CAAT#6 – Beyond the Spells: A Conversation between Klasse Klima + Cooper Climate Coalition

Date: 09/12/2020

CAAT is the new series of online-streamed ‘collective activist artist talks’
via (an initiative of Interflugs)

Beyond the Spells
A Conversation between
Klasse Klima + Cooper Climate Coalition
Moderated by Dalís Pacheco and Daniela Medina Poch
9th December 2020 18hrs Berlin/12hrs NYC
Duration: 90 min.

The current COVID-19 crisis is giving visibility to the complex interrelation among
territories and communities and unveiling some of the Spells that portray impunites
and unbalanced realities. As these Spells begin to crackle, we slowly begin to
realize that the Climate Emergency as a borderless planetary concern we need to
tackle. Due to the Spell of Neoliberalism, we live under the illusion of globalism. But
having open borders for merchandise and other sort of commercial ties does not
imply caring if a person at the other side of the world dies. Are we including
everyone in this fight? Who are we leaving out of sight?

As co-inhabitants of the Global North, what is our co-responsibility and how does
this imply permissibility in some dynamics that perpetuate the current
environmental fragility? How do we use our privileges to include a plurality of voices
and make sure every community takes its own choices? When shall we speak and
when shall we listen? What can we do from our disciplines? How can current
Educational Institutions acknowledge the climate struggle as fundamental
elocutions? Which narratives do we need? Which do we need to let go indeed?
Further than affirming positions and repeating already-known concepts and visions,
we are interested in deepening in the understanding of what it actually means to be
withstanding. Please join us with an open mind, an open heart and room to take part
in listening, sharing and caring about co-responsibility and neocolonialiality,
interdependence and borderlessness – alongside representatives from Klasse Klima
from the University of Arts Berlin and The Cooper Climate Coalition from The
Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in NYC. We look forward to a
first dialogue between these two environmentally-related student initiatives to learn
from each other how we are coping and tackling these issues from various

Klima Klasse
Cooper Climate Coalition
Daniela Medina Poch
Dalís Pacheco on behalf of Interflugs

Daniela Medina Poch from Bogotá, Colombia is an artist, researcher and writer, currently
part of the MA programme Kunst im Kontext at the Universität der Künste Berlin. Through
site-specific artistic interventions, lectures and workshops, her work explores the
relationships between territory, language and identity. Through her recent work, Daniela
attempts to unveil the complex relationship between sources and resources. She is
co-founder of Babel Media Art ( and writes regularly for Eigenart
Magazine. ( Daniela Medina Poch has exhibited her work
individually and/or collectively in Colombia, Germany, Holland, Spain, Mexico, United
Kingdom, Italy and Australia.

The Cooper Climate Coalition is an open body of students, faculty, and staff at The Cooper
Union, facilitates conversations, events, and student projects within the institution that
center the climate crisis and its intersections with races, classes, genders, sexualities,
histories, economies, political structures and more. Along with organizing Cooper Union’s
Climate Week programs and events in the fall, the Climate Coalition takes responsibility for
fostering interdisciplinarity throughout The Cooper Union in support of environmental

Alisa Petrosova is a New York-based artist. The concept precedes the medium—her work
lives at the intersections of film, photography, installation, writing, programming, and social
practice and curation. Her recent practice has focused on the climate crisis. In the fall of
2019 and 2020, Alisa curated a series of nine events at The Cooper Union that coincided
with the UN Climate Action Summit. The week included an interdisciplinary art, architecture
and engineering exhibition dedicated to engaging with climate that was the first of its kind
at Cooper, as well as lectures from leading thinkers in the field including Naomi Klein and
Varshini Prakash, Bill McKibben and Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, Mary Robinson and
Rhiana Gunn-Wright, and Pamela Ronald and Emma Marris. Her work now focuses on
connecting narratives of the climate crisis and migration, in order to create an ecosystem
that moves beyond the paralysis people experience from fear or, similarly, the paralysis of
hope. It is the fusing and balancing of these two modes that leads the world to action.
Sanjana Lahiri is an architecture student from Singapore, based in New York. As chair of the
Cooper Union Student Lecture Series, she curates lectures and conversations around
climate, colonialism, and labour and their various convergences with architecture, as part of
a larger interest in creating outward-facing discourse within architectural institutions that
responds to the numerous crises that delineate our lived experience. Her past design work
has focused on urban agriculture and its intersections with domesticity, and she is currently
researching the role of image-making in relation to neo-colonialism, sovereignty and claims
to land in the context of contested territories in South Asia. As part of the Cooper Climate
Coalition, Sanjana facilitates and moderates events that engage architecture and the
climate crisis—most recently a Cooper Union x Climate Week event titled “Carbon Fictions”,
with Rania Ghosn and Elisa Iturbe.

Klasse Klima is an open group of students and teachers at the University of the Arts Berlin,
intending to translate the climate crisis in its numerous manifestations into teaching and
creative practice. A think tank, a shelter and open space, a meeting area and a vantage
point for all those willing to design a climate-friendly living environment. Consequently,
guest lecturers from science and economy join to give insights into their research and work.
Furthermore, a hands-on approach is encouraged through direct observations and tasks to
articulate the concepts and ideas discussed during lectures and events within artistic
practice. Every semester, a new theme is approached, as the last ones dealt with degrowth
and greenwashing. The current semester is related to future scenarios and the speculations
that inform the possible narratives for upcoming centuries to picture a liveable environment.
Arianna Cecchetto is a visual art student from Italy and currently studying at the University
of the Arts in Berlin. Her research revolves around the conditions under which cultural
memory is produced, diffused, and stored through the lenses of intersectional and nature
rooted knowledge. In her work, she engaged in place(less)ness and belonging and mimicry
and domestication through drawing, graphic design, and performance. Her current research
deals with the history perception from trees’ perspective and finding narrative models to
communicate the current climate crisis’s urgency. She is part of the organisation team of the
Klasse Klima.

Nicolai David Herzog is a communication designer for sustainability and transformation
and currently part of the MA program Communication in Social and Economic Contexts at
Universität der Künste Berlin (UdK). As the program suggests, his research is based on
social-ecological transformation processes in society and economics and developing
sustainable and resilient solutions for future challenges. In this matter, he works with
predicting and speculative methods and formats, foremost in collectives and other forms of
groups. Besides being part of the Klasse Klima organisation team, he participates in AG
Klima, a Climate Working Group at UdK consisting of students, teachers, and staff
members. Here the central purpose is to put the university on a sustainable track, work for
climate justice in the institution, and incorporate the climate crisis topic into the educational
program with the online lecture series “Get real. The Climate Crisis as Cultural Epoch

Artwork by Alisa Petrosova
Diagram by Daniela Medina Poch