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Green Soul #1 – Words that say it all. The “Anthropocene” and its new vocabulary

Echoing the Foundation’s commitment to promoting artistic practices in the light of the ecological transition, art historian and curator Paul Ardenne is offering a series of 8 lectures on the theme of creation in the Anthropocene era.

The ecological age we’ve entered has given rise to a wide range of reactions: from despair to foresight, from exasperation to activism. There is no single reaction to this negative situation, but rather a diversity of commitments: we oscillate between eco-anxiety and the aspiration of a new ecosophical model. Whatever choice is adopted, the time has come to invent new links with the living world and between human beings, based on equality, sharing and solidarity.

The cultural and intellectual field is resonating with this inflection, which it has sometimes anticipated, echoing and accompanying it. It is this approach, renewing its foundations and its methods, that will be discussed in these lectures. Because the Anthropocene is ushering in a mental revolution.
This cultural and intellectual era, with its new ways of thinking, is based on a new conceptual dynamic: we need to learn and think differently. It’s the birth of the “green soul”, a new resonance in our relationship with the “world”. The “master and possessor of nature” (Descartes) is giving way to the non-ecocidal companion, the commensal individual, the technician anxious to put an end to the productivity regime, the cultural creator enamoured of environmental justice, the practitioner of eco-art, eco-poetry and the producer of alliances. This is a time for de-hierarchisation, care and generosity and, if we are to give shape to this rethought reality, to “anthropocen’art” – a creation that has become specific to a truly unprecedented era and mentality, specific to the climate overheating we are experiencing.

This series of lectures, conceived as a whole, aims to give as complete a picture as possible of the anthropocenic ‘spirit of the age’, the prodigal of the ‘Green Soul’.


In partnership with ESA Saint-Luc Bruxelles School, Master in Social Innovation Design.