The Mistra Environmental Communication Research Programme Component at the Institute of Communication Studies and Journalism (ICSJ)

WP5 unconference: "Validating the Rural"

Validating the Rural: The participation of rural communities in environmental sustainability 20 October 2020, 9.30 - 12.00


“Farming and rural development as key factors for sustainable development”

Kjell Ivarsson, Senior Policy Advisor, Federation of Swedish Farmers, LRF

“The dilemma of population density and urban designed cultural programs on environmental sustainability - When it almost failed”

Daniel Urey, Process Leader, Färgfabriken

“Movements in a rural context through an artistic practice”

Sofia Sundberg, interdisciplinary artist and educator

“A place disappearing”

Fanny Carinasdotter, artist, Norrakollektivet

Event Report

The first speaker was Kjell Ivarsson from the Federation of Swedish Farmers, who presented the change of the Swedish agricultural changes within the last century. However, the big part of a presentation has been concentrated on the Swedish farmers‘ orientation to the Sustainability Development Goals (such as zero hunger, good health and well-being etc.), but event a context of the climate change has not been forgotten. The top moment of his bioeconomic contribution was the explanation of replacing fossil molecules with the green ones and multi R approach.

The second presenter Daniel Urey, who is the Process leader from Färgfabriken, introduced the Lyssna project. The art exhibition from Stockholm wants to the engaged discussion over the question of how we can relate to the climate, thought the point of view of research and feelings. The Lyssna project aims to open the discussion in wide society on climate change, on researching, on using human senses. Daniel Urey points out the importance, not just density, but mobility also in people participating in projects. Then he asked turning point question that maybe we do not need to validate the rural, but we need to validate the participation possibilities according to space.

Sofia Sundberg then continued with her contribution to the movements in a rural context through artistic practice. As another artist of Lyssna project from Färgfabriken, she related to the Urey’s presentation. Then she followed up by the different problem connected to the countryside – how has the country or rural in Sweden changed in the recent 40 – 30 years. And most importantly, how the rural determined people in the understanding of space and possibilities in contrast to people from cities.

The last presenter, Fanny Carinasdotter, an artist from Norrakollektivet, came up with a crucial critical position of the human point of view to nature as the resource. Using the case study from Northern Lapland in Sweden and two cities, Sakajärvi and Liikavaara, that had to move because of extension of mining, were demonstrated on the series of photographs showing the unhealable touch of human into the beauty of nature.

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