Lara Aysal (So-called Vancouver)
I deeply believe in the potential of art to awaken hope and, more importantly, provide an opportunity to imagine, organize and take action against unjust social, political, economic and ecological issues
My artistic, political and academic interests converge in my commitment to the power of praxis in moving people to take action. I collaborated and worked across borders with international theatre companies and facilitated research projects in development and conflict settings with refugees, prisoners, ethnic minorities and Indigenous communities. These experiences have allowed me to associate arts-based practices with actions on social dynamics concerning the climate crisis.
I believe that artistic practices can be an effective method that enables environmental research to take an active role in transformative change. I see this critical moment in history as an opportunity to share, practice and learn from each other about ways in which we can build alternative cultures through creativity and critical thinking to transform our current reality into collaborative encounters for our future. Art plays a crucial role in understanding modes of thinking around the climate crisis and encourages us to imagine beyond the given present. Specifically, performative inquiry accommodates possibilities of dialogue and praxis through participation-based creative methods. Theatre is one of many powerful sources of artistic practices that may contribute to transformative social change by analyzing current realities and imagining alternative futures. I believe that the instrumental principals of theatre, such as; collaboration, participation, and action through storytelling, can effectively contribute to climate crisis adaptation conversations and engage further with transformative social change. My goal as an artist is to build community-arts engagements that might help facilitate spaces for critical thinking, action and social transformation. I am specifically interested in how performative inquiry, as a medium for dialogue, could stem collaboration between various knowledge systems, environmental organizations and institutions for co-creating collective strategies on the climate crisis. I believe that art has the potential to open a pathway for a meaningful exchange of information between different knowledge systems and this could enable communities to reflect, not only on what actions must be taken but also how actions should be taken in these challenging times. Currently I’m building collaboration with Western scientists and Indigenous knowledge holders.