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Accepted Contribution:

The arts as a catalyst in shaping local sustainable food practices  
Rimvyde Muzikeviciute (University of Groningen- Campus Fryslân)

Short abstract:

The study explores how sensory and arts-based approaches can strengthen human-nature connectedness and consequently inspire local sustainable food practices while fostering environmental awareness and inner connections to sustainability.

Long abstract:

Increasing society’s disconnection from nature, both on individual and collective levels, is often defined as a root cause for unsustainability and environmental crises. This in turn affects food consumption practices and one’s understanding of food supply chains and systems. To restore human-nature connectedness (HNC) many studies focus on quantitative approaches further encouraging ‘emotional ignorance’ known as a ‘knowing- feeling’ gap. By integrating sensory ethnography and arts-based interventions, this study reveals how engaging with art and one’s senses can deepen one’s understanding of and connection to a local landscape and its biodiversity, leading to more environmentally friendly food practices.

The core aim of our case study research was to deepen the understanding of place-based food practices in Biella (Italy) in relation to existing local artistic expressions, such as pottery. To cultivate awareness on sustainable local food practices this study focuses on exploring ‘embodied being in’ and ‘embodied understanding of’ one’s natural environment. This dynamic relationship was explored through an integrated research design built on an arts-based intervention. The framework of the intervention inherently considers arts and cultural practices to be embedded within a place-based food culture and agricultural context, reflecting the panel's interest in discussing arts not as a mere tool for problem-solving but as an integral to societal transitions and environmental engagement.

As we navigate the complexities of transitions towards sustainability, our study advocates for a re-envisioned role of the arts—beyond instruments of climate change communication or critique—to core elements that inspire transdisciplinary collaborations and artful sustainability outlook.

Combined Format Open Panel P268
Creative partners? Repositioning the arts in transdisciplinary collaborations
  Session 3 Wednesday 17 July, 2024, -