It is time to think of ourselves together as a planet, because the pandemic also brought this idea that we are no longer going to let go of: what happens to one, happens to all of us.”

Rosa Beltrán, coordinator of Culture UNAM.

In the first year of the pandemic, during the months of absolute confinement in practically the entire globe, we got used to seeing images of wild boars walking through Haifa, in India, and Barcelona, ​​in Spain, or of a group of goats taking up their steps in the coastal cities of Wales and a cougar in the streets of Santiago de Chile, the same as a dolphin sneaking through the canals of Venice.

The world was taking a breather from a humanity that was forced to back down in the face of the most globalized virus that history has seen. But that series of brushstrokes of utopia were a truce that was soon dissolved as soon as the period of health fragility that many call “post-pandemic” began. Right now, an old dilemma, now urgent, is reiterated in front of us: climate change.

The crisis that never went away

For this reason, the sixth edition of El Aleph. Festival of Art and Science, organized by the UNAM, raises the theme “The borders of the environment”, in a hybrid version from May 19 to 29.

Dr. Rosa Beltrán, coordinator of Culture UNAM, together with the disseminator José Gordon, who is curator of the meeting, and Juan Ayala, technical secretary of Planning and Programming of the same coordination, presented the details of the meeting.

“After two years of confinement, those of us who longed for the exit and also thought that we had learned a lot in the anthropological sense, realized that we were entering a complex universe in many ways: illness, death, economic debacle, a war and, As if this were not enough, an environmental crisis”, Rosa Beltrán introduced and made reference to the environmental contingency of last week:

“Seeing ourselves confined again, not being able to move because the air became unbreathable, is another wake-up call.”

However, he said, this edition of El Aleph will not only emphasize self-inflicted wounds but will also dedicate the bulk of its 179 scheduled activities to rethinking possible regeneration measures.

More GDP to combat the climate emergency

For his part, the disseminator José Gordon took up the ideas of the 1998 Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry, Mario Molina: “when talking about global warming, Dr. Molina said that studies carried out in England and at MIT had shown that with the 2nd 3% of global GDP would have the necessary resources to reverse it. He told me that yes, that percentage is very expensive, but compared to everything that droughts, floods, cyclones, all the crises that we see appear over and over again, it is nothing. The thing is that we are truly already suffering from the problem and we don’t realize it.”

For all of the above, Gordon highlighted the presence in the sixth edition of El Aleph of the American anthropologist Anna Tsing, who, accompanied by the linguist and activist Yásnaya Aguilar, will draw another type of possible future in relation to the climate crisis. Also traveling to our country will be the Israeli scientist Hadas Mamane, who has specialized in optimizing water quality in places with few resources, and the French astrophysicist Fatoumata Kébé, who will speak about the contamination of space debris that orbits us.

Likewise, the meeting will receive Dr. José Sarukhán, emeritus researcher at UNAM and head of the National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (Conabio), who will give the inaugural conference “Global environmental change: challenges and possibilities”.

Finally, the festival’s curator took up the words of the famous astronomer Carl Sagan: “there is no better demonstration of the madness of human vanity than our indifference to what is happening on the planet”.

dialogues with the arts

Juan Ayala highlighted some of the artistic dialogues within the program of the sixth edition of the festival.

With the piece Earthquake Mass Re: Imagined, a product of the collaboration between volcanologists and seismologists from UNAM with the British sound artist Kathy Hinde, the effects of seismic movement on sound will be explored. The work will be installed in the Palace of Autonomy, Historic Center.

Another collaboration between artists and scientists will be the DEOM textile proposal. Design, Scene and Other Materials, for which Mexican designers from different areas and universities were summoned, who, with the help of experts from the highest house of studies, created outfits from biomaterials. The results will be presented on a catwalk on May 25 at the Palacio de Medicina.

In addition, he completed, the carbon footprint due to the excessive use of computers in increasingly recurrent massive processes, such as cryptocurrency mining, cannot go unnoticed and will be part of the virtual conversation “How much does the cloud weigh?”, with the participation of artists and curators from Mexico and Spain. In addition, he advanced the presentation of the book El capitaloceno. A radical history of the climate crisis, by Francisco Serratos. “It is an excellent example of how the hyper-capitalist era, of hyper-industrialization, has generated many of the cross-cutting problems that we now face,” he concluded.

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