CultureLab • Workshop

Envisioning a Forest

Priscila Santos da Costa & Sergio Racanati

This one-day workshop brings together Brazilian anthropologist Priscila Santos da Costa (IT University of Copenhagen) and Italian artist Sergio Racanati (Italian Council fellow), to explore, both critically and creatively, different research practices engaging the forest, and more particularly the Amazon forest, as a multidimensional articulation — imaginary, real, cultural and economic.

The work of Priscila Santos da Costa, based at IT University in Copenhagen, analyzes the intricate relationships between technoscientific approaches to the forest and its resources, often branded as sustainable, and capitalist modes of extraction of materials and knowledges.

The question of epistemic extractivism — and the shaping of imaginative modes of relationship with the forest and its human and beyond-human inhabitants — is also at stake in Sergio Racanati’s artistic research around the notion of ‘debris’. In 2022, thanks to the support of the Italian Council, the artist spent a period of time working in the Amazon region, close to the city of Santarém, in the Brazilian state of Pará.

The workshop will be in English, Portuguese and Italian and will include presentations by Priscila Santos da Costa and Sergio Racanati, discussions and activities.

10 participants, registration needed, free
11h–13h presentations and discussion
13h–14h30 common lunch
14h30–16h30 activities, led by Sergio Racanati

This event is organised by Giovanbattista Tusa and Giulia Lamoni and takes place within the scope of the activities of the line of research in Environmental Humanities of the research group Forms of Life and Practices of Philosophy, and of the cluster Transnational Perspectives on Contemporary Art of the Contemporary Art Studies Group, IHA–IN2PAST.

To participate in the event, you must register by sending an email to


Priscila Santos da Costa is Assistant Professor at the IT University of Copenhagen and is part of the Technologies in Practice research group and the ClimateIT Center. She completed her bachelor’s in Social Sciences at the State University of São Paulo, in Brazil, and her PhD in Social Anthropology at the University of St. Andrews. During her doctorate, Priscila has conducted fieldwork in the Parliament of Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby working with politicians and bureaucrats. Her research focused on nationalism, governance, and Christianity, especially in the Global South. She is now undertaking a new ethnographic project in Brazil on the sociocultural dimensions of new technologies in efforts to develop the Amazon region and her main interest is on how green transitions are imagined, experienced, and implemented.

Sergio Racanati is an artist living and working in Milan and Bari. He is currently preparing his forthcoming solo exhibition which will be held in 2024 at the art space Sala Murat in Bari and will be curated by the Ruangrupa collective. In 2022 he participated in the public program of the ruruHaus of Documenta XV curated by the Ruangrupa collective with his filmic work WOK / WAJAN. In 2021 he exhibited at the SoutHeritage Foundation for contemporary art in Matera with the environmental installation To futureless memory — possibility of a memorial. Selected national and international exhibitions include: “NA NA N FRASTEIR” at AlbumArte, Rome, in 2021; “Imagining New Eurasia Project”, at The Asia Culture Center, Gwangju, Republic of Korea, in 2015; “Multinatural Histories” at the Museum of Natural History, Harvard (MA), in 2013. He took part in the 7th Berlin Biennal in 2012, as part of the “Preoccupied” project at the KW Institute for Contemporary Art and at the Bienal del Fin del Mundo / Mar del Plata RA. In 2019 he participated in the 14th Curitiba Biennale. He is on the winners of the Italian Council XI edition (2022) grant, awarded by the Italian Ministry of Culture.