ECo + the Lab

The Earth Commons and the Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics are collaborating to build community at the intersection of the arts and environment at Georgetown and beyond. Together, we aim to create space for exploration and expression, reach new audiences and uplift marginalized voices, and archive the human experience on our changing planet—in all its excitement, grief, spirituality, courage, and hope.

The Collaboration

The collaboration between the Earth Commons and the Lab is multi-faceted with two primary goals. The first is to explore innovative and accessible ways to communicate scientific data and discovery to equip audiences with nuanced information about their environment and propel them into action through performance and storytelling. Since most climate scientists are in the temperate zones, most data to assess problems and offer solutions are from and for the Global North, to address this, the Earth Commons and the Lab are prioritizing decolonial green justice by using research and communication methodologies that are accessible and culturally competent.

The second goal is to archive our substantially altered world: what resulted in these alterations, and how do we survive in light of these shifts? In order to do this, the collaboration also prioritizes emancipatory green justice by centering the voices of minoritized and vulnerable populations (BIPOC, people with disabilities, people experiencing homelessness and incarceration) in environmental activism and storytelling. 

The collaboration aims to: 

  1. Create a ground-breaking initiative with vibrant curricular and public programming elements at the intersection of performance/ multi-disciplinary arts and the environment. 
  2. Curate an innovative high-profile program of public events, festivals, performances, concerts, residencies at the intersection of environment, climate, intergenerational justice, sustainability, global health, and development, etc.
  3. Develop innovative curricular approaches and methodologies for this work (building on innovative multi-disciplinary methodologies piloted by the Lab – including award-winning In Your Shoes, etc)
  4. Develop a framework for regularly hosting artists in residence to develop and present work, to foster new cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural collaborations (artists in dialogue with scientists, policymakers, activists, scholars)

Surya: A Convening of Earthly Storytellers

The Lab for Global Performance and Politics and the Earth Commons are convening a select group of artists, thought leaders, and changemakers to a special three day convening at the Lab’s studios at the historic Fillmore School. 

This event at the intersection of art and environment will enable us to share in one another’s work, grapple with critical questions, and build a community for mutual inspiration to imaginatively restore power to the Earth. The weekend will include highly participatory workshops, meals, movement and communal interactions in nature, celebratory ritual, and honest discussions around place, land, and futures. 

Theme and focus. How do we reconcile what we are beginning to know with what we used to know and what we are yet to know? What words can encapsulate and archive the kaleidoscope of the world as it experiences growing pains?

The planet will never come alive for [us], unless [our] songs and stories give life to all the beings, seen and unseen, that inhabit a living Earth

– Amitav Ghosh

We dedicate this gathering to Surya the solar deity and one of the oldest deities in many Dharmic traditions. We will honor Surya through movement, renewal, and beginning. Our weekend will be on the cusp of the Solar New Year. According to Sinhalese astrology, New Year begins when the sun moves from Meena Rashiya (the house of Pisces) to Mesha Rashiya (the house of Aries). It also marks the end of the harvest season and of Spring. We will use this time to plant the seeds of collaboration, grow a shared vocabulary and nourish the foundation for future exchanges. 

Fellows and Artists in Residence

ECo Post-baccalaureate Fellowship

Ashanee Kottage, Post-baccalaureate Fellow at the Earth Commons and the Lab, will be spearheading this collaboration. ECo Fellows work jointly with our partners to move the ECo forward on our research, academic, engagement, and service agendas.

Our Post-bacc Fellows

We Hear You—A Climate Archive

ECo and the Lab—along with Dramaten (The Royal Dramatic Theatre of Sweden) and The Embassy of Sweden in Washington, DC—are collaborating with the creators of We Hear You—A Climate Archive, including Caitlin Nasema Cassidy, the Earth Commons’ inaugural Artist-in-Residence.

Learn More