New metaphors for sustainability: why we started

This post comes to you from Ashden Directory

Wallace Heim writes:

We began thinking about metaphor and sustainability when we noticed that there weren’t any strong or imaginative metaphors for the concept, or ones that we could easily use in conversation. Metaphors are pervasive in human thought and communication. ‘Sustainability’ stood out as an anomaly, a common concept with many definitions, but no metaphors.

So in April, we asked four people to suggest a metaphor and we filmed their responses. We weren’t looking for ‘the’ metaphor. We were experimenting to see whether it was possible to think metaphorically about sustainability, in all its promise, its limitations and paradoxes.

Since then, we’ve added 14 more metaphors, (18 if you count everyone in the Institute for the Art and Practice of Dissent at Home), and will add another 6 through November and December, here on Ashdenizen and collected on the Directory.

Too, we’ll be posting comments on the project itself, which for some contributors was challenging; for others, playful; and for others, a delicate expression of meaning taken from their everyday life.

 

“ashdenizen blog and twitter are consistently among the best sources for information and reflection on developments in the field of arts and climate change in the UK” (2020 Network)

ashdenizen is edited by Robert Butler, and is the blog associated with the Ashden Directory, a website focusing on environment and performance.
The Ashden Directory is edited by Robert Butler and Wallace Heim, with associate editor Kellie Gutman. The Directory includes features, interviews, news, a timeline and a database of ecologically – themed productions since 1893 in the United Kingdom. Our own projects include ‘New Metaphors for Sustainability’, ‘Flowers Onstage’ and ‘Six ways to look at climate change and theatre’.

The Directory has been live since 2000.

Go to The Ashden Directory

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