A Conscious Vision
Emirates Woman|April 2021
Alserkal’s Executive Director, Vilma Jurkute, on launching a new sustainability agenda whilst reimagining the cultural space
SARAH JOSEPH

What do the first 30 mins of the day look like, your morning routine? My mornings are dedicated to self-regeneration and knowledge. I usually start with a workout, followed by an iced coffee and a lot of reading to make sure that I am up to date on news and current affairs. I make time to reconnect with my academic research situated across the various disciplines of urban studies.

What is your approach to sustainability? What sustainable practices are currently in practice at Alserkal and do you have any additional plans to develop this? The word Anthropocene begins with a Greek word ‘antropos’, meaning human, and as we try to address the undeniable human impact on the environment, I believe we must begin with a selfaudit. Sustainability demands for a political and intellectual solution, involving complex alliances of actors from all over the world. Resisting the temptation of addictive growth and progress and reappraising our conditions of production and consumption are important ideological steps towards change. I am mindful of how easily terms like ‘sustainability’ can become commodified over time, often endorsed through tokenised infrastructure solutions. At Alserkal, we have formed a Sustainability Working Group to develop solutions, not only through projects such as solar power, recycling and pedestrianisation, but by changing our behaviours and focusing on economies of repair as a community at large. It is a big task – we must reimagine what circular economy means for our part of the world and for the creative industry overall.

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