Conference: State of Nature in India

August 26th, 2018

Keynote lectures from the conference on August 23-25, 2018

The State of Nature conference aims to understand better these complexities, and also to offer a critique of the widely discussed Anthropocene concept, through a focus on India. It seeks to dissolve boundaries between multiple practices by creating a more open and cross disciplinary conversation, which cuts across traditional disciplinary categories of knowledge making, by bringing together artists, cultural practitioners, natural and social scientists, policy people, activists and thinkers.

The concept of the Anthropocene points us towards the interdependence of economics, politics, the environment, and human agency—thus, a reflection on the State of Nature also implies a reflection on the state of discourse, power, violence, and lastly capital. At this interdisciplinary conference, scholars gathered to analyze and disentangle these complexities through a focus on the regional specificities of India. In doing so, the aim was to trouble the boundaries between multiple practices and open up a discussion across traditional disciplinary categories of knowledge production.

The conference is divided into three broad parts to enable the sharing of diverse ideas by very different practices and includes keynote lectures and moderated panels, along with discussions with the audience. Such a conversation is proposed as a possible way of creating new trajectories through which the ecological crisis can be challenged.

The keynotes below offer thematic and theoretical entry points into the leading questions, discourses, and topics of the State of Nature in India. For the documentation of the entire conference, please see here.

State of Nature in India is conceptualized by Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan Mumbai in collaboration with Ravi Agarwal.