The notion of reduction is central to the discourse on climate disaster and environmental collapse. A political understanding of climate has led to urgent calls for ever increasing measures aiming at reduction—for example reducing emissions or consumption. Such calls are based on the premise that there can be quantitative remedies to the current environmental disaster. However well-intentioned, earnest, and necessary such approaches are, this symposium would like to pose the provocative question whether the current will for quantitatively defined action against climate breakdown might actually be a symptom of—rather than a solution to—the problem at hand. The attempt to restore nature to a desirable or optimal state seems to be a desire to sublimate, dismiss, or silence the aporias that environmental disaster imposes intellectually, politically, and existentially.

In order to think through the blindspots of the dominant discourse on climate breakdown, the symposium addresses a range of topics including the local dimensions of the climate question, the psychoanalysis of apocalypse, visual representations of ecological disasters, the paradoxes posed by the reliance on scientific authority, the philosophy of climate, and notions of climate debt and climate futures. The symposium features a workshop entitled ‘Legal Imagination for Gaia’ that attempts to develop lateral alternatives to the legal personification of nature. The workshop seeks to create or repurpose legal concepts such as species, trans-subjective rights, diffuse interests, ecocide, and intergenerational justice.

In English

10:30 – 10:45 Introduction by Xenia Chiaramonte and Sarath Jakka

10:45 – 11:25 Keynote 1: Elizabeth Povinelli (Online): Between Gaia and Ground

Followed by a Q&A
Moderators: Xenia Chiaramonte, Nicola Manghi, and Sarath Jakka

12:00 – 13:30 Lunch Break

13:30 – 15:30 Panel 1: Climate as Milieu

Elena Vogman: Psychoanalysis of Catastrophe
Lukas Brasiskis: Alternatives to Anthropocene Visuality: Artists’ Films After Nature
Nicola Manghi: Reducing Sovereignty

Followed by a Q&A
Moderator: Mikhail Lylov

15:30 – 16:00 Coffee Break

16:00 – 17:15 Keynote 2: Shekhar Pathak (Online): Natural Resources, Calamities and Climatic Changes in Himalaya

Followed by a Q&A

17:15 – 18:00 Coffee Break

18:00 – 20:00 Panel 2: Climate as Whole

Sarath Jakka: Climate as Debt
Michael Uebel (Online): Watsuji Tetsuro’s Climate Philosophy: The Ethics of Betweenness, Rhythm, Sensation
Yohan John (Online): Metric Monomania: On the Implications of Goodhart’s Law for Addressing Climate Change

Followed by a Q&A
Moderator: Mikhail Lylov


Elizabeth Povinelli
Shekhar Pathak
Alexandra Aragão
Lukas Brasiskis
Pasquale Femia
Emanuela Fronza
Yohan John
Mikhail Lylov
Nicola Manghi
Michael Monterossi
Edward Mussawir
Michael Uebel
Elena Vogman

Organized by

Xenia Chiaramonte and Sarath Jakka

An ICI Event in cooperation with ‘Madness, Media, Milieus. Reconfiguring the Humanities in Postwar Europe’ (Volkswagen Stiftung/ Bauhaus-Universität Weimar)

KV Reducing Climate

Image Credit © Claudia Peppel