NATURAL CONTRACT LAB
Walking with River, walking as repair
How can artistic practices reclaim an ecology of repair, and creatively design protocols with a regenerative approach to the loss of landscapes? Do we need other ways of justice, environmental laws and reparative actions? What kind of artistic processes do we need as a gesture of care for the planetary? How are transdisciplinary alliances a response to ecocide?
Natural Contract Lab is an artistic research project, which draws from an ecology of reciprocal care and dialogues with bodies of water undergoing deep ecological transformation. Its artistic research format is hybrid and unfolds differently in response to each river under survey. We research and listen to rivers, by mapping through walking with the river, performative rituals, ecocide hearing, restorative justice circles, ecological grief, somatic scores and other actions that move along with the riverine’s flow and its communities. Our collective research process acknowledges the river as an entity, while proposing to discover allies and witnesses in the recognition of the river as a legal entity within its geopolitical dimensions. We see our artistic practice as a form of collective and sustained activism that creates respectful relationality with bodies of water proposing reciprocal futures.
Natural Contract Lab was founded in 2021 by the artist Maria Lucia Cruz Correia in collaboration with a multidisciplinary group, including Marine Calmet (environmental jurist), Evanne Nowak (climate grief), Brunilda Pali (restorative justice), Lode Vranken (architecture/philosophy), Vinny Jones (sensory scenography) and in 2022 Margarida Mendes (Researcher/sonic guidance). Together we develop a body of care, researching forms of environmental justice through practices of reciprocal care, such as walking-with the river, performative rituals, ecocide hearings, restorative justice and ecological grief circles, somatic and audio scores and other actions that move along with the riverine’s flow and its communities.
Co-produced by Kunstencentrum Vooruit (BE), NTGent (BE), Workspacebrussels (BE), Dream City (TN), C-takt (BE). Supported by Flemish Authorities and Be part
Produced by WpZimmer (BE