Vizura aperta, Lastovo, August 18-22, 2020

Mental Ecology / studies on human impact on people

The time of the crisis brought about by the epidemic has cast light on the importance of forgotten human values such as solidarity, sound interpersonal relations and humanity – vulnerable social phenomena that need systematic protection. Hence the invitation to draw up studies on the human impact on people is a rephrasing of the frequent and overpaid studies of human impact on the environment commissioned to justify the over-development or other kinds of exploitation of the coast and the natural resources for the benefit of economic models oriented to market competitiveness and bad policies that in a short period of time turn out to be unsustainable in terms of economics, resources and society as well as detrimental to people and the environment. The sudden rapid deceleration and the examination of new models of living as a result of the lock-down is compatible with human needs and the sustainability of the planet that we have simply taken for granted. The slowing down brought about by the epidemic has enabled us to comprehend the whole picture once again. It shows us the way to a change in behaviour, reviews relations within the human species, directs us to interpersonal communication, building upon the primary and material meaning of the word oikos as base for the development of an awareness of and responsibility for the self, for others, and the environment.

In this respect, we are focused not only on the green and material ecology of the environment but on social ecological conduct, on healthy interpersonal relations, the ecology of public space, culture and the media, the ecology of consumption, diet and culture of the body.

Felix Guattari holds that the development of an ecology concentrated totally on nature, on the protection of species, can result in a very disturbing conservatism. In the book The Three Ecologies of 1992 he speaks of the ecology of the environment, the socius and the psyche, introducing the word ecosophy into our ecosystem. For him in the case of the oikus it is not just the walls of the house that are important: he criticises the reductionist visions of being, and understands responsibility with respect to being as creativity, the wisdom of the oikos, ecosophy. He calls then for a movement of gaining awareness [prise de conscience] that fights against a reductionism that brings everything down to plant and animal species. He died the same year, previously anticipating the problems of a materialist understanding of the concept of ecology, the imperative of the environment, the consequences of progress, the disastrous triple yoking of science, technology and politics. Political ecologists continue to develop the problem area in the fight for equality and social justice, a green society through the rights of workers and the control of capital, examining its origins and growth, and a fight for the environment so posited includes a class battle equally for exploited workers and raw materials. Philosopher Pierre Charbonnier in the essay “Three tribes of political ecology” presents three forces that today are in the lead in political ecology – green socialism, radical criticism of modernity and elite technocracy, stressing that “growing economic insecurity goes hand in hand with growing environmental insecurity and that conflicts around social inequality will eventually become environmental conflicts too. “

In earlier versions of Vizura Aperta we covered problems of multicultural equality, bilingualism, green borders, touristification at the expense of the citizen, the abolition of public spaces, repurposing cultural space for commercial purposes, the abandonment of homes and homeland, the decay of social and private property, political and cultural isolation. The themes have been presented through artistic production, and reference has been made to the current social problems and the geopolitical context in which the work of art has come into being. This year’s programme is devoted to the theme of the mental ecology necessary for survival both in the earth and on the Earth. The halting of cultural production as a consequence of the epidemic, the insecurities, displacements and adjustments have become parts of everyday cultural practice. Hence this year’s Vizura Aperta programme starts with the exhibition Displacements in which Ana Hušman, Tina Gverović, Ben Cain, Duška Boban, Nikola Bajto, Lea Bulaja and Siniša Labrović take part. It consists of sketches of future and former works, test photographs, fragments, remains and presentations of works produced by recycling. Displacements includes the reading of the collection of poems of Staša Aras of the same name.

The workshop of Lea Bulaja For a better tomorrow is concerned with the link between person and environment; the workshop Film without a remainder of Lea Anić deals with the cinematographic manipulation of time; the lecture of Rozana Vojvoda takes a look at time in the works of Dubrovnik women artists.

Poems are read, and stories, books, essays; in the outdoor cinema films are watched, the beaches are cleaned, and together with the local people and the Dobre Dobričević Association (which will show its work in the promotional spot and workshop LA. colonia) we free up a space for public use, while the Live Music of Ivna Franić is playing.

The forty or so participants of the festival in four days will produce original works in the framework of the year’s theme Mental Ecology and present them in public. The total budget of the festival comes to 45,000 kuna, and we thus thank all the volunteers for their response and unpaid work. We also thank the Dobre Dobričević Association for having hosted us on the island in these interesting times. We particularly thank artist Ivana Pegan Baće who is financing her own participation at the Vizura Aperta festival.

A prize of 1,625 kuna will be given for the first time this year for the best artistic work or other exceptional contribution to the festival; the amount is set by the means test for artists to qualify for a government grant in the event of a crisis.

Davorka Perić