From Ignorance to Resonance: Analysis of the Transformative Potential of Dissensus and Agonistic Deliberation in Sustainability Communication

Franzisca Weder, Denise Voci


In an intensifying climate crisis with sustainability as a moral framework for political, corporate, and individual behavior, there is a broad range of nonprofit organizations communicating increasingly professionally as agents of social change. Here, the potential of Eco-art as a way to stimulate social and ecological transformation by communicating sustainability more strategically (and thus effectively) is currently overlooked. After conceptualizing Eco-art as an example of a new type of antiprofit—in the sense of agonistic communication, putting existing (unsustainable) power structures and symbolic order into question—we examine the project FOR FOREST, which transformed a local football stadium in Central Europe into a large public art installation, where 300 trees were transplanted over the existing football pitch. The qualitative analysis of (social) media content in the exhibition period, complemented by interviews (N = 15) with central stakeholders, offered insights into three problematizing fields of discourse. With our contribution, we show the potential of Eco-art for sustainability communication in handling dissensus with agonism and its important role in demystifying sustainability by moving from ignorance to resonance.


sustainability communication, climate change, Eco-art, nonprofit communication, narratives, agonism, deliberation

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