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Sydney Environment Institute

The radical work of mourning

Where
University of Sydney
University of Sydney
Parramatta and City Roads, Camperdown NSW 2006
The Michael Spence Building (F23) Eastern Ave & City Rd, Camperdown NSW 2050, Australia
When

Thursday 11 April from 6pm to 7:30pm

When we lose a loved one, we share rituals to honour their life and process their death. But when a plant or animal species is lost forever, how are we to mourn? What role can expressing grief play in galvanising hopeful action and deeper connection?

This event explores the surprising and moving possibilities for radical care, hope, and action in an unlikely place: the work of mourning. Our panel will discuss the activities of some of the many scholars, artists, and activists embracing mourning as a form of transformative ethical and political work in the extinction crisis. From artworks and public funerals for departed species to mass “die ins" hear how taking time to dwell on loss can cultivate a closer, richer sense of our planet and our place on it.

While grief and mourning are frequently associated with passivity and withdrawal, this event explores how the reality can be much more complex, interesting, and promising. Drawing upon evocative stories and lessons from researchers in cultural studies, philosophy, and design, we’ll discover the challenges and opportunities of feeling fully in the face of dramatic environmental change.

Multi-award-winning journalist and radio presenter Natasha Mitchell for ABC Radio National Big Ideas will discuss these ideas with a panel of experts. This includes field philosopher and extinction researcher Thom van Dooren, scholar and practitioner of design Zoë Sadokierski, and researcher of climate emotions and activism Blanche Verlie.

This event is part of the Living on the Edge: Caring for Australia’s Threatened Places. This project is a partnership between the Sydney Environment Institute at The University of Sydney and the National Museum of Australia through the James O Fairfax Senior Fellow in Culture and Environment Program.

Contact event organiser

Sydney Environment Institute

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