CENTRE FOR CONTEMPORARY NATURE The Centre for Contemporary Nature engages with the relation between culture, politics and the concept of “nature” today. No longer an immutable, eternal or cyclical backdrop against which the human history unfolds, “nature” now transforms at the same speed as human history, racing alongside it in an ever-aggravated feedback loop with consequences that have spiralled out of control. This entanglement is what we refer to as “contemporary nature”. Whereas the post WW2 period has seen a large proliferation of Centres for Contemporary Culture the challenges of climate change make necessary the emergence of Centres for Contemporary Nature (CCN). CCN is an initiative by Forensic Architecture with FIBGAR (Baltasar Garzón’s foundation for human rights and universal jurisdiction), m7red/Buenos Aires, HKW (House of World Cultures), Berlin.
CONFLICT SHORELINES The relation between environmental destruction and climate change is identifiable along two climatic thresholds—the threshold of the desert and that of the rainforest. These are “political equators” that circle the planet. Along them the agrarian economy of fields and orchards push against areas considered to be no man land. While the threshold of the desert describes a limit defined by water scarcity, the shifting threshold of the tropics results from ‘over abundant’ water and vegetation. Since Roman times, both environments were perceived as the conditions against which territory, human culture, law, and sovereignty were defined. Beyond them lied a vast extraterritorial zone defined by the Roman principle of Terra Nullius–land belonging to no one, without sovereignty or law. In it indigenous communities were regarded as primitive, animal-like, and were granted no property rights. Along both conflict shorelines, a series of land right conflicts mostly involving indig- enous communities still currently unfold.