Having written her highly praised biographies of Boudewijn Büch and Helene Kroller-Müller, Eva Rovers is currently concerned with resistance and climate activism. During a walk in The Hoge Veluwe National Park, she talks to Lex and Nynke about her short-story collection Nu Het Nog Kan (‘While It’s Still Possible’), which she compiled with the action group Extinction Rebellion. The collection sets out the gravity of the climate crisis, and offers possible solutions. How do we tackle this urgent problem together? What part do activism and resistance play? Should everyone take to the barricades?
During a walk through Utrecht, Nynke and Lex talk with environmental philosopher Matthijs Schouten about the role that nature plays in human thinking. We feel part of nature, we feel we need to look after it, and yet our actions don’t reflect this. Why is this? How can we change our behaviour? Matthijs Schouten is a professor of Ecology and Nature Conservation at the University of Cork (Ireland) and retired professor of Restoration Ecology at Wageningen University & Research. He also works for the Dutch Forestry Commission.
Damiaan Denys is a professor of psychiatry at the University of Amsterdam, and a philosopher. In his research he is concerned with the clinical and neurobiological aspects of anxiety disorders and obsessive compulsive disorders. In their talk with him, Nynke and Lex explore why our imagination is in crisis. We are good at imagining disaster and misery, and yet we seem unable to harness that skill to solve the major problems our world is facing. Have we allowed ourselves to be governed by fear?
At the Explore the North Festival, Nynke and Lex welcome cultural sociologist Ruben Jacobs. He is researching how art engages with our new ecological reality, and he examines the ways in which artists are deploying science and technology for this. What does it mean to be an artist today? And has the role of the imagination changed?