Location: Cemeti – Institute for Art and Society
Date: September 21, 2018
In this talk, artist Arahmaiani will share her experience of working with the community of Lab, a village located on the Tibetan Plateau. The Tibetan Plateau is a vulnerable site where climate change is urgently felt: it not only has the richest biodiversity in the world, it is also referred to as the “Water Tower” of Asia as more than 2 million people live of the water that rises in it, plus it is known as the “Third Pole” or one of the largest ice fields on the planet. Melting glaciers and permafrost cause local floods and mudflows, while a vision of the plateau drying up in 2030 looms as a very real possibility.
Since her first encounter with the village of Lab in 2010, when Arahmaiani travelled to Tibet to support victims of the earthquake that had just struck, her relationship with both the place, its rich and sensitive ecology and its community has deepened. During the past years, Arahmaiani has collaborated with monks of the Lab Monastry and the local community. They started projects focussing on garbage and recycling; planting thousands of poplar and pine trees; reviving organic farming, nomadic culture and lifestyles, as well as water management. Throughout this period, they managed to bring 16 local villages together to join the effort. Since 2015 they receive support from the Chinese government. In the next phase, they will focus on environment and health education for children and youth, sourcing carbon free energy and generating community income.
In this talk, Arahmaiani will reflect on the process of this long-term, collective project, its local and global implications, connections with Javanese history and culture as well as on her own position as an artist, activist and nomad. We hope you can join us!
This event is part of our ongoing program thread Bodies of Power/Power for Bodies, which aims to create a platform to support the praxis of artists and groups who are invested in rethinking the civic of art.
Arahmaiani is an artist based in Yogyakarta who focuses on contemporary politics, violence, critique of capital, the female body, environmentalism, religion, often using her own body as a way to engage with these issues. Although mostly known for her performance works, Arahmaiani has also been engaging over longer term, often many years, with a variety of communities. For instance by fostering greater environmental consciousness through an array of ongoing community projects with Buddhist monks and villagers in the Tibetan plateau region, amongst others. (Visit www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arahmaiani).