Morgan Campbell, student in the Interdisciplinary Master of Arts (IMA) program, Alesia Maltz, AUNE ES Core Faculty, and Cathy Lounsbury, AUNE CMHC Core Faculty were selected to present their paper on Bedouin Textiles and the Architecture of Climate Change Resilience at the Feverish World Symposium in Burlington, VT.
The multidisciplinary paper, based upon Morgan’s extensive research into sustainable textiles, explores the possibility of applying the indigenous wisdom of the weaving craft of the Bedouin women to the current crisis facing climate refugees today. The Bedouin, Arabic-speaking, nomadic peoples located throughout the Middle Eastern and North African desert regions, have developed textiles for use of dress and shelter that have withstood their highly mercurial environment for centuries with little change. Recent studies have shown that these traditional textiles are extremely effective in extreme environments, indicating that there is much potential to learn from Bedouin weavers and develop sustainable, reactive materials to help maintain homeostasis in the face of climate-caused displacement. Additionally, the paper and presentation address the resiliency of the Bedouin women, themselves, applying the braided resiliency model to their tradition of weaving. As the Bedouin cloth and tent structure have provided reactive, lasting solutions to the climate challenges they’ve faced, the wisdom of the Bedouin weaving craft might also provide insight into indigenous wellness practices for women.
The Feverish World Symposium challenges institutional norms through the engagement of practical or scholarly efforts to bridge between the arts and humanities and the sciences in response to issues of public concern (such as climate change and the refugee crisis). The symposium seeks to draw on the creative imagination of the arts, the wisdom and critical insight of the humanities, and the know-how and know-what of science and technology to develop practices for collective coexistence and even flourishing in the climate-destabilized world of our likely future.
Morgan is a first-year student from Kennebunk, Maine. She received her undergraduate education this past year from Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in Fibers, with minors in Design for Sustainability and Fashion Design. She has spent her artistic career focusing on creating biomimetic outerwear, drawing inspiration from sustainable architecture practices, organic systems, and indigenous knowledge from various cultures around the world. On her second day in the Antioch IMA program, she said that she set a goal to present and publish her work regarding textiles, biomimicry, and climate change; five weeks later, she, Alesia, and Cathy have written this first paper and presented their findings at the end of October.