Culture as foundation?

Submitted by Glenn Sutter on Tue, 2007-05-22 11:22

Hello Culture Group!

There seems to be growing interest in the notion that culture is not a fourth "pillar" of sustainability to be given equal treatment alongside society, environment, and economy.  Instead, cultural transformation may be what living sustainability, and education to this end, is all about.  Wendell Berry has been especially eloquent about this in much of his writing, including a recent piece (attached) about the need to foster sustainable agriculture by "renewing husbandry."  He defines husbandry as "the name of all the practices that sustain life by connecting us conservingly to our places and our world, the art of keeping tied all the strands in the living network that sustains us (p 1104)."  More importantly, he suggests that "this communion is a cultural force that can exist only be becoming personal (p 1105.)" 

So, if this group has a foundational piece for the RCE and the larger sustainability challenge, it makes sense to foster discussion and research possibilities.  To this end, I wonder if we could invite Douglas Worts, a colleague of mine from the Art Gallery of Ontario, to come to Regina and share his thoughts about the challenges and research opportunities associated with fostering a 'culture of sustainability.'  He has just co-edited a special issue of Museums and Social Issues on this topic.  He has also spoken to the Toronto RCE about this, with some positive repercussions, and is willing to burn up Air Miles to make it happen.

What do you think?