Speculative Fiction, Speculative Economics; presentations by Bahar Noorizadeh and Ama Josephine B. Johnstone, chaired by Manuel Ángel Macía
After Growth is a symposium, a gathering of bodies and minds, but it is also an invitation to construct another future. At its core is the belief that prosperity does not depend on economic growth, and that – in the face of ongoing climate catastrophe – there is an urgent need to find new ways of living within planetary boundaries.
The concept of ‘degrowth’ emerges from the confluence of activism, ecology and economics, though it also sits within a larger cultural field of creative and artistic practice. Rather than producing blueprints of utopian visions, many of the contributors to this symposium work towards the creation of spaces where post-capitalist forms of life can be incubated.
This is an edited recording from Day 2 of the symposium, hosted at Nottingham Contemporary on Sunday 20 March 2022.
Bahar Noorizadeh is an artist, writer and filmmaker. Her research examines the historical advance of speculative activity and its derivative politics in art, urban life, and finance and economics. Noorizadeh is the founder of Weird Economies, an online art platform that traces economic imaginaries extraordinary to financial arrangements of our time. Her work has appeared at the German Pavilion, Venice Architecture Biennial 2021, Tate Modern Artists’ Cinema Program, Transmediale Festival, DIS Art platform, Berlinale Forum Expanded, and Geneva Biennale of Moving Images among others. Noorizadeh has contributed essays to e-flux Architecture, Journal of Visual Culture, and forthcoming anthologies from Duke University Press and Sternberg Press. She is pursuing her work as a PhD candidate in Art at Goldsmiths, University of London where she holds a SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship.
Ama Josephine B. Johnstone is a scholar, speculative writer, artist and pleasure activist whose work navigates intimate explorations of race, art, ecology and feminism. Ama is a PhD candidate in Psychosocial Studies with Dr Gail Lewis and Dr Margarita Palacious at Birkbeck University of London. Her research takes a queer, decolonial approach to speculating and archiving interdependent, pleasurable Black climate changed futures in Ghana and across the Black diaspora. Ama’s wider praxis thinks through sustainable economies and ecologies of care and survival for BIPOC womxn in the arts and academia.
Ama is a curatorial fellow with Frame Contemporary Art Finland and EVA International (Limerick), and was the 2020/21 Keith Haring Fellow in Art and Activism with BARD College (New York). She has had essays, short fiction and art writing published internationally, and has been exhibited across Europe.
Manuel Ángel Macía is Guest Associate Professor at the Art Academy of Latvia (Latvijas Mākslas Akadēmija), where he works on the fields of Curatorial Studies and Artistic Research. Manuel is also a researcher for the EU4ART Alliance, funded by European Commission’s Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+ programmes and is an editorial board member of the Journal for Artistic Research. Previous to these appointments, Manuel was Senior Lecturer in Architecture and member of the Postcolonial Studies Research Centre at Nottingham Trent University in the UK. Manuel holds a PhD from the Art Department at Goldsmiths, University of London and is Fellow of the Higher Education Academy UK.