Herbert, Carolina. ‘UNCONDITIONAL’: OUR INTIMATE AND HEALING CONNECTIONS WITH ANIMALS. A PHOTO ESSAY
In this photo essay, Carolina Herbert explores her passion and connection with animals and the intimate and unconditional relationships they have with people. As she collects images and stories from people in her local community, she learns how vitally important animals are in people’s lives and the roles they play in supporting wellbeing, mental health, healing from trauma, depression and isolation. How they bring joy and play into the lives of families and teach children about loss and letting go. Animals connect us more deeply to what matters between us and to who we really are. She explores how animals also need our unconditional care and support especially when injured and how we can learn the gift of being able to deeply listen, attune and respond to their needs. In times when we are increasingly separated from our natural world, and, as animals’ lives are threatened in our escalating climate crisis, there is no greater time than now to restore our relationships to these unconditional love and joy bringing beings.
Kopytin, Alexander and Levine, Stephen. INTERVIEW WITH JOHN COBB
In an interview, an American theologian, philosopher, and environmentalist, Dr. John Cobb talks about the ecological civilization and his perception of the ways to build it. He develops his thoughts on religious pluralism and interfaith dialogue, as well as the need to reconcile religion and science and to build what he calls Earthism, and how to develop a more sustainable future by replacing the national and global market by local economies.
POEMS ON ANIMALS
We offer a selection of poems dedicated to wild and domesticated animals, written by poets of over the centuries. These verses express the mystery and drama of the relationships between people and animals, allowing us to see the ecopoietic, visionary, and sacred dimensions of these relationships, their ability to generate new meanings and forms of experience. We invite readers to contribute to this selection of poems. Please feel free to send us poems on animals than you find relevant.
Levine, Stephen K. EDITORIAL: THE HUMAN-ANIMAL BOND
Is it possible to understand the human-animal bond from the eco-human perspective? What would the human-animal bond be like from the viewpoint of ecopoiesis? We are ourselves animals, with distinctive capacities perhaps, but not fundamentally different from other living creatures. If ecopoiesis is the way in which we have made our world and all that is in it, does that not also imply an aesthetic responsibility to all that lives? In that case, it would be our responsibility to enable other creatures to flourish, in so far as that is possible. The human-animal bond is first of all a bond in which we recognize our kinship with other living creatures. To be kin implies to be kind. Just as we think it cruel to be unkind to members of our own family, is there not cruelty in the way that we are with other animals? Our hope is that our perspectives on this bond will show us not only new ways to think about other creatures but also to act in what used to be called a more “humane” way in relation to them.
IN RESONANCE WITH THE EARTH
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" contains 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 photographs/installations by Susan Teare (USA) and poetry by Stephen K. Levine (Canada)
Zhang, Lingxiao, Gao, Huaiwei. TOWARDS A PROFOUND TRANSFORMATION FOR ECOLOGICAL CIVILIZATION. INSIGHTS FROM THE 16TH INTERNATIONAL FORUM ON ECOLOGICAL CIVILIZATION AND THE 5TH INTERNATIONAL FORUM ON ECOLOGICAL CIVILIZATION
The 16th International Forum on Ecological Civilization and the 5th International Youth Forum on Ecological Civilization, jointly organized by esteemed institutions including the Institute for Postmodern Development of China, focused on the urgent transformation required for ecological civilization. Renowned experts, environmentalists, and youth activists from over a dozen countries participated in this virtual forum, engaging in three days of in-depth discussions centered around themes such as "Transforming Self," "Transforming Society," and "Transforming Future." During the opening speech, Dr. John Cobb emphasized the extreme importance of ecological civilization in addressing the suffocating threat posed by the ecological crisis. The forum highlighted the significant achievements in ecological civilization construction in China, including designated areas for ecological civilization construction and innovation bases. The aspiration for a deeper understanding and integration of ecological civilization into daily life was expressed, along with a call for global transformation and international cooperation to achieve long-term well-being for humanity and the planet. Furthermore, the forum acknowledged the pivotal role of the youth in realizing ecological civilization.
Kopytin, Alexander. POST-HUMAN AND ECO-HUMAN PERSPECTIVES ON THE HUMAN-ANIMAL RELATIONSHIP IN ART AND SCIENCE
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.
Levine, Stephen K. HUMAN OR ANIMAL: DECONSTRUCTING THE DIFFERENCE
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.
Kopytin, Alexander. ANIMALS AS PARTICIPANTS IN HOLISTIC ART THERAPY: INTERVIEW WITH BEVERLEY A’COURT
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.
Roberts, Leslie Carol. ECOPOESIS PROJECT IN AOTEAROA/NEW ZEALAND: ENGAGING IMAGINATIVE MODES OF CLIMATE PERFORMANCE, CONVERSATION, AND ART MAKING ACROSS CULTURES
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.
Kopytin, Alexander; Gare, Arran. ECOPOIESIS: A MANIFESTO FOR ECOLOGICAL CIVILIZATION
'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.
Kopytin, Alexander. EDITORIAL: EARTH DECOLONIZATION AND ECOLOGICAL CIVILIZATION
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.
A'Court, Beverley; Kopytin, Alexander, Levine, Stephen K. et al. COLONIZATION - DECOLONIZATION: ENVIRONMENTAL, CIVILIZATIONAL, GEOPOLITICAL ASPECTS
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.
Kopytin, Alexander. INTERVIEW WITH VIKTOR PANOV
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.
Lebedev, A.; Kopytin, A. ECOLOGICAL/NATURE-ASSISTED ART THERAPY WITH WAR VETERANS AND THE ISSUE OF ECOLOGICAL IDENTITY
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.
Kopytin, A. Book review: “INHERITED SILENCE: LISTENING TO THE LAND, HEALING THE COLONIZER MIND” by Louise Dunlap
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.
Moss, David; Herbert, Carolina; Kopytin, Alexander; Alalu, Judith; Velez, Odette; Levine, Stephen; Ryabikov, Vadim; Knill Fuchs, Margo IN RESONANCE WITH THE EARTH
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)
Vartanyan, Aylin, Kurter Musnitsky, Fulya, and Demircioğlu, Beliz. MOURNING FOR THE UN-SEA-N: TO OUR BELOVED MARMARA SEA. WHEN DID THE MOTHER BECOME THE OTHER?
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.
Montgomery, Jenna. BECOMING INDIGENOUS TO PLACE: FINDING ECOPOIESIS IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF NANAPOZHO
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.