WhiteFeather has been invited to speak at the upcoming Ruderal Ecologies II online conference, hosted by the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in collaboration with The Sanctuary and NATURE Lab, in Troy, NY from October 22-24, 2021. WhiteFeather will join an exciting line-up of speakers on October 24, 2021. For more information on the conference and all of the speakers, please visit the Sanctuary for Independent Media website, here.
“The Ruderal Ecologies 2 conference builds upon the 2018 Ruderal Ecologies: Grounds for Change conference, which brought together thought leaders in art, science, and environmental justice to explore the history and future of urban environments shaped by stress. “Ruderal,” from the Latin rudus (rubble), refers to plant species that are first to repopulate disturbed lands, an apt analogy for the state of our post-industrial neighborhoods. It is through this lens that we will envision our futures. Ruderal Ecologies 2 conference is a collaboration between the School of HASS’s ARTS and STS departments, and our programs iEAR Presents (supported by a grant from the New York State Council for the Arts/NYSCA) and local non-profit organization, NATURE Lab and The Sanctuary for Independent Media.
We will host the Ruderal Ecologies 2 conference virtually with the ARTS and STS departments and The Sanctuary for Independent Media, based in North Central Troy, one of the most economically and ecologically devastated neighborhoods in New York State. As our communities deal with these urban challenges, it is vital to approach problems from a humanistic standpoint: understanding the history, urban ecologies and philosophies that left us with toxic water, soil and air so that we don’t repeat the same mistakes.
Ruderal Ecologies 2 will once again bring together cutting-edge artists, social scientists, scholars, and activists learning and working beyond the barriers of any one discipline, and this time our work will be all-virtual, making it possible to present thinkers and host virtual audiences from all over the globe. Reflecting our commitment to curating a feminist framework into this conference, the majority of our presenters are women or gender non-conforming. We have also invited Indigenous authors, artists, and speakers, with the intention of embedding a variety of Indigenous ways of thinking, storytelling, and expression into conversations about our urban futures.
NATURE Lab, a project of The Sanctuary for Independent Media, is one block from the Hudson River and the beginning of the Erie Canal. Our Environmental education campus, including Collard City Growers’ garden, the L-Lot sustainable forest, the NATURE Lab Residency Space and Freedom Square commons space offer programming including community workshops, public art installations, artist residencies, research activities, and after school programs. NATURE Lab’s biosafety level 1 community bio laboratory focuses on issues around urban environmental justice and social justice. Upstairs from the laboratory the People’s Health Sanctuary space is being constructed to share health skills, provide basic integrative care and explore ways to build networks of community health.”