A central message of the Resilience 2008 Conference is that resilience is not just an ecological issue, or a social, economic or cultural issue. These issues are interlinked. Resilience involves ecological, economic, cultural, ethical and other social dimensions and values. Sustaining and developing social capacity will be a prerequisite for adaptability and transformability.
To explore this fundamentally important feature, and to complement and enhance the scientific symposium, we invited artists to submit proposals for a Resilience Art Exhibition to be held in connection with the science and policy conference. The full Resilience Art Exhibition, where invited artists interpret the notion of resilience, will take place between April 12 and September 7, 2008, at The Swedish Museum of Natural History (Naturhistoriska riksmuseet).
During the conference there will also be highlights and excerpts shown in the grand lecture hall Aula Magna at Stockholm University.
(”Defining Moments”, video stills, 2006, by Paul Matosic - one of the contributions in the exhibition)
The Resilience Art Exhibition is a joint project of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, through Mejan Labs in Stockholm and the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences through the Beijer Institute and the Stockholm Resilience Centre, in collaboration with the Resilience Alliance.
The aim is that new insights, visions and inspirations for how to move forward, capture and communicate the essence of resilience in societal development will emerge. It may involve representation of resilience in music, paintings, photography, sculpture or film.
Statement of the essence of resilience
Our statement of the essence of resilience, to guide artistic interpretation (and that will be used to judge entries), is:
"Resilience is the ability to absorb disturbances, to be changed and then to re-organise, to learn from the disturbance, and to still retain the same basic structure and ways of functioning; to still have the same identity. A resilient system is forgiving of external shocks. As resilience declines the magnitude of a shock from which it cannot recover gets smaller and smaller."
What kinds of systems are we referring to? All different kinds of linked systems of people and ecosystems: A nation and the country it lives in; a society and the forest it lives in; a rangeland and the livestock and people who live on it; a lake and the people who live around it; a city and the environment that supports it.