REINVENTING life together (2020-2021)
It is true that we have problems, but we also have solutions. Many people are thinking up and experimenting with new ways of doing things. New ways of approaching culture, urban planning, environmental and social sustainability, the fight against poverty, participatory social design, the circular economy, tourism, and the integration of functional diversity, among other issues. The people involved in all these areas have been invited to take part in the REINVENTING life together cycle. The aim of the cycle is to inform and reflect on innovative responses to key social challenges that are being offered inside and outside of Malaga.
In 2018, LABMálaga launched its activities with “Radar. New ideas for a common future”. LABMálaga is a citizen’s laboratory promoted by the General Foundation of the University of Málaga and La Térmica, the Contemporary Culture Centre of Málaga Provincial Council.
Landscape responsibility: a poetic perspective or commodity-driven fiction)
17 November, 2020, at 17:00
La Térmica (Av. de los Guindos, 48. Málaga)
Speakers: Guillermo Busutil and Rodolfo Caparrós
Landscape is both territory and culture. It is a habitat we are continually recreating with our collective vision – a vision that gives us knowledge, emotions and a sense of identity. The landscape contains a universe of meanings, and connects to all our sensual experiences. It is a universe we can nurture with our endeavours, with our experience of wandering through it, and with our efforts to revive it. In this sense, landscape is an invitation to inhabit the world poetically – and with this invitation comes the promise of a shared world.
The landscape of Mediterranean cities and towns especially calls out for us to make it both enjoyable and community-based. Each particular landscape also presents unique elements that command respect, so that architectural designs and urban planning do not neglect or mismanage them, but rather engage with them. We have compelling reasons not to trivialize or adulterate the landscape, or diminish its wealth to the point of making it a marketable commodity for international tourism and the real estate market.
A landscape without culture, sustainability or a sense of being part of it, becomes uninhabited and impoverished. Many artists, activists and citizens think this impoverishment is already happening in the city of Málaga. The resident population and traditional businesses are being driven from the historic centre. At the same time, Málaga is taking on the image of a global pastiche, comprising a London-style cityscape and Ferris wheel, Dubai-style skyscrapers to compete with the Agbar Tower in Barcelona, or fashionable areas and renowned museum franchises. In this session of “Reinventing Life Together”, our guest speakers include the landscape expert Rodolfo Caparrós who will talk about the history, theory and moral condition of the landscape. He will be joined by the veteran writer and journalist Guillermo Busutil, who has become prominent in recent years for protecting Malaga’s landscape heritage.
Rodolfo Caparrós is geographer and town planner who worked for many years in urban planning, land management, local and rural development, and geographic information technologies. His experience compounded his belief that landscape should be a meeting place between the land and those who inhabit it. He carries out research and develops projects related to landscape, some of which often clash with official or orthodox views. His most recent work is an inquiry into the moral obligation of the landscape – a professional and deontological work, but, above all, a civic work aiming to encourage action and mobilisation.
Guillermo Busutil is a writer, journalist and member of the Reial Acadèmia de Bones Lletres de Barcelona (Royal Academy of Arts of Barcelona). He is a cultural journalist for Letra Global, and an art critic for Culturas de La Vanguardia. He was the director of the magazine Mercurio from 2007 to 2019, and columnist for La Opinión de Málaga from 2003 to 2020 with an active interest in cultural, urban and political issues. He won the Andalusian Critics Award 2011 and is the author of works such as Vidas Prometidas (Promised Lives) and Drugstore, and journalistic works such as Noticias del Frente (Notes from the Frontline) and La cultura, querido Robinson (Culture, dear Robinson).
The ecological risks of inequality and the risks for humanity when we turn our backs on nature
21 September, 2020, at 8:00 p.m.
La Térmica (Av. de los Guindos, 48. Málaga)
Speaker: Fernando Valladares
The COVID-19 pandemic poses a direct challenge to our socio-economic model. According to Fernando Valladares, the root cause of the pandemic is environmental and induced by humans, the same as climate change. The factors which have led to this disaster include the destruction of ecosystems, overexploitation of resources, poverty and inequality in the context of unprecedented globalisation. What ecological risks does inequality bring? What risks do we run by moving further and further away from nature? Will we be able to reverse the trends in time? How can we and how should we do so? What protection does nature offer us that technology cannot? Will we learn anything about COVID-19 beyond the biology of the virus and how to deal with it from a health perspective? These are some of the questions Valladares will try to answer from his heterodox and cross-sectional vision of a pandemic that still has us overwhelmed no matter how much we want to turn the page. See Fernando Valladares talking about the coronavirus crisis here.
Research professor at the Consejo Español de Investigación Científica (Council for Scientific Research) (CSIC), where he leads the Ecology and Global Change group at the National Museum of Natural Sciences. He is also the director of the International Laboratory on Global Change and professor at the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos. Since 2015 he has been a highly cited scientist in the fields of ecology and environment (ranking in the top 1% of scientists with the greatest impact in the world). His research has focused on the interaction between environmental and social changes and their impact on terrestrial ecosystems. Together with his research work, Valladares is involved in ecological restoration projects and in disseminating science in general, and the ecology of global change in particular, through his website and “The health of humanity” channels on YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, as well as in media such as eldiario.es, where he regularly publishes in the Critical Science section.