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Social Consciousness- A road to real change?

By Joana Alarcão

Magazine - Social Justice

Animal behaviourists and the role of art as a form of social Consciousness.

Implementing the theories of Joseph Alter and consciousness, a question arises. Is the current way of approaching this issue raising our consciousness or making us return to the chaos of not wanting to know? Turning back to our alienated beings when registering even the slightest mention of Environmental awareness. Human beings may be deemed a liability of progress, and think that the only way forward is through the same path of the past centuries. However, we have to start to turn our heads to the comprehension of human nature in its full capacity, as we are made of the same composition as our fellow species. Studies on animal psychology, emotional reaction to fear and addition shine a bit of light into the issue. Primates, lobsters and small molecules communities have the same hierarchical behaviour as humans and even can choose between confrontation or an act of peace. Animal behaviourism plays an important role in understanding human behaviour, climate awareness and even the emotional reactions to changes in our planet diversity.

Cognitive Function serves to produce adaptive behaviour, witnessing this in animal behaviour experiences, where they reacted to diverse stimulus when gathering food and preys. Their frame of mind is in direct link with ours in terms that they adapt in order to survive. They lose memories and reflexes that will hold them down in current habitats. I believe that this represents the human species directive, we have detached ourselves from the environment that surrounds us, for that same reasoning. The age of hunter-gathers it’s long gone, we leave in a world of current peace and as a consequence we lost important skills regarding our daily lives, making us detached. Losing both your social and self consciousness . Although still having the same nervous systems and behaviours. Searching for a way to adapt and grow, not looking back, using your new set of skills to preserve what still exists is a most.

Maxwell Rushton – an art Activist to follow

Taking advantage of technology to do differently, to embrace our evolution as a community and conceive a path that looks both to the evolution of our specie and the perseverance of the planet and fellow species. Activist artist like Maxwell Rushton works with bringing awareness to the radical concepts of modern societies, giving heavily charged issues an easy light. Making the public aware without straight confrontation. Although the artworks can be perturbing, we are invited in before realising what is the question raised. Rushton satirises the contemporary branding of everything, exploring the artists as a brand.

In his piece “Brand new me”, he touches the extreme, using his blood as a medium to paint the logo of his brand on a canvas. A bold metaphor of worshiping. Even though blood has a negative connection something can be said about the beauty of the piece. In the same notice, “Draw out” is a massive drawing, where the artist, using a pen, draws marks randomly for a year. The deep metaphor of commercial an even to Marx’s theories of massive production is astonishing. Dramatizes the individual mark-making, giving it a powerful but subtle aesthetic.

We have so many information that can back a positive change, it is time to join our fellow activist and thrive for consciousness change . Change that lasts and that does not rely on the oppression of sides, there being animal vs human, man vs women or even culture vs patriarchy.

Soper, K. (1995) What is nature?: culture, politics, and the non-human. Reprinted, Oxford, Blackwell Publishers,1998,2000, pp. 25-49.

Schaller, M. (2011) `The behavioural immune system and the psychology of human sociality´, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 366(1583), pp. 3418-3426.

Alter, J. S. (2015). ‘Gattungswesen – the ecology of species-being: alienation, biosemiotics, and social theory, Anthropos, pp.515-531.

Kellogg,W. W,Schware.R. (2018) “Climate change and society , consequences of increasing atmospheric carbon Dioxide” , Routledge.


In conversation: Katerina Pravda

Conversation with artist Katerina Pravda whose artistic inclinations bow to the graceful intermingling of endangered species, elegant people, and their ever-changing environment.

by Joana Alarcão

In conversation: Lauren Saunders

In this interview Lauren Saunders explores how her experimental practice-research intertwines art, ecology, and social change amidst the climate crisis. Through collaborative, interdisciplinary efforts, she advocates for compassionate action and restorative connections with our planet and each other. Join us as we delve into Saunders' visionary approach towards fostering empathy, kindness, and kinship with the Earth.

Joana Alarcão

Environmental Mind- A climate consciousness analyses

When the mind triggers a reaction, alienated we stand still, however, if we try to understand the unconscious behavioural system we may as well be able to adapt.

by Joana Alarcão

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