in the community of 13 women, the un-sea-n stories of the suffering sea, as well as of an Armenian woman who was excluded by some inhabitants of the island because of her eccentric love for the sea, could be contained through the rituals that emerged from nature-based expressive arts practice.
Considering the writing of Yi-Fu Tuan and the concept of space and place, the essay explores the similarities between what Robin Wall Kimmerer describes as becoming indigenous to place and what Stephen K. Levine describes as ecopoiesis. Both have the potential to serve as cross-cultural foundational concepts that can alter how contemporary societies shape the earth to meet human needs. The author relates this to her time spent outdoors during the Coronavirus pandemic developing a deeper connection to the place she calls home and poses consideration for further research and thought.
Florescence refers to flowering, a changing situation and development. Flowers are expressions of life support and contribute to both biodiversity and human vigour. Human aesthetic correspondences to flowers include the capacity to identify with flower species that become them. The ephemeral nature of flowers is an opportunity to reflect upon metamorphosis as a human and botanical experience. As an art material, flowers evoke experiences of sensory absorption and facilitate attunement to temporality, blossoming attributes and decomposition.
This article presents the method of Natural Therapy (NT) developed by Ronen Berger on the basis of the integration of the ideas of ecopsychology, expressive therapy and environmental education. The article starts by presenting basic NT theory and concepts; specifically, the concepts of touching nature, the triangular relationship (therapist-client-nature), and ritual, and continues with examples that illustrate how these concepts are implemented in practice. An example of its use with a student with an autism spectrum disorder is given. A description of the "Safe Place" program based on the application of NT in dozens of schools and kindergartens in Israel is provided, as well as some brief data on its effectiveness.
This essay explores a deep encounter between a photographer and the natural world. Slowing down and focusing in on a landscape, a moment when light brushes the earth alight after a storm, or, to gaze into an animal's eyes in the wild is like an awakening of our relationship with our earth. In times when we are increasingly disconnected or even separated from the wild, the therapeutic use of photography can draw us back into the intimacy that is at the essence of our own wild nature. It can restore hope and a relationship of compassion, care and appreciation of beauty and communion with our mother Earth.
Today national and international policy supports the inclusion of the natural environment in holistic health promotion . It has become
This article attempts to systematically analyze methodological approaches and techniques for assessing the level of “ecological culture.” Some findings from the social and pedagogical research into the ecological culture of the population of St. Petersburg are presented. The value of the average level of ecological culture is discussed. The article highlights the contribution of environmental and sustainable development education to ecological culture.
Through dialectical viewpoints of relationality and personal knowing, this exploration seeks to weave meanings and connections between home, the natural world, and the expansiveness and relatedness of self. More than a mere static and individuated entity, the self is viewed here as a context of relational movements, situated between broader horizons of seamlessly interacting and dialectically open more-than-human worlds, through which the self accrues both depth and dynamic. From this basis the author explores the relationship between themes of belonging and autonomy within home, in Nature and the world, viewing these in relation to narrowed and sequestered experiences of a self related to substance use and addictions.
Paul Virilio (1932-2018) was a philosopher, urbanist and architectural critic. He is widely known for his conception of the "military model" of the growth of modern cities and the evolution of society. He introduced the concept of "dromology", meaning the study of speed as a philosophical category. He is the author of such books as Speed and Politics, The Information Bomb and The Original Accident. The selection of materials incudes the introductory remarks by Drew Burk, and an excerpt from Paul Virilio’s series of lectures entitled as “Grey ecology”
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