Natural Contract LAB
Ongoing 2021- 2023
*How does water flows through across and between human and more than human bodies politically, socially and environmentally? How do we design a process of repair based on reciprocity, accountability and interdependency with the river ? Do we need other ways of making justice and gesture of care for bodies of water?
Natural Contract Lab is an artistic practice, an ecology of repair that aims a sustained dialogue based on interdependence, collectivity and accountability with bodies of water under deep ecological transformation. The artistic format is hybrid and unfolds in it self as a response to each place: a social encounter, an event or a collective laboratory. Inspired in restorative justice practices, we design a protocol of repair to map the socio political impact of ecocide in relation to the ancestral hydro commons of a river. As a process of thinking-with, we design the outcome in collaboration with the community around rivers, including other than humans. As body of repair, we are a interdisciplinary collective questioning the state of environmental justice through, practices of walking, rituals of care, somatic experiences, rights of nature and grief of landscapes.
Our artistic research attempts to acknowledge the river as an entity. to discover our allies and witnesses in the recognition of the river as a legal entity. The practice is a walk, a performance, a plea, restorative circle that moves along the river’s flow. The walking-with becomes a form of activism through animism, sound, transmateriality, movement and affect.
STUDY CASES BETWEEN 2021-2023
2021-2023 Sijoumi Lake, Tunisia
2021-2023 Rio Tejo, Portugal
2022-2025 Rhone River, Switzerland
NCL was founded in 2020 by the artist Maria Lucia Cruz Correia in collaboration with a multidisciplinary group, including Marine Calmet (rights of nature), Brunilda Pali (restorative justice), Lode Vranken(*6) (design/philosophy), Vinny Jones(sensory scenography) Evanne Nowak (ecological grief). With the confluence of the Tejo River Margarida Mendes (research/sonic guidance) joined the collective in 2021. Together we develop a body of care, researching forms of environmental justice through practices of reciprocal care, such as walking-with the river, performative rituals, ecocide hearings, restorative justice and ecological grief circles, somatic and audio scores and other actions that move along with the riverine’s flow and its communities.
14.5.2023 Natural Contract Lab, NTGent, Belgium
28.11 - 12.12.2022 - Weaving stories of Rhone River in collaboration with Least, Switzerland
12-12.11.2022 Intertidal Walk, Alkantara Festival, supported by Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Portugal
1.10- 10. 10.2022 — L’école de Sejomi guardians, Dream City, L'artRue, Tunisia
13. 11- 21.11.2021 “Caudal restaurativo” Terra Batida, Alkantara Festival
8.10 - 24.10.2021- RE.NATURE - ( Amsterdam)
3.9.- 11.9 2021 Collective Exhibition curated by COAL Vivant 2021, at Congress mundial de la nature Marseille
3.05-22.05.2021 — Open atelier, Kunstencentrum Vooruit, Belgium
Produced by wpZimmer (BE) // Co-produced by Kunstencentrum Vooruit (BE), NTGent (BE), Workspacebrussels (BE), LEAST (CH), Dream City (TN), C-takt (BE) // Supported by the Flemish Authorities, BePart, Creative Europe // Research supported by the Leuven Institute of Criminology (BE), Wild Legal (FR), Human Rights Consortium UGent (BE), European Forum for Restorative Justice (EFRJ)