We want economical, ecological and social sustainability. But how can we succeed if we don’t have cultural sustainability?

When I say cultural sustainability, I am thinking about the capacity of a group of people, a collective, to create their own cultural expressions, while being open to influences from newcomers. It is about being aware of our cultural processes, methods and tools, and about having a capacity to store our knowledge, and pass it on to future members of the collective.

“What makes us a collective?”

The idea of cultural sustainability is inspired by the way communities with a strong folklore tradition keep their culture alive and diverse.

As opposed to a typical industrial age community, where the citizens are atomized into smaller and smaller units of cultural consumers. It is the opposition between a community where all are participating in the development of the cultural expressions, and a community, where there is a sharp division between passive consumers, and expert producers of culture.

In these years there is a booming focus on how to make our collectives more economically and ecologically sustainable, on how to build up a resilience to the obvious flaws of the current financial and political system. On how to make our collectives independent and autonomous when it comes to food production, housing, energy, goods and services.

Also read: Can social media help us build our collectives?

But we rarely hear about how to make our collectives culturally independent, self-supplying and autonomous. Or simply put: culturally sustainable. There is an abundance of occasions where we are getting together to find new ways of e.g. growing our own vegetables. But what about growing our own culture? While discussing new ways of living, new ways of organizing, new ways of decision-making, we still put on good old industrial pop music!!

With the concept Building Sound Collectives, the aim is to find out what happens when we use sound and gesture as means of making our collectives culturally sustainable.

Read about how we can build collectives through sound

Want to write about cultural sustainability? Join the expedition!!

Composing collectives for cultural sustainability
This is a blog by Casper Hernández Cordes. Composer and educational anthropologist living in Copenhagen, Denmark.

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