So, let us start with the basics. What is the 2030 Agenda? What exactly is it that is going on right now?
The United Nations Sustainable Development Summit is happening in New York right now, and it will be happening for the next three days. It’s a meeting between world leaders where the aim is to all agree on the formulation of the 2030 Agenda and its 17 sustainable development goals and their 196 sub-targets. The meeting will take the whole weekend, but already the Agenda has been adopted, and we now have a world Agenda for the next 15 years. The Agenda will, to put it simply, dictate the approach of the UN in their work, both how they work internally and how they work with their member states and other partners. It will also have a huge impact on how countries tackle the different challenges that they are facing in everything from environmental sustainability, to education, poverty elevation and gender equality, just to mention a few.
Worth noting is that the negotiating part of the 2030 Agenda (where member states argues about if they should use this word instead of that, and other things that surprisingly will have much bigger implications than one might think) is more or less done. The draft of the goals has been negotiated and worked on since 2012 and he Rio+20 conference, and will most likely be adopted in their entirety at this stage.
The 2030 Agenda is “a plan for people, planet and prosperity that also seeks to strengthen universal peace in larger freedom”. It is at its core an integrated set of goals and targets that illustrates the interconnectedness of the “three pillars of sustainable development” (social, environmental and economic). All goals are in the formulation of their targets connected to multiple other goals, and together they create a web of targets and goals, where one cannot pull one strand without taking into consideration how it connects to other aspects of sustainable development. This creates a complicated set of goals, and the world is definitely facing a challenge in its work towards the realization of the 2030 Agenda. However, it is also our only chance to ensure that we protect not only our selves, but also the planet we live on, and that we ensure that the needs of the present is met while also ensuring that the possibility of future generations to meet their needs is safeguarded. Our actions these coming 15 years will be crucial for how life on our planet will look in the future, and there are many exciting, if challenging, things ahead of us.
When I speak of a desert writing, I allude to a formidable gift, a poisoned gift, as we know from the overdetermination of the German ‘Gift'—a terrible gift bestowed on some people in the cradle, a kind of malediction that is also a benediction and that condemns, “elevates and educates” them to poetry. The works of human beings like Clarice Lispector and Arthur Rimbaud come from the desert. This kind of primal scene is the awakening of the baby to the absence of everything, to the absence of milk, of light, be it imaginary or real. The originary effect, when its repercussions are played out, produces a kind of music. Everything happens as if the non-milk, the absence of milk, gave way to a milk of the ear, or to music, hence a death and a kind of birth in the desert. This leads us to the Bible, where there are also deserts, as in most great poetic works. In the Bible, the deserts are crossed mainly in conjunction with scenes of encounter with the absolute.
Hélène Cixous on the gift of abandonment. The poison gift that makes writers out of desert…
Today 12–2: The Office for Creative Research and Elevator Repair Service perform work based on MoMA’s collection database. Developed as part of the education departments annual Artists Experiment initiative, A Sort of Joy (Thousands of Exhausted Things) uses information from MoMA’s collection database as the source material for its script.
On April 7, The Office for Creative Research and Elevator Repair Service perform work developed as part of the education department’s annual Artists Experiment initiative. A Sort of Joy (Thousands of Exhausted Things)uses information from MoMA’s collection database as the source material for its script.
[A Sort of Joy (Thousands of Exhausted Things) performed by The Office for Creative Research and Elevator Repair Service at The Museum of Modern Art. Photograph by Manuel Molina Martagon]