In Environmental Humanities: Remaking Nature, you’ll get a broad overview of an emerging area of interdisciplinary research that reframes contemporary environmental challenges using approaches from philosophy, literature, language, history, anthropology, cultural studies and the arts.You’ll see examples of active research in this field, and discover why humanities research is vital to understanding and confronting contemporary environmental challenges, such as climate change and global biodiversity loss.
“Remake” your ideas about nature
The Environmental Humanities places scientific knowledge in dialogue with the key concerns of the humanities: how people think, feel, protest, vote and create. Our main aim in this course is to consider and create new narratives about how humans and the environment relate to one another.
We’ll begin this course by identifying historical ways of thinking about the environment. Through a range of examples, we’ll illustrate how “nature” is a human invention. We’ll then look at how the role of humans has been conceptualised in opposition to notions of nature, and assert that we were never at the centre, nor in control of the environment.
Having questioned these common “modernist” conceptions about nature, we’ll examine some of the ways in which the natural world is being “remade,” both discursively (in the way we write, speak and think about it) and materially (for instance, in the alteration of DNA and the wholesale transformation of ecosystems).
Finally, we’ll ask you to join us in creating new narratives about nature that demonstrate greater care and concern.
Explore research methods and real-world environmental concerns
Leading experts from the Environmental Humanities programme at UNSW Australia’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences will introduce you to their research in this innovative and interdisciplinary field.
By the end of this course you will:
understand why the Environmental Humanities is critical to environmental problem-solving in this age of global environmental crisis;
have a clear idea of a range of research methods in the Environmental Humanities;
be aware of opportunities and challenges in this area, and how these relate to global environmental concerns;
and develop experience in using storytelling to envision new environmental paradigms and ways forward.
This week on HowlRound, we continue our exploration of Theatre in the Age of Climate Change begun last April with this special series for Climate Change Week NYC. How does our work reflect on, and responds to, the challenges brought on by a warming climate? How can we participate in the global conversation about what the future should look like, and do so in a way that is both inspiring and artistically rewarding?Kendra Fanconi is a fellow Canadian and theatremaker who, in the last few months, has been watching the forests of British Columbia go up in flames. Addressing climate change in her work in not an abstract concept, but a real and immediate concern that is deeply rooted in a sense of place. —Chantal Bilodeau
Beckett said it.
“I can’t go on, I’ll go on.”
A statement from the Anthropocenic age. The epoch where human activities started to have a global impact on Earth’s ecosystems. The age of climate change.
“I can’t go on, I’ll go on.”
We get it, don’t we? I hope you don’t mind that I included you in that. I operate under the assumption that what I feel and what my audience feels are the same, and that I can refer to us as a “we.” “We like this.” “We want this.” “We need this.” But strangely, you, as you read this, you are actually my audience right now and I don’t know you well enough to know if I am like you. I accept that I may be the canary in the coal mine, and that you are not feeling this yet but I would propose that you will be, we all will be, that this quote sums up our lives, as real as the death of the newspaper, the wristwatch, and the oceans.
Okay, hang on, did someone really just say “death of the oceans?” I think I need to lie down for a minute. I’m not ready for that today. I need another coffee. Or a peek at my newsfeed. Maybe someone got married, went to Italy, or had a nice squishy baby. Or maybe my cousin in Washington State who just had a nice squishy baby is going to lose her house to a wildfire.
“I can’t go on, I’ll go on.”
I look at that quote. I note two things. “I can’t go on” speaks to the truth of everyday grappling with climate change. “I’ll go on” implies action.
“I can’t go on, I’ll go on.”
And, friends, theatremakers in the age of climate change, I propose to you that somewhere within these seven words is our stage.
I’m part of The Only Animal. We make original theatre out of a deep engagement with place. We’ve made shows in theatres of snow and ice, of sand, in swimming pools, and on working waterways an acre wide, with birds, boats. and a bicycle ballet. Because we work with place, we work with climate change. We made NiX, theatre of snow and ice as a part of the Cultural Olympiad in Whistler in 2010. It was the warmest winter in 126 years. I remember coming out of our snow theatre during tech and kicking at something funny on the ground. Where there should have been four-foot snowpack, there was grass. Our theatre was melting.
“I can’t go on, I’ll go on.”
The Only Animal have always had environmental awareness. Sickened by the familiar sight at strike of the five-ton loaded to the dump, we set the intention to be a zero-impact company, looking to minimize and offset our carbon footprint. We paid attention to where we sourced materials, hoping to divert them from the waste stream, and looked carefully at where they ended up. We haven’t always been successful at “zeroing,” but our mandate highlights sustainability. And, you know, that felt like enough.
Then we started making a piece in an old-growth forest near our home in the tiny town of Roberts Creek, on the slopes of Mount Elphinstone, outside of Vancouver, BC, where our company is based. It’s an adaptation of Paul Harding’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel Tinkers. Tinkers is an ecstatic love song to the natural world. It is transcendental, proposing that Human = Nature = the Divine. The piece is off-grid, a roving show with twelve locations. A new addition to our creative team is German environmental artist Cornelia Konrads, who is making large, gravity-defying installations in some of these sites: a moss carpet that wants to fly, a cedar shake doorway that floats away, liminal green windows that are woven into the forest. The work seeks on many levels to integrate the site into the story—and into ourselves. It is a production that combines professional actors with cameos/choir made of locals, weaving the place into the heart of the production.
Environmental artist and designer Cornelia Konrads with maquette for Tinkers, The Only Animal, based on the novel by Paul Harding.
And we are siting the work within an old-growth forest—a large carbon sinkhole that is part of the climate change solution—that is being logged. Like, right now. I am writing this at 4:54 a.m. and the trucks are on their way to cut block A87126 and its 600-year-old yellow cedars. And a roadblock started 54 minutes ago. A few local activists are there. Later I will make muffins for them. But right now I am making theatre.
I believe that the fastest way of traveling to the human heart is through stories. These natural places have stories to tell, but we are losing the ability to listen. I include myself in that. I’m caught in my to-do list, I’m plugged into a podcast and the trail is just a treadmill, or I’m yakking on the phone the whole time. The forest is just a big green wall, and I don’t really know how to get in.
Theatre is a way for us to get in. Maybe it is even the best way.
The forest knows height in a way you and I never will. It is thinking backwards in time down to the ground. This mountain slope has a memory that is geographic. It remembers when the Earth folded rock and the sea drowned valleys. A beach remembers high tide. A snowflake remembers the sky. Like these sites, I, too am made of minerals and tidal waters, I know these upheavals. I’m begging these places to remind me who I am. To fill in the part of my story which is elemental, eternal, absolute. Right now, I need a mountain inside me, I need this story.
Theatre. In and of itself. Inherently. Is it the answer? Or is it just a thing you buy, like a pair of shoes that is pretty and distracting? Is that two-hour show ready to meet the challenge of the anthropocenic age and affect meaningful change?
The deeper background to my own practice is that I was raised by a political activist. My mom had me on the picket lines before my eighth birthday. I stood with her when she testified. I wrote letters with crayons that spilled out of the mailbag onto the county commissioner’s desk. She won some and she lost some. Oh, then came the Bush administration and she lost them all.
Naturally, I rebelled. I rejected the notion that protest was the way to create change. I looked at studies and stats and facts and chose fiction. More than that, I chose magical realism, that form that purports that the inner world is truer than the outer. I justified that creating site-based work was in itself a political act. I wrote this in grant applications. My work makes the real world the stage and changes it, creatively, impossibly, with a vision for something more. And I feel that this does, on some level, challenge our audience to transform the world.
But that was yesterday, that was last year, that was two shows ago. The present is not a time for “on some level” subtlety. Thematic resonance is not enough. I got to a point this spring where I just decided I needed to put climate change on my to-do list. ‘Cause I am practical like that. It’s the only way to get things done.
So I made categories and I said, “Every day I want to take action on climate change in a personal way, within my community, and a national/international arena.” And so, every day, I would do a brainstorm. (I get up early, right?) The personal was easy—I have daily work of homesteading for my family to get us off the grid, and reducing our carbon footprint. So I plant the beets, forage the mushrooms, plan the micro-hydro. I break it to my kid that we are not driving ten kilometres to Starbucks for a muffin. The community level took effort—I ask the principal of my older son’s school what are they doing on the climate change issue, I come “out” on the issue locally, and when I am buying beer at the general store and the talk turns to how hot it is this year, I call it climate change and talk about the local initiative for a solar co-op. On the national level, I try to get educated. (This is hard, I have a brain wired for fiction, and now I am trying to retain facts.) I sign up for 350.org and climatereality.com’s newsletters. I sign every online petition I can. I write letters. Still, it is a tall order. How can I begin to make a difference? It’s so, so daunting…
“I can’t go on, I’ll go on.”
I go on making lists for daily actions on climate change, but mostly I work. I run an independent theatre company, right? So, sixty hours a week, I work… And I am in the middle of Tinkers, and I start looking at that.
Kevin MacDonald and the family at dinner, in Tinkers.
Tinkers is sited on private property, this old growth forest I mentioned. It’s ten acres. But of course, ten acres isn’t a forest, it’s a stand of trees. The property is part of a much larger forest—much of it old growth—that is slowly being logged. Not by a multi-national corporation, but by local and provincial government. I know about it because there is a local forest watch group. Elphinstone Logging Focus (ELF) is putting forward a plan to preserve 2000 hectares as a provincial park. (That’s sort of like a national park, for all of you Americans out there.)
I get involved with ELF in small ways. I come out with ten others for “groundtruthing” on a proposed cutblock to count and measure the girth of old growth Douglas firs that aren’t listed in the government assessment docs. After we count, the ten of us sit on the logging road and the talk turns to recipes for road kill. This is a very select audience, I think, those who are activated to save this forest: those with coyotes in deep freeze. I can rally a bigger audience, I think.
But the two-week theatre run of Tinkers is maybe not going to do it. It is a part, but not the whole. I need more engagement, more events, a buildup that can build the movement, that can maybe culminate in Tinkers next summer. What if we could open the show and the provincial park at the same time? That’s a vision! And so I approach Ross Muirhead who leads ELF. They regularly lead hikes into this endangered forest to stir up public support. I talk to him about partnering.
Tinkers director Kendra Fanconi with Ross Muirhead of Elphinstone Logging Focus at Tinkers development workshop.
Which pretty much brings me to the present. Where I doubt what my one body can do to combat climate change, I have faith in what this forest can do. The Only Animal is committed to the preservation of this rare, coastal, old growth forest, this beautiful and valuable carbon sink. A Simon Fraser University study from 2010 says, “The researchers conclude that when a conventional, narrowly focused valuation of forests is broadened to assess the value of forests as carbon storehouses, recreation sites, and sources of products other than timber—wild mushrooms, for example—increased conservation wins out over logging in most cases.” We agree. The Only Animal’s work is to push it to the tipping point. To engage an audience and connect them to this place. To activate that audience towards conservation. Our community is 10,000 people. I think we can reach 3000+ of them through our live events. More on social media. It feels hopeful, doesn’t it?
So now, we aren’t just mounting a production of Tinkers in the forest for a few weeks next summer. We have created ten months of programming leading up to it, with monthly theatrical activations in this endangered forest, including, Trail Mix: a mixtape musical adventure, an illuminated hike on the longest night of the year, an event with puppets made of only forest floor materials, an interspecies song collaboration called Dawn Chorus. If our local community has become disconnected from the forest then we are matchmakers. We are setting them up. We want them to fall hard. Doesn’t it make sense? That you could connect people with place and then that they would act to save it?
Still, I have so many questions.
How do we make activism palatable? The old paradigm was outrage to action. My generation is more likely to go from outrage to overwhelm to Candy Crush. How can we be reached? Urban Dictionary defines solutionary as “A type of revolutionary who makes change by providing a better way to do things.” The Only Animal love this word: it appeals to us as innovators. Can we be solutionary thinkers here? Can we innovate activism?
In our year of theatrical events, we plan to creatively document each piece in short form and feed our social media networks the bites. We know our work is sticky. Folks will share it. That is part of the public awareness piece. Maybe it can translate to public pressure. And we hope those documentation pieces themselves will market our movement to the decision makers. Our forest watch partners will help on that front. If people are too jaded/busy/whatever to go to their representatives themselves, then we will document them, their voices, their presence, their stand and take it forward ourselves.
Still, the questions. Can we save a forest? What is the to-do list? That’s what drives me crazy about trying to affect change in the political system. It’s so nebulous what one actually has to do. But, like any project prep I have ever done, I know I have to prepare my best plan, and then trust that better ideas will come in the room. Or the forest, in this case.
As the logging trucks are driving up the road.
I can’t even…
I’ll go on. It feels better to be in action than to be in despair. I’ll go on. I’m “out” on the climate change issue. It’s my work. I’ll go on. Creatively, with hope, with beauty. With a love of the impossible. I’ll go on.
Arcola is in the running for £12,500 funding towards the expansion and integration of our Carbon Neutral heating and cooling systems. We also hope to install improved control and display systems to better engage our audience with innovations in building management.
We plan to install innovative sustainable building management – linking our biomass heating and natural ventilation systems to create a carbon neutral system for our theatre and rehearsal spaces. The innovative mechanical and electrical integration, control and communication system will tie together presently unconnected existing renewable energy and energy management systems in order to increase reach, improve useability, maximise carbon savings and effectively communicate the benefits of the system to users and visitors. Existing systems include:
Thermostatically controlled space heating, fired by a waste-wood biomass boiler
Thermostatically controlled assisted natural ventilation system which draws coolth from the cellars of the building to cool the auditoria without the need for chillers or large air-handling units.
Solar Thermal hot water and space heating to support biomass boiler system, especially for hot water in summer when the boiler is inactive.
Solar PV array which powers office equipment and LED lighting via DC Microgrids (a precursor to the Tesla Powerwall)
The systems have been installed piece-meal on very tight budgets and consequently we have not been able to link them or include sufficient displays to communicate the benefits. In the case of the heating system, the pipe network does not extend to some of our community spaces.
We plan to install:
Thermostatically controlled space heating: cost-effective radiators, Thermostatic Radiator Valves, piping connected to the 60 kW SOLARFOCUS Pellet and Log Therminator II (already installed)
Innovative thermostatically controlled natural ventilation system, uniquely designed by Arup: novel acoustically damped low carbon ventilation and cooling system for theatre spaces utilising coolth from the light well through louvered vents around the building perimeter.
Community benefits of Carbon Neutral Arcola:
Greater thermal comfort for Creative Engagement groups, many of whom are elderly: this will be achieved by thermostatic management of spaces through the use of thermostatic radiator valves and system level monitoring and control
Demonstration to our local community and visitors of practical, affordable sustainable energy solutions in action – clear explanations of carbon neutral building control, in a welcoming and inclusive space. We welcome 10,000s of visitors a year. We aim to promote sustainable behaviours in everyone who accesses Arcola Theatre through key signage and display systems
Greater budget to provide bursaries and production budgets for Creative Engagement groups, through savings on electricity bills
Blued Trees is a multi-disciplinary art project, conceived as a single, intercontinental sculpture, organized as a symphony and linking a series of 1/3 mile sites in the path of projected natural gas pipelines and pipeline expansions. class=”aBn” tabindex=”0″ data-term=”goog_1606134766″> class=”aQJ”>October 4, 2015 a series of new installation sites will launch the first movement of this symphony. We are fundraising separately class=”il”>to support the artwork and the legal process.
Please contribute and share:
MELD is thrilled to announce that we have been selected for our Climate Change Opera with Australian Artist, Shaun Gladwell, and Climate Scientist,Cynthia Rosenzweig. The Award Presentation will take place next Thursday, September 17th at the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature in Paris.
The COAL Prize Art and Environment rewards each year a project by a contemporary artist involved in environmental issues. Its goals are to promote and support the vital role which art and creation play in raising awareness, supporting concrete solutions and encouraging a culture of ecology. The winner is selected out of ten short-listed entries by a jury of well- known specialists in art, research, ecology and sustainable development
In 2015, from November 30 to December 10, France will host the 21th United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP21). The COP21 is a key international meeting to negotiate an international agreement to fight climate change. Its goal is to engage all countries through a universal binding climate agreement to contain global warming to 2 degrees Celsius by 2100.
The special 2015 edition of the COAL Prize Art and Environment seizes the opportunity of COP21 to open the doors to the wider public and show the political players that there are alternative ways to comprehend the complexity of the climate challenge; to achieve a sustainable cultural shift inspired by creativity and innovation.
The agenda of COP21 is primarily scientific and political. The COAL Prize provides an alternative agenda, recognizing that for a real cultural shift, we need to encourage a diverse range of citizens to engage with the topic. Arts and culture have always played a critical role in responding to political, environmental and social issues.
This sixth edition of the COAL Prize Art and Environment is part of ArtCOP21 : an exceptional cultural festival initiate by COAL and our UK partners Cape Farewell, that will take place in France during COP21. ArtCOP21 is an unprecedented collaboration of cultural actors who are keen to instigate an ecological transition towards a healthier environment- through arts and culture. The mission of ArtCOP21 is to engage the wider public in creating a positive vision for a sustainable future.
Launched in 2010 by the French organization COAL, the Coalition for art and sustainable development, the COAL Prize is supported by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication, the French Ministry of Ecology and Sustainable Development, and the National Centre of Plastic Arts (CNAP). It promotes and supports each year the project of a contemporary artist on the environmental theme determined through an international call for entries.
Shaun & Cynthia, Shot on location in Paris, France | July 7th, 2015
THE TEN ARTISTS NOMINATED FOR THE COAL PRICE 2015
Alex Hartley (Angleterre, Né en 1963), Nowhere Collective Disaster (Belgique), Temple of Holy Shit FICTILIS (Timothy Furstnau et Andrea Steves – USA), True Market Cost Julie Navarro (France, Née en 1972), Droséra Livin Studio (Katharina Unger et Julia Kaisinger) – Autriche, Fungi Mutarium Mare Liberum (USA), Mergitur sed Regurgitat MELD (USA – Australie-Grèce), Climate Change Opera Monte Laster (USA-France, Né en 1959), CO-OP Stéfane Perraud et Aram Kebabdjian (France, Nés en 1975 et 1978), Soleil Noir Yesenia Thibault-Picazo (France, Née en 1987), Craft in the Anthropocene
“We have set ourselves ten challenging goals for the decade ahead. Only by working together will we be able to solve our biggest issues. These goals set the pace for the live production industry and reflect our shared aspirations and needs.” SiPA’s Craig Bennett
On 8th September, The Unicorn Theatre, the UK’s theatre for young audiences, provided a symbolic venue for the press launch of SiPA – The Sustainability in Production Alliance.
SiPA has been created by the industry to provide a central hub for collaboration and culture change. Its initiative encompasses issues around equality, well-being, education and development, waste, procurement, renewable energy, transparent reporting of environmental and social impacts, fair pay and resilient industry economics. The SiPA goals create an aspirational, active and practical framework that is common to all. www.sipa.org.uk/goals
As an industry that is integral to the creative and cultural sector, we must recognise the power of culture and the cultural narrative to the delivery of change. SiPA will work with the existing networks of industry membership organisations; professional bodies and environmental sustainability organisations such as Julie’s Bicycle and Creative Carbon Scotland.
For years individuals and companies have been battling some of the 21st century’s biggest challenges alone. By 2025, the period covered by the SiPA initiative’s goals, today’s 8 year olds will be entering adulthood. As an industry, we want to ensure that we have provided the foundations for them to achieve their potential.
SiPA’s Industry Sustainability Goals will be ratified, discussed and signed at the PLASA London trade show, October 2015. Individuals, businesses and organisations can sign digitally at www.SiPA.org.uk/sign from 1st October 2015.
PLASA London, ExCeL Centre
Sunday 4 October 1415 – 1500 SiPA Goal Launch
Sunday 4 October 1615 – 1700 Social Sustainability Panel
Monday 5 October 1615 – 1700 Economic Sustainability Panel
Tuesday 6 October 1015 – 1100 Environmental Sustainability Panel
Matthew Griffiths, CEO Professional Lighting and Sound Association commented: “The approach to this is key because it’s about the collective. It’s about everybody’s problem – it’s about everybody’s solution. SiPA’s approach mirrors all of our experience of working in theatre and live events which is that nothing happens in isolation – anything that happens on stage can’t happen without a whole supply chain behind it.”
SiPA’s Craig Bennett said: “For 12 months, SiPA has partnered with over 70 individuals and organisations from all areas of the live production industry. SiPA has worked to identify ten goals that universally represent the issues we face as individuals and organisations. We have explored the stories of the live production industry and together we have uncovered ten major shared goals.”
Lucy Kerbel, Director, Tonic Theatre commented on the goals:
“…ensuring our industry attracts the breadth of talented individuals out there is vital but the second important thing is making sure we can keep hold of them, re-imagining how we work and how we structure our organisations – it’s about how we set the industry up for the next few decades rather than operating in a way that suited the world as it once was.”
Tom Harper, Resource and Sustainability Manager, Unusual Rigging explained:
“In our sector, there’s a really essential requirement to look at how we value resources. There’s a massive gulf between acknowledging and accepting that change needs to take place in the industry and knowing how to practically apply it. It comes down to narrative and storytelling and SiPA encourages a shift forward on a much bigger scale.”
Mhora Samuel, Director of The Theatres Trust said:
“…people from various facets of the industry have come together to make and really interrogate what this declaration means to us all – as we’ve done that we’ve talked about the power and importance of the stories we tell through theatre – theatres are where our creativity, curiosity and understanding can be challenged. Our creativity must not be disposable.”
Juliet Hayes, Risk and Sustainability Manager, Ambassador Theatre Group stated:
“With SiPA entering the picture, it’s a very good opportunity to join these very strong, like-minded people together – all passionate about the goals SiPA has put forward. We need collective expertise in response to these challenges so I’m very much for SiPA and what it stands for.”
The Sustainability in Production Alliance (SiPA) was formed in 2014 following a panel discussion assembled by the Association of Lighting Designers. During the debate it became apparent that sustainability had not moved forward substantially within the industry since 2008. Furthermore, it was recognised that each facet of the industry working disparately could not affect the necessary culture change. This realisation created a wave of concern and ultimately led to the creation of the cross industry initiative SiPA.
Split into three pillars of sustainability – social, environmental, and economic, the ten SiPA goals have been devised, interrogated, de-constructed, debated and agreed by a working group numbering over 70 freelancers and representatives of organisations, businesses and professional bodies including:
PLASA, ABTT, PSA, The Theatres Trust, Stage Management Association, ALD, Women in Stage Entertainment, Entertaining Sustainability, Ambassadors Theatre Group, National Theatre Wales, Tonic Theatre, Cameron Mackintosh Ltd., SOLT/UK Theatre, Julie’s Bicycle, London Theatre Consortium (13 London theatres), National Theatre, Unusual Rigging, White Light, Arts Council England, The Society of Theatre Consultants, Manchester Arts Sustainability Team, Dance Consortium, SBTD, Creu Cymru, The Audience Agency, Show Force, Creative Carbon Scotland and various training and educational institutions.
SiPA is 100% unfunded but has been supported in-kind by:
Entertaining Sustainability – for sharing of their web space and forums
PLASA – for provision of space and a show stand at the PLASA trade show
The Association of Lighting Designers – for initiating the debate
The Theatres Trust – for provision of meeting space
White Light Ltd – for support and provision of materials
About PLASA: PLASA is the lead international membership body for those who supply technologies and services to the event, entertainment and installation industries. PLASA’s activities include lobbying, organising trade show events, publishing, developing industry standards and developing industry certification schemes.
About The Theatres Trust: The Theatres Trust is a statutory consultee on theatre buildings in the planning system. It provides expert advice on the sustainable development of theatres, distributes capital grants and helps to promote awareness and solutions for theatres at risk. The Theatres Trust champions all theatres, historic, contemporary and new, in theatre-use, in other uses or disused.
About Tonic Theatre: Tonic Theatre was created in 2011 as a way of supporting the theatre industry to achieve greater gender equality in its workforces and repertoires. Today, Tonic partners with leading theatre companies around the UK on a range of projects, schemes and creative works. Its goal is to equip UK theatre with the tools it needs to ensure a greater level of female talent is able to rise to the top.
About Unusual Rigging: Established in 1983, Unusual Rigging is the UK’s most experienced provider of rigging and stage engineering solutions, working across Europe, principally in the entertainment, special event, exhibition and presentation industries.
About The Ambassador Theatre Group: Founded in 1992, the Ambassador Theatre Group Ltd (ATG) is the world’s number one live-theatre company with 45 venues in Britain, the US and Australia. ATG is also one of the most prolific and internationally recognised award-winning theatre producers in the world.
Emergence invites you to a walk, a talk and a feast to celebrate Harvest time on Gower.
An invitation to a harvest supper with local produce…A time to mark the turning of the year…Meet with old friends and make new ones…Time and space to reflect, talk and share silence whilst walking…Make a pilgrimage to Arthur’s Stone, ancient heart of Gower… Share news about your community project…Be part of the Great Gower Veg Swap!
Plus….Listen to a fascinating talk about the deep mythology of Gower and Arthur’s stone from scholar, psychotherapist and teacher, Ian Rees of the Annwn Foundation.
Plus… A chance to visit the recently renovated Grade II listed,Stouthall Country Mansion one of the most beautiful buildings on Gower.
The Walk – Stouthall to Arthur’s Stone, Cefn Bryn
We walk together to Arthur’s Stone. There we celebrate the harvest by offering thanksgiving to the land. The walk is 4 miles, lasts roughly 45 minutes each way and covers uneven terrain. We stop for a picnic lunch on top. Wear suitable shoes and dress for the weather (sunscreen, waterproofs and a spare jumper!). Please bring packed lunch and water.
The Talk – The Ugly, Lovely Town, The Black Apple of Eden & Arthur the King, Ian Rees, BSc(Tech) DipSW CQSW UKCP REG.
This talk explores the importance of the embodied imagination, mythic consciousness and the power of place. A particular focus will be Arthur’s stone on Cefn Bryn; we will explore the imaginal significance of this ancient chamber tomb and the mythical Ffynnon Fair or Lady’s Well that ebbs and flows with the tide. Drawing on these ancient images of loss and connection we will consider the connection to depth, flow and ancestry in our own lives and in the collective life of community. The talk begins with a short experiential exercise centred on the body and the imagination.
The Feast – Harvest Supper
We come together to share a tasty and simple harvest supper of fresh bread, Welsh cheese and vegetable cawl.
Food Bank & Veg Swap!
As a harvest gift for others, we are collecting food for local food banks. Food banks rely on food donations to feed local people in crisis. From pasta to puddings, if you can, please bring a gift of in-date non-perishable food. Also – do bring your home-grown produce for the Great Gower Veg Swap!! Bring your courgettes and go home with a cumcumber!
There are just 50 tickets available for this event priced at £10 waged, £5 no/ low wage. This helps cover the cost of supper for each guest. The event is not aimed at children, however we welcome young people at the discretion of, and if accompanied by an adult.
The Venue, Directions and Parking
Carreg Adventure, Stouthall, Reynoldston, Swansea, SA3 1AN. Phone (01792) 391386. Parking is very limited at Stouthall. We encourage lift sharing and biking to the venue. This map shows you how to get there.
Outline of the Day
11 Arrivals, Welcome, Introductions
12 Walk to Arthur’s Stone, Harvest Thanksgiving, Picnic
3 Refreshments back at Stouthall
3.30 Ian Rees Talk
5.30 Harvest Supper
6.30 Share news of Gower projects and Great Gower Veg Swap
This event is made possible with support from Gower Landscape Partnership, funded by Heritage Lottery Fund, Natural Resources Wales, and the Welsh Government Sustainable Development Fund. It is part of a series of Emergence events entitled Marking the Past, Making the Future – creating spaces for a closer connection to the land and community.
Do you have questions about The Gower Harvest Walk & Talk: sharing the gifts of Gower? Contact Emergence
A center for shared immersion in the breakthroughs of the present and future.
The Climate Museum will use interactive design and storytelling to inspire a climate–educated and engaged public. Its mission of kindling solutions-focused civic engagement will build on traditional museum strengths—signaling legitimacy, memorably conveying complex information, and providing a forum for community experience.
The Climate Museum will catalyze public discourse and spark the optimism, ambition, and teamwork needed to ensure, in the decades to come, leadership in a climate-safe, vibrant world.
A compelling opportunity to create a sustainable institution with impact.
The audience for the Museum is robust. The market for museum visitation is large, and museums focused on science and technology in particular generate great and growing public interest.
The American public wants to learn more about climate change, an interest that will grow. And we see museums as trustworthy sources of information on this vital subject. Nevertheless, climate change is insufficiently represented in existing museums. The Climate Museum will fill that market gap. Read with Citations
Leaders from numerous fields have responded to the Museum initiative with enthusiasm and generosity.
Continual growth of programming will build the Museum’s audience and lead the way to a beautiful permanent institution.
“The Climate Museum will be a tremendous resource for Environmental Justice communities in New York City and beyond—the communities that have contributed least to climate disruption and stand to suffer most. I’m proud to have been part of this initiative from the beginning.”
Executive Director, New York City Environmental Justice Alliance; Climate Museum Advisory Board Member
“Creating a climate-safe world is a moral imperative. Faith communities—and all communities—need institutions like The Climate Museum to learn and move forward together.”
President, Union Theological Seminary; Climate Museum Advisory Board Member
“A wise man once said: ‘We don’t inherit the earth from our ancestors: we borrow it from our children.’ It’s up to all of us to protect our world, and the more we can do to educate society about the reality of climate change, the better. Best wishes from all of us at the Chinese University of Hong Kong!”
Programme Director, Jockey Club Museum of Climate Change, Office of CUHK Jockey Club Initiative Gaia, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
James Stewart Polshek
“The Climate Museum presents the exciting challenge of creating responsive public design to serve an imperative cause: fostering community and responsibility on a grave global challenge.”
Founder, Polshek Partnership; former Dean, Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture; Founding Trustee of the Climate Museum
“Climate scientists will continue to play our critical role, but we need the public at large to participate, too. That’s the well-strategized aim of The Climate Museum—and why I’m proud to be a founding Trustee.”
Senior Research Scientist, Columbia University Earth Institute; Co-Chair, NYC Panel on Climate Change; and Founding Trustee of the Climate Museum
“By serving as a center for public engagement, The Climate Museum will play an important role in the massive suite of efforts we must undertake as a society to address climate risks.”
Founder, World Resources Institute; former Dean, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies; Climate Museum Advisory Board Member.
From 30th Nov – 10th December 2015, Paris will host the 21st UN Conference on Climate Change (COP21). These are the crunch talks in negotiating the vital international agreements in the battle against climate change.
ArtCOP21 brings together all cultural and artistic initiatives taking place around (and in the lead up to) COP21 – comprehensively mapping all climate-related events happening across Paris and worldwide. It is a platform for change, and a huge global movement. ArtCOP21 is certified by the Secretariat General of the COP21, the City of Paris and supported by major French and International institutional partners.
As an artist, organisation or collective, you can participate in ArtCOP21 by promoting your own event here for free. Exhibitions, installations, meetings, performances, screenings, concerts, readings, participatory workshops, competitions or any other cultural events that address climate change in an inspiring way will benefit from the huge visibility and impact of this shared platform.
The programme of events will also be promoted widely at our ArtCOP21 Hub at the Lyric Gaîté, Paris (3rd arrondissement), which will be transformed into the essential meeting place for media, environmental and arts cultural professionals for the duration of the festival. Every day the hub will bring its own programme of debates, screenings, concerts, workshops and an interactive resource center open to all, enabling better understanding of the complexity of the climate challenge and offering inspiring solutions for a creative, sustainable future.
A selection panel composed of members of COAL and Cape Farewell will also highlight events as “editors picks” on the website daily. This selection process will be guided by the consideration of artistic value, entertainment and relevance to the issues of climate change and COP21. ArtCOP21 labelled events can take place anytime between September and December 2015.
NB: ArtCOP21 does not participate in the financing and production of associated events, which is the sole responsibility of the organiser.
The programme will be officially launched on the 17th September, so register your event as soon as possible! Go to the registration form HERE
Aviva Rahmani discusses Blued Trees with Judy Eddy of Radio2Women and Linda Leeds of Frackbusters, for the Radio2Women show, Thursday, July 23 between 1-2 pm on WBCR-LP 97.7 Great Barrington, MA. The broadcast will be archived at: http://www.radio2women.com
(search by date). It will include the Blued Trees musical measure for installation, sung by soprano, Debra Vanderlinde.
In Judy Eddy’s radio show, Rahmani explains the moral and legal questions this project addresses and with Leeds describes the inception of the project. She touches on the ideas of ecofeminist pioneers like Donna Haraway, author of Primate Visions, whose work pointed to parallels between the oppression of women, people of color and the exploitation of other species, to the global detriment of all humanity.
Summer Solstice, June 21, 2015, Blued Trees launched as an overture to a public symphonic opera and a site-specific installation. The launch took place within view of a public road in Peekskill, New York, on private land, along a 1/3 mile measure of 50 woodland acres in the path of the proposed high-pressure Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM) pipeline expansion. AIM’s expansion would transport volatile fracked gas within one hundred five feet of the Indian Point nuclear facility.
A five minute Blued Trees film of the launch will premiere in Europe at “Gaia: Resonant Visions,” an exclusive one day event curated by James Brady at The Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, UK, alongside screenings of films by Ursula Biemann, Oliver Ressler, and Basia Irland. The public is invited to view the Blued Trees launch on line now at: https://vimeo.com/channels/943134
The Blued Trees conceptual symphony and site-specific ecological art project is filing for copyright protection against eminent domain takings by fossil fuel corporations in Peekskill, NY. That filing will include protection for an international Greek Chorus of Blued Trees participants. Crowd-sourcing to raise funds to assert that protection in the judicial system will be announced shortly. It has been estimated that a legal process that may eventually go to the Supreme Court could take six years and cost six million dollars. The full symphony will be performed for the Fall Solstice. Meanwhile, participants may continue to join the Greek Chorus. “Make waves! Paint a tree; make waves in the woods!
Blued Trees initiates a new conversation about public good and morality, earth rights and environmental justice. For the launch, approximately twenty trees were painted along the AIM pipeline corridor over the course of two days. The distribution of notes for the Blued Treesmeasure was composed of designated trees in the landscape painted with a sine wave, beginning at the tree’s roots, and winding up the trunk. The paint was a non-toxic ultramarine blue pigment and buttermilk slurry that could encourage moss growth on the trees. About twenty-six participants from local children and elderly residents to others from as far away as Switzerland joined the event, as well as members of the Earth Guardians. After the painting, participants performed a chorale as they passed through the woodland. When the human performers left, the installation remained with the trees as a permanent work of art. The Greek Chorus launched in simultaneous international locations, including Lisbon, Portugal and Seattle, Washington. It included works by composer Maile Colbert, Deanna Pindell and Jesse Etelson.
Blued Trees asserts the language of the Visual Artists Rights Act (VARA), for the moral rights of the art over condemnation of private land. In Peekskill, pipeline construction would threaten the rights of Blued Trees. The art cannot be destroyed by moving, or otherwise destroying the trees with which it was created, without infringing on VARA. Protecting Blued Trees as a work of art will test corporate eminent domain takings in the name of “public good” in the judicial system. If that copyright suit is successful, it could impede the proposed AIM expansion.
Help Make Waves!
Any willing landowner may join the “Greek Chorus,” as part of the Blued Trees Symphony, by painting a wave “note” on one or more trees, preferably roadside for visibility. Send a photo of your “blued” tree with GPS coordinates to Aviva Rahmani, who will continue — throughout 2015 — to gather and map the Blued Trees.
Preview comments for Blued Trees overture film:
“It is powerful and beautiful.” – Betsy Damon, ecological artist
“Blued Trees is a brave and consequential work. It’s remarkable and compelling in this juxtaposition of luscious aesthetics and desperate ecological threats.” – Carolee Schneemann, media artist
“We need nature – now nature needs us.” – Nancy Vann, property owner
“How exciting to see you walking down the woodland path in defense of a bunch of trees!” – Alison Knowles, Fluxus artist
“The images are beautiful, the camera work excellent, the idea great!” – Anthony Ramos, videographer and painter
“… good and slow enough to get the point without the emotionalism that has sparse content. Simple, common sense. Fast and speedy is what got us into this mess.” – R. Eugene Turner, ecological scientist
“Very cool. Such a soothing artistic video for such an in your face bold type of problem/issue.” – Crystal Day, film student