Workshop: Arts of Coexistence

Arts of Coexistence: Care and Survival in the Sixth Extinction

Oslo, Harbour, Glass Sculpture, Sky

Photo: Ursula Münster

Workshop of the Oslo School of Environmental Humanities (OSEH), University of Oslo (UiO), coorganised by the Working Group HOLB (Humans and Other Living Beings) of the European Association of Social Anthropology (EASA)

Convenors: Ursula MünsterHugo Reinert and Sara Asu Schroer


Recognising that our planet has entered a time of immense ecological devastation, this workshop invites papers that work creatively with the concept of care. The workshop explores diverse forms of care across differences that people develop (or fail to develop) in the context of species disappearance. How are ways of coexistence threatened, erased but also still maintained in time of the sixth extinction?  Specifically, we are interested in work that conceptualises and explores skills, practices and ideas of care in multispecies, interspecies and more-than-human contexts. In addition, we invite research that reaches beyond ideas such as species and organic life, to encompass also practices of care for land and landscapes, for ecosystems, for machines, infrastructure, the dead, spirits, concepts, history and the past, the future, for the world itself.


Papers may address topics such as intervention, sustainment, maintenance, repair, collaboration, remediation, restoration or survival. What forms of care are the chaos and violence of the present moment calling forth? What are their limits? What are their risks and dangers, their potential for destruction? How does care travel, how may it be transposed to novel objects, settings and domains? How is care undone, destroyed, eradicated – and how can it be restored? How can we as researchers root our practice, and our commitments, in forms of care that do justice to the future? What are the possibilities of more-than-human care?

The complexities of hope and care

The workshop especially calls for stories of hope, of people finding ways to care for other beings, to help them survive and to survive with them, forming new connections and relations. Hope is complicated, however, and “care” can mean many things. We therefore also invite papers that refract and problematise the idea of care, perhaps finding it in unexpected, problematic or hard-to-think contexts: from the care invoked in technoscientific practices like de-extinction and geoengineering, to the rituals of remembrance that emerge for extinguished species, to the “care” of the coloniser for the colonised.

The disciplinary scope of the workshop is open, encompassing anthropology as well as cognate disciplines such as human geography, cultural studies, history of science, science and technology studies, sociology, media studies, archaeology and so on. We also welcome artists and other practitioners whose work engages with the topics of the workshop, and who are interested in contributing through performance, installations, photography etc.


See the full program from the workshop here.


Participation and deadlines

If you are interested in participating, please send a title and abstract (500 words) to by 28 February 2019.

Draft papers must be pre-circulated to participants by 15 April. There may be some limited funding available for EASA members for travel and accommodation costs, please let us know if you require this.

The deadline to apply for the Arts of Coexistence workshop has passed.

Published Jan. 30, 2019 10:46 AM - Last modified July 1, 2022 10:47 AM