The Bremen Research Workshop for Critical Geography started on a sunny Thursday afternoon (June 15) with an Assembly and Get-Together of all the participants. Taking place right in the middle of a wonderfully lively neighborhood called Steintor, with its history of active left-wing political scene and many community projects, all the venues themselves contributed to the authenticity of the workshop.
On Friday morning, the most interesting workshops included topics such as Degrowth (‘Odrast’ in Croatian), Anarchistic Geography and the essence of Borders, while in the afternoon issues such as Care, Feminist Economics and Smart Cities-Smart Citizens followed. In the evening, Simon Springer gave a fascinating keynote on the “Integral Beauty of the Anarchist Geography” where he emphasized the role and overall responsibility of geography and the founding principles of anarchist geography such as spatial emancipation. The keynote was followed by lively discussion on responsibility and “objectivity” of researchers and the limits as well as the potential of their research.
As IPE’s current Junior Research Fellow, I participated and on Saturday afternoon gave a workshop about my and the Institute’s current research. I emphasized the patterns that the mainstream academic research on sustainability and environmentalism tends to fall into, and which often (re-)produce the divide between “two Europes” by contrasting the picture of a “green, clean, wealthy Western Europe” with a rather “stagnated, old-fashioned, environmentally not-conscious Eastern Europe”. This again lets the Eastern European “Silent Sustainability” (Jehlicka/Smith 2013) remain “silent” and invisible, despite of all the region-specific sustainability practices such as wide-ranging food self-provisioning. The workshop concluded with a group work with the goal of identifying suitable indicators for measuring such region-specific patterns and their potential.
More information about the research workshop can be found here.