EMPACT landmark Seminar
Creative Europe Project
Empathy and Sustainability: The Art of Thinking Like a Mountain
“The art of thinking like a mountain” Empathy for nature and non-human beings
January 2023 ended with a three-day landmark seminar “Empathy & Sustainability: The art of thinking like a mountain” within the framework of EMPACT: a European program which will last 24 – months and is co-funded by the European Union’s Creative Europe program.
This event was successfully hosted by The Cyprus University of Technology, Department of Fine Arts and was well attended by a diverse audience of artists, creatives, professionals in the arts and cultural sector, professionals active in other areas, related to sustainability & environment, as well as, students, educators, and researchers of arts, culture, management, cultural and creative industries, sustainability, and environment.
The three days of “The Art of Thinking Like a Mountain” workshop carried out a holistic, well-designed series of activities, with the outcome of providing the artists and cultural organizations with the knowledge, skills and tools to face the complicated scientific and social conflicts caused by climate change.
Day 1, 27 January 2023, Exploring the concept of EMPATHY
The first day of the event opened with an introduction to the EMPACT Project, setting the scene for the audience on what to expect from the presentations and interactive sessions that would follow. This was followed by a philosophical perspective presenting ‘What is this thing called Empathy’ and how this concept has evolved to what we know empathy to be today. The third presentation of the day built further on this concept of empathy by looking at empathy and its relationship to environmental aesthetics.
After a short break, day one concluded with the screening of an award-winning documentary “La Panthère des Neiges / The Velvet Queen (2021)” and an open discussion with Alberto Vasquez representing the organization Espacio Rojo, who is one of the partner organizations of the EMPACT project.
Day 2, 28 January 2023, Artistic Research and Implications of EMPATHY
The next day of the workshop started off with an exploratory presentation titled ‘Empathy for the Environment through Art: An Exploration of the Idea’, followed by a presentation titled ‘Phenomenological Perspectives on Empathy.’ At this point an interactive discussion continued with the speakers and audience members taking steps towards ‘thinking like a mountain.’
The second session of the day offered three captivating talks about the origins of artistic research and how we have reached a phase of anthropomorphism in art by listening to topics titled ‘To look into the eyes of the non-human other: The Wolf Talks’. Another researcher presented on the technique of Guerilla Gardening in the city of Limassol, and the third presentation demonstrated research entitled “I’m just sitting here”, dwelling and documenting the everydayness as an empathic approach towards nature.
The final session of the day began with an entertaining, yet informative display of composition and artistic production of sounds of nature, summing up with Sotira Couvaras, representing Wisefour Innovation Company, who is also a partner organization of the EMPACT project, offering knowledge of best practices in EU projects in the creative and cultural sectors. After a short interval, the presentation room was completely transformed for an improvised audiovisual presentation by Yiannis Christidis, Kyriakos Kousoulides and Dimitris Savva.
Day 3, 29 January 2023, Artistic Workshop
Days one and two had a more philosophical and research focus, but day three progressed towards a more practical point-of-view with presentations by artists and the opportunity to apply the knowledge of empathy gained from the preceding days. The event reached its conclusion with an artistic workshop curated by Fani Boudouroglou, Rania Emmanoulidou and Lia Psoma, pertaining the use of sustainable artistic practices and materials, where the audience had the opportunity to become actively involved in ‘the art of thinking like a mountain.’
Landmark Workshop Programme
Take a look at the Landmark Workshop Programme to view the full details of the event and speakers: CUT Landmark Workshop Programme_Final
Upcoming Artistic Residencies Programme
The next phase of the EMPACT project boasts an exciting Artistic Residencies Programme, visit our website to read the open call and apply!
EMPACT consortium is composed of (8) nine partners from (6) six European countries with diversified experiences and expertise necessary to achieve the objectives and activities of the project: Cyprus University of Technology (Cyprus), Wisefour Innovation and Development Organisation Ltd (Cyprus), Fondazione Lamberto Puggelli (Italy), Nature, Art & Habitat Residency (NAHR) ECO-Laboratory of Multidisciplinary Practice (Italy), Espacio Rojo (Spain), Vorres Museum (Greece), National Academy for Theatre and Film Arts (NATFA) “Kr. Sarafov” (Bulgaria) and Umetnostna Galerija Maribor (Slovenia).
Start date 01-09-2022 – End date 31-08-2024.
The project is co-funded by the Creative Europe program of the European Union.
Project Number: 101055903 — EMPACT — CREA-CULT-2021-COOP-2
Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor EACEA can be held responsible for them.