Cuntemporary collective has re-appropriated the most offensive word in English, ‘cunt’. Now they are taking on society’s apathy towards environmental issues. EcoFutures: Queer, Feminist and Decolonial Responses to Ecological & Environmental Changes is their three-week festival, including two-week exhibition blossoming in East London from April 4 to 19. What to expect: free group exhibition, stalls, performances, workshops, screenings, conferences, an outreach programme and a club night.
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Together with over forty artists spanning across seven venues, EcoFutures festival forms “a platform for discussion and experimentation around urgent environmental and ecological issues such as climate change, extinction, pollution, health and sustainability through an intersectional, feminist and queer lens.”

Weaving Local Voices: Sustainability, Survival and Economies of Labour is one of the hybrid workshop-performances organised. Four weaving workshops using recycled materials, led by artist Raisa Kabir in collaboration with Stitches in Time, as well as their Bangladeshi and Muslim women’s group, take up space to stand up to stereotypes of this ‘gendered’ space. Raisa Kabir treats the politics of cloth, labour and embodied geographies. Often, ‘women’s work’ is perceived as invisible. Perhaps through these open workshops, Cuntemporary aims to give visibility to the work, voices and experiences behind this process, as well as reminding us of craft’s healing value.
Environmentalist goals and feminist goals come hand in hand as these dialogues are both discounted and ignored by most mainstream politics and media. Equally, Western capitalism’s push for over-consumption is put into question. Capitalism’s stranglehold on dramatically depleting resources that are consumed at a rate in which nature cannot replenish them forecasts a dark future.

SF Trans*Plant workshop, led by Barcelona-based collective Quimera Rosa, shifts our focus onto gender and nature/human boundaries, similar to film screening Water Makes us Wet on Ecosexuality (April 11), which crosses boundaries of sexuality and nature. Quimera Rosa’s bio-art (experimental science fused with performance art) provides research and experiments on body, technoscience and identities. The workshop/performance questions systems of power that affect both trans and natural biology. “Obtaining a pure molecule of chlorophyll is as hard as getting testosterone from the pharmaceutical and biomedical industry or the legal and health system. All life is patented”, the collective says.

Government constrictions on experimentation with nature underline who is currently writing our eco-future, and necessary motions to change entails rising up against the state’s failings. As E. Kirksey and S. Helmreich put it, “Bioart organizes itself to divert, derail, or expose those domination regimes and ‘life’ management systems.” This promises to be a fascinating collective experience of how transgressing from societal norms of biology can produce new futures.
Deep Trash (taking place at Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club on April 19), the legendary East London exhibition-cum-performance club night, includes futuristic and indigenous artists. Seemingly as a response to the conference on ecocriticism, they are creating an empowering sexual space. Ecocriticism (conference on April 13) is a reasonably new strand of theory that criticises culture’s dis-empowering fetish for nature.

Similar to feminism, it works against the representation of the passive ‘other’ that is unfathomable, mythologised and therefore not fully understood as well as stripped of any voice of her own. Mother nature bites back in the form of BDSM technoshamanist rituals and Afrofuturistic sonic healing cleansing the inner (yoni) climate. What more could you want?
EcoFutures: Queer, Feminist and Decolonial Responses to Ecological & Environmental Changes will take place from April 4 to 19 in different locations across London.
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Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens. Water Makes Us Wet, Photo by RRJones. Courtesy the artist.
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Eca Eps. Water Work, 2018. Photo by National Museum Lagos. Courtesy the artist.
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Ivan Monteiro and Javier Stell-Frésquez. Mother the Verb, 2017. Photo by Robbie Sweeney. Courtesy the artists.
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Liz Rosenfeld. Glimpse of Manipulated Still #12, Kabelvåg, Norway, 2018. Photo by Marit Ostberg. Courtesy the artist.
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Nadja Verena Marcin. OPHELIA (Still 3), New York, 2017. Photo by Marque DeWinter. Courtesy the artist & 532 Gallery Thomas Jaeckel, New York & AKArt, San Francisco.
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Bioart . TransPlant, 2018. Photo by Geo Vallejos. Courtesy the artist.
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Weaving. The body is a site of production..., 2017. Courtesy the artist.
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Zheng Bo. Pteridophilia 2, 2018. Courtesy the artist.