Intersecting Poetry And Ecology: LTTS Interviews Curator And Poet Simona Nastac
A few thoughts about my practice in the context of Louder Than the Storm’s online exhibition Intertwine Our Branches on climate intersectionality, which featured my poem ‘return’ animated by artist Raluca Popa.
How did you begin your practice connecting the arts and the environment?
It was more a slope than a cliff, like climate change. Back in 2015 I curated an exhibition that examined the ways in which the commodity and its cycles of production, exchange and consumption activate us. It has been a fascinating subject for me since I moved to London, as I was deeply shocked by the throw-away culture I encountered here.
I grew up in the darkest years of Ceaușescu’s dictatorship in Romania and the scarcity I experienced throughout my childhood had a major impact on my relationship with things: I never buy more than I need, I try not to waste anything, and I mend broken things hoping against hope, exactly like my parents.
While preparing some reading material for the exhibition in 2015, I came across George Monbiot’s articles on capitalism and the environment in the Guardian and suddenly I realised how critical the consequences of the underlying economies of our material existence are for the entire planet and its future. Since then, I have curated four other exhibitions addressing the topic,one in London, inspired by Buddhist spirituality, and three in the mountain resort of Slănic Moldova in Northern Romania, where I go every summer to work for the international artist residencyIn Context.
It was through this work that I had the chance to meet amazing artists from South Korea, Brazil, India, Iceland and Romania, and to share the same concerns about our global impact as a species, and to learn about different practices of resistance to the decaying capitalism that is destroying our planet’s life-support systems. Just as in every ecosystem living things cross-pollinate each other, there has been a fruitful exchange between my curatorial practice and my writing ever since.