How humans shape the world: conclusion of the Anthropocene Project

12/15/2014 - The Anthropocene project at the “Haus der Kulturen der Welt” in Berlin came to a conclusion after two years with a comprehensive campus programme. "Our notion of nature is out of date. Humanity forms nature" – this was the core premise of the underlying Anthropocene thesis, that has been discussed in events, exhibitions and discussions between natural sciences, culture, politics and everyday life since 2013. Numerous eminent artists, architects and researchers of the humanities as well as the natural sciences contributed to the project and the final campus sessions. Wolfgang Lucht of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research was part of the project from the very beginning.
How humans shape the world: conclusion of the Anthropocene Project
Table talk with Wolfgang Lucht (right) and Dominique Pestre. Photo: Sera Cakal/Haus der Kulturen der Welt

"The challenges of the Anthropocene require new forms of knowledge production and knowledge dissemination. Traditional forms of academic study in different disciplines that are cleanly separated from each other are probably not adequate to the complex questions of today when we consider global social and environmental problems", says Wolfgang Lucht, Chair of PIK's Research Domain Earth System Analysis.

During the opening event of the transdisciplinary Anthropocene Campus, Wolfgang Lucht joined architect and former director of the Bauhaus Dessau Philipp Oswalt in an exploration of the role of images in shaping the Anthropocene. The duo was subsequently joined by Swedish historian of science Sverker Sörlin and British sociologist Bronislaw Szerszynski to teach a 2-day, very hands-on seminar on "Imaging the Anthropocene" to 35 participating young scholars. Lucht returned to the stage for a final evening reflection, an hour-long public discussion with French historian of science Dominique Pestre on "Limits of Knowledge" that produced a lively discussion with the audience.

"It was an extraordinary ten days", says Lucht. "The combination of well-known artists and scientists with brilliant young scholars allowed to go deep into the meanings and new perspectives of the decades we are facing. Who are we, what is developing and what might a transformed future look like?" These were some of the questions investigated during the Anthropocene Campus and that are documented on the web site and a voluminous scholarly "Anthropocene course book”.

Weblink to the Anthropocene Project:

Video: Limits of Knowledge, Wolfgang Lucht and Dominique Pestre:

Audio: Imaging the Anthropocene, Wolfgang Lucht and Philipp Oswalt:

Interview with Wolfgang Lucht in German Zitty


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