Kultur Universiteter Vitenskap og forskning Ideer

Night of Ideas: Debate «More rights for nature»

onsdag 6. september 2023 6:00 PM

Litteraturhuset 0167 Oslo

Can nature have rights like humans? Can rights be given to glaciers, to lakes, to rivers to enable them to defend themselves against external aggressions?

Come and debate with us in English on Wednesday, September 6th at Litteraturhuset (Nedjma room) in Oslo!

Book your free tickets!

This debate is part of The Nights of Ideas 2023, following the debate “More water, a challenge of the 21st century” organized on June 8th, 2023 at the Oslo Cinematheque.

We are aware that the decision-making process on climate change is often slow, and that the measures taken so far have proven to be insufficient. But what if we were to radically change our approach? What if we reexamined our relationship with nature and the environment with equality?

That is exactly what a group of researchers, jurists, artists, philosophers, and sociologists undertook during the “Auditions du Parlement de Loire”. Together, this interdisciplinary group explored the possibility of giving a voice to a river, allowing it to defend its interests through a system of inter-species representation.

Can we grant rights to the objects of nature and thus set them up as humans?

This fundamental question will be at the heart of the second debate of the Night of Ideas, which will seek to explore bold new perspectives and rethink our relationship with nature, opening the way for innovative ways of thinking to address contemporary environmental challenges.


  • Eléonore Maitre-Ekern

Eléonore Maitre-Ekern holds a postdoctoral position at the University of Oslo and she is working at NIVA as Researcher. Her doctoral thesis centered around the circular economy and Europe’s policies and regulations. Her research focuses on how the legal framework for a circular economy can ensure a sustainable future for humanity. She has authored numerous articles and book chapters on topics including EU law, product law, and the circular economy. Currently, she is engaged in the «Futuring Nordic Sustainable Business Models» project and serves as the deputy leader of the Oslo Faculty’s Research Group on Sustainability Law.


  • Axel Borchgrevink

Axel Borchgrevink is a social anthropologist professor at OsloMet University. He is working on a project called “Riverine Rights: Exploring the Currents and Consequences of Legal Innovations on the Rights of Rivers”. This project investigates legal cases from New Zealand, Colombia and India, where rivers have been granted personhood rights.

  • Marine Calmet

Lawyer in environmental law and spokesperson for the “Or de question” (Out of question) collective opposed to the mining industry in French Guiana, Marine Calmet campaigns to defend the rights of nature. With one foot in the Amazon and the other in mainland France, she is developing new responses to the ecological crisis, inspired by the intelligence of ecosystems and the knowledge of indigenous peoples. At the age of thirty, she is president of Wild Legal, an association whose mission is to be a school and incubator for future trials in defense of the rights to nature. Expert with the Citizens’ Convention on Climate, she fights for the recognition of the crime of ecocide.

  • Théo-Mario Coppola

Théo-Mario Coppola is a French-Italian curator and arts writer. They currently live and work in Paris. At the intersection of empathy and activism, their curatorial practice engages with research-based, experimental, narrative and political forms. Théo-Mario Coppola has developed the concept of “affective communities”, both in the sense of collective experiences and situations, and within art projects and writings. The concept is informed by Georg Simmel’s philosophical legacy, in the perspective of a continuum of social and aesthetic concerns. “Affective communities” could thus be defined as strategies that resist contemporary forms of domination, stand up for marginalized identities, and seek to transform values in art, governance and society.

Free tickets: https://bit.ly/47wlRpN

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/670767665076044

The final event of the Night of Ideas 2023 will take place on December 5th at 6:00 PM at Institut français de Norvège. Several researchers from the Nansen Institute will present their research on ocean rights.