October 20, 2020

CAAM, a pioneer in Spain with a program that combines culture and sustainability

The Atlantic Center of Modern Art of Gran Canaria activates the Sustainable Classroom of CAAM this week, the first think-tank o permanent laboratory of ideas that sets up a Spanish art center around contemporary creation and sustainability. The initiative was born with the aim of promoting from the culture the search for effective sustainable proposals that contribute to changing the current social and economic model and charting a course towards a better future for citizens.

In this context, the art center of the Cabildo de Gran Canaria hosts the days October 6, 7 and 8, the Biocene Conference, the first event of the Sustainable Classroom of CAAM, with a program that includes conferences and virtual round tables, which will be given by a group of 16 specialists of recognized national and international prestige in the field of culture and sustainability, as well as face-to-face workshops that will address topics on the issues we face as a society and as a cultural sector in the challenge of the current climate crisis.

Coordinated through the CAAM Research Laboratory, the presentations and round tables are held three days in the morning, from 10.00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m., and broadcast live on the Internet through CAAM’s YouTube channel and its Facebook page. In deferred they can be seen from the CAAM website www.caam.net. The face-to-face workshops take place in the afternoon in the multipurpose room of the center.

Culture and sustainability

The implementation of the Sustainable Classroom of the CAAM as a space for reflection and debate is part of the line of work drawn up by the Ministry of Culture of the Cabildo de Gran Canaria by the integration of culture into sustainable development frameworks, taking into account what is established in the recommendations of the Unesco report ‘Rethinking cultural policies’ of 2018.

The initiative is part, in turn, of the frameworks developed by the CAAM on global issues affecting contemporary society, focused on promoting new knowledge vehicles from culture that can provide citizens with tools that contribute to generating lines of analysis and critical thinking.

The person in charge of the Sustainable Classroom and the Biocene Conference is Blanca de la Torre (León, 1977) well known Spanish art historian, curator and essayist, expert in sustainability, contemporary art and culture. In addition to curating exhibitions, her broad international professional career encompasses diverse fields such as lecturer, seminar director, workshops for artists and cultural managers, curatorial residencies or international symposia, among others.

The program

The Biocene Days begin on Tuesday, October 6, at 10:00 a.m., with the opening ceremony led by the Minister of Culture of the Cabildo de Gran Canaria, Guacimara Medina, after which the Minister of the Environment of the Cabildo Gran Canaria intervenes, Inés Jiménez, the director of CAAM, Orlando britto, and the person in charge of the Sustainable Classroom and the Conference, Blanca de la Torre.

After the inauguration, the first working day begins, articulated under the heading ‘Transform problems into possibilities’, with the framework presentation entitled ‘Towards a sustainable cultural management’ that will deliver Blanca de la Torre, responsible for the Sustainable Classroom of CAAM.

They then take the floor in brief presentations Aridane Gonzalez, professor at the ULPGC and president of the Committee of Experts for the Study of Climate Change in the Canary Islands and the Promotion of the Circular and Blue Economy; Marta Garcia Haro, director of projects of the Spanish Network for Sustainable Development, dependent on the UN; Luna Bengoechea, creative specialist in art and food, and Jose Maria Parreño, writer and professor of Art History at the Complutense University of Madrid. Their interventions conclude with a round table. In the afternoon the workshop is held ‘Food for social transformation. Strategies from art and culture ‘, given by Blanca de la Torre and Luna Bengoechea.

The second day, which on Wednesday October 7 has the motto ‘The road to transition’, starts at 11.00 with the framework presentation given by Yayo Herrero, anthropologist, social educator and agricultural technical engineer, considered one of the most influential researchers in the ecofeminist and ecosocialist field in Europe, who addresses in her intervention the ‘Economic metabolisms to rebuild broken ties with life ‘.

Then take place the brief presentations of Yeray Martinez, consultant specializing in leadership for the ecological transition; Elena Lavellés, visual artist and filmmaker; Jose Albelda, co-director of the Master of Ecological Humanities UPV-UAM; Y PSJM, artistic team of creation, theory and management, made up of Cynthia Viera and Pablo San José. After their interventions, a round table is held between the participants. And in the afternoon, Blanca de la Torre and Nuria Sánchez teach the ‘Workshop to awaken the joint vision and promote the step to action ‘.

On the last day of the Conference, Thursday October 8, the focus is on the idea of ​​’Creating community’ and begins at 11.00 with the conference of Nuria Sanchez, outstanding teacher, researcher and creator with a broad artistic career linked to sustainability and especially to painting and collaborative art, who will talk about the ‘Relevance of transition processes: current and future examples’.

Nuria Sánchez’s presentation opens the way to short interventions by the architect Elsa war, co-director of the architecture and urban planning studio Arquitectura ANCA; Isabel Corral, graduated in Fine Arts and graduate in Landscape Protection, Management and Planning; Brenda Chavez, journalist specialized in sustainability, and Asuncion Molinos, artist and researcher, who later hold a round table. In the afternoon, the face-to-face workshop ‘Sustainability from art, communication and statements’ taught by Blanca de la Torre and PSJM puts the finishing touch to the Biocene Conference.

In the words of the head of the Sustainable Classroom at CAAM, Blanca de la Torre, this comprehensive program for the implementation of sustainability through culture was born “with the purpose of understanding art as a way of contributing to the construction of a world better and develop creative proposals that propose alternative ways -both in form and content- to work on the challenge that current circumstances present us: the construction of a new future ”


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