Maria A. P. Woolson

Resignifying Environmental Epistemology through Latin America’s Artistic Representation. A Sustainability Perspective from the Humanities

ABSTRACT

The complex nature of the transformation needed to disassemble modern frameworks of thought and to reintegrate socio-ecological externalities into new public consciousness, points to the central role of culture in the search for sustainability. This includes a reappraisal of artistic production and their relationship to what spiritual and ethical values we attribute to the natural world. In this paper I explore the transformative power of fictional narratives and plastic art of late 20th and 21st century Latin America that, as creative works, interact with their contemporary realities. The approach observes the production of meaning as interwoven relationships between rationally articulated representations and non-visible performative forces that frame how we act upon our collective imagination. Proposed as an interdisciplinary ana- lytical framework, this viewpoint weaves together environmental epistemology, the language of aesthetics and a study of representations, to place artistic expression as a site of convergence of various forms of signification. With no evident normative impetus, the authors selected expose a cosmology that is holistic, integrated, eco-centric and cyclical, central to many collective identities of Latin America. Sustainability, therefore, emerges as a normative criterion for reacquainting culture and nature.

Keywords: Interdisciplinary Integration, Environmental Epistemology, Environmental Imagin- ation, Culture–nature, Literature, Latin America

Woolson, Maria. “Resignifying Environmental Epistemology through Latin America’s Artistic Representation. A Sustainability Perspective from the Humanities.” The International Journal of Social Sustainability in Economic, Social and Cultural Context 8 (2012): 1-16.
ISSN 2325-1115 © 2012, Common Ground