Partner activity: DRIFT – The art of climate adaptation
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Cultural Adaptations cultural partner from Belgium, Greentrack Gent, are collaborating with Vooruit Arts Centre and artist Maria Lucia Cruz Correia on “DRIFT – The art of climate adaptation” with a series of events running up until October 2019. The full description of the project in Dutch can be found on the Greentrack Gent website.


At four different times in the year, four artists let you experience how they deal with the consequences of climate change. Peter Aers, Maria Lucia Cruz Correia, Gosie Vervloessem and Ruben Nachtergaele all start from one of the four elements (air, water, fire, earth) and their symbolically related field of consciousness (think, feel, do, experience) to explore our radically changing environment from very different perspectives.


Climate adaptation?

Climate consciousness is gradually evolving from a focus on reducing CO2-emissions and thus fighting climate change (also called ‘climate mitigation’) to a wider focus that also includes the necessary adaptation to our thoroughly changing climate – also called ‘climate adaptation’. Scientists agree that this work on mitigation in the past decennia until now is progressing far too slowly and our climate is heating up faster than earlier calculated.

Climate change and its consequences are happening right now. If we want to create a sustainable environment in the near future, we will not only have to be conscious about our use of energy, materials, mobility, etc. but we will also have to adapt our environment and way of living to the consequences of climate change, such as heat stress and drought in the summer months, flooding and wet winters, crop failure and reduced food supply, climate refugees, etc.

Climate adaptation is generally the domain of scientists and policy makers who approach this field in a more analytical and cerebral way. In DRIFT we want to approach the hyper complex issue of climate adaptation from other fields of human consciousness as well: from a psychological, emotional perspective, a physical, sensory perspective and a more action-related, performative one.



Air – Peter Aers

April 2, 9-12.30, St Pieters Abbey Ghent

What are exactly the consequences of climate change that we will see in the near future? What is climate adaptation and what does the city of Ghent plan to work on? To get more insight in the challenges and the necessary actions, we are feeding our mind with lectures of Prof. Patrick Meire (University of Antwerp) and Maaike Breugelmans (City of Ghent, Environmental and Climate Department). Then the artist Peter Aers guides us through a conversational exercise: through dialogue he challenges us to explore different perspectives on the subject. He uses Bruno Latour and The Parliament of Things as a starting point to look at how we can voice the ‘things’ surrounding us.

In collaboration with Vooruit Arts Centre, Peter Aers created a series of conversation performances that look into the relation between the individual and the community. He is part of the artist group/project ‘Building Conversation’.


Water – Maria Lucia Cruz Correia

June 9, 19-21.00, Houtdok Ghent

Scientists predict drastic changes in biodiversity, living environment, weather conditions, food supply, … as consequences of the climate crisis. Inevitably we will have to say goodbye to certain animal and plant species, familiar traits of each season and of landscapes. Subconsciously this parting awakens a sense of melancholia and grief in us. But how do we deal with the feeling of loss of something that is not truly gone yet? And how can we grieve over things that we’ve always considered self-evident?

The participants to this session will leave the mainland for a few hours and take place on Maria Lucia’s floating island ‘Common Dreams: Flotation School’ in the Houtdok. Floating on the water she will offer them space for their own climate grief. Together they create a collective ritual as a gesture of solidarity.


Fire – Gosie Vervloessem

September 27, 19.00 (location tbc)

In her project ‘Recipes for Disaster’ artist Gosie Vervloessem looks at the fears that paralyse us and helps people to turn that fear into actions. In this session she will look, together with the participants, at the fear prompted by climate adaptation and together they will search for how we can effectively prepare ourselves as citizens, as a city.


Earth – Ruben Nachtergaele

October 11, 19.00 (location tbc)

Sound artist Ruben Nachtergaele invites participants to become more conscious of nature in the city through their senses. Nature is essential for our mental health. When wild nature is not within easy reach and is under pressure because of the climate crisis, you can learn how to connect in a more urban enviroment to the natural elements that are all around us.


Take part


Every session has room for 15 participants. Since all activities are connected and part of an entire journey through the senses, participants are encouraged to enroll for all four activities. A combiticket for the three remaining activities costs 30 euros. Separate tickets cost 15 euros.

Tickets can be booked at or through the links above.

DRIFT is a collaboration between Vooruit Arts CentreMaria Lucia Cruz Correia and Greentrack Gent, with the support of Ghent Climate City.

Book tickets through Vooruit Arts Centre

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