Conflict Minerals and Artistic Practice – A Workshop

Butte, Montana; Google Earth image

In this workshop, we will explore different ways in which artistic and cultural practices contribute to our understanding of the relationship between geological natural resources (their extraction and distribution) and conflict on multiple scales.

We are interested in art, film-making and research that focus on regions and communities where concentrations of natural “critical materials” - raw materials deemed essential by states for industry, technology and sustainable energy – are entwined with histories of conflict. What modes of transdisciplinary research can address complex systems of visual, cultural, societal, technological, ecological, economic and political forces? What type of aesthetics and conceptual approaches can narrate these contemporary global realities? What role do artists, film-makers and art academics play as active agents in the multidisciplinary discourse around the Anthropocene? We will address these questions through a series of presentations by artists, curators and researchers, and conversation across our disciplines and practices.

Workshop Participants
Ignacio Acosta: 'Copper Geographies: exploring the global flow of mined copper'.
Lauren Bonilla: 'Mining in Mongolia: Extractive atmospheres'.
Cressida Kocienski: 'Low-cost gemstones from Afghanistan'.
Mirko Nikolic: 'Anti-mining art as material discursive practice of 'decolonising the North''.
Helena Hunter and Mark Wright: 'Geofictions and material politics in North England'.
Gail Dickerson: Core Sample: Art, geology and building in South London'.
Esther Cann: 'Human Rights in West Papua, the Grasbery Mine and novel writing'.
Afshin Dehkordi: 'Trauma and geomythologies'.