From Ignorance to Resonance: Analysis of the Transformative Potential of Dissensus and Agonistic Deliberation in Sustainability Communication

Franzisca Weder*, Denise Voci

*Corresponding author for this work

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review

Abstract

In an intensifying climate crisis with sustainability as a moral framework for political, corporate, and individual behavior, there is a broad range of nonprofit organizations communicating increasingly professionally as agents of social change. Here, the potential of Eco-art as a way to stimulate social and ecological transformation by communicating sustainability more strategically (and thus effectively) is currently overlooked. After conceptualizing Eco-art as an example of a new type of antiprofit—in the sense of agonistic communication, putting existing (unsustainable) power structures and symbolic order into question—we examine the project FOR FOREST, which transformed a local football stadium in Central Europe into a large public art installation, where 300 trees were transplanted over the existing football pitch. The qualitative analysis of (social) media content in the exhibition period, complemented by interviews (N = 15) with central stakeholders, offered insights into three problematizing fields of discourse. With our contribution, we show the potential of Eco-art for sustainability communication in handling dissensus with agonism and its important role in demystifying sustainability by moving from ignorance to resonance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-186
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Journal of Communication
Volume15
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021. (Franzisca Weder and Denise Voci). Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives (by-nc-nd). Available at http://ijoc.org.

Keywords

  • agonism
  • climate change
  • deliberation
  • Eco-art
  • narratives
  • nonprofit communication
  • sustainability communication

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