Lecture / Dystopian Optimism, or that glint of water through the trees

In the context of an academic exchange with the National Dong Hwa University in Hualien (Taiwan), I gave a talk on November 12, 2020. It was exciting to exchange ideas with professor Jen-yi Hsu and the English Literature students, most of whom were following a dystopian literature class focused on the wonderful science fiction writings by Octavia E. Butler.

During the lecture I traced what we could learn from Butler’s vision (especially as expressed in her unfinished Earthseed-trilogy) when reflecting on ecological activism and future imagination today.

It was my first time visiting the (huge) campus, but not my first time in Hualien. Earlier during my field research stay, from March until June, I investigated and filmed within indigenous contexts in the Hualien mountain area. To be continued…

Follow Joeri Verbesselt:
Joeri Verbesselt (°1990) is a Belgian activist-artist-art-historian who investigates future ecological imagination. His artworks can have various forms: writings, films and performances. Verbesselt published several essays and one short story. His graduation film 'retreat' had its world premiere in the CPH:DOX international film festival of Copenhagen in 2020. Since November 2019 onwards, his artistic research is clustered in a PhD in the Arts, for which he obtained a Fellowship from the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO). Verbesselt is a member of the Lieven Gevaert Research Centre for Photography, Art and Visual Culture (University of Leuven), an arts organization which publishes and organizes lectures, conferences and art exhibitions. He is also a member of the artist and research collective ‘deep histories fragile memories’ (LUCA School of Arts, Brussels). Currently, he is conducting field research and filming within indigenous contexts in Taiwan.