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notes on a small conifer plantation being transformed to a mixed species, permanent forest
Holly, Hollywood and me – we’ll be sharing Resiliencies: stories of transformation from within a small Irish forest at the Findhorn International Summit on New Stories in late September 2014. Photo: Jan Alexander
“For people, generally, their story of the universe and the human role in the universe is their primary source of intelligibility and value. The deepest crises experienced by any society are those moments of change when the story becomes inadequate for meeting the survival demands of a present situation”.
Some months ago I was asked if I would share my story of helping transform our small forest, to an international week-long summit audience at Findhorn. Findhorn is the world’s oldest intentional community, eco-village, and a leading UN acredited sustainable education and training centre*.
The theme for the already booked-out summit is close to my work and centers on the need for ‘new stories’ and models that we need to embrace to live more sustainably. Leading ‘story-tellers’, ‘change-makers’, activists, shamans, educators, indigenous leaders and others from across the world will be coming to share their experiences to build a culture of new stories for the changing and challenging times we are facing. Looking at all facets that this change will involve new stories for our education, our spirit, our economics and our politics.
This ‘New Story Summit – Inspiring Pathways for our Planetary Future’, 27 Sept-3 October 2014, is the Findhorn Foundation’s* international call to people of all ages and cultures to:
- those already living their edge of a new story
- those who have carried the best of the old story forward, the ancient and indigenous wisdom
- those investigating threads of possibility
- those seeking inspiration and insight as to what could be: to gather with open hearts and minds to open to and experience what we can co-create together.
An introduction to the summit can be seen below: (more…)
At the end of this month I am delighted to be able to present my artful eco forest research-in-progress at the 2014 ASLE-UKI (United Kingdom and Ireland) Postgraduate Conference, 30-31 July 2014, at University College, Dublin. It will be a great opportunity to meet more Irish and UK workers in this emerging research field too.
ASLE-UKI is a sister branch of the US Association for Literary and the Environment – ASLE (www.asle.org). This global organisation for the last 20 years has pioneered the field of ecocriticism (predominantly in the Literature theory field but in recent years it has encouraged analysis of other creative forms, such as cinema and visual culture). I am a committee member of the Australia-New Zealand branch; I presented my early doctoral work in Melbourne in 2012 and last year I participated in a great webinar lead by co-founder of ASLE, US based Prof. Greta Gaard, and organised by the European group EASCLE on “Where is Feminism in the Environmental Humanities?”
Ecocriticism of cultural works is one of the fields, along with ecofeminism, feminism, eco-philosophy, new materialism, ecology, etc., that are contributing to the larger umbrella-like EcoHumanities (also called the Environmental Humanities) field. For creative practitioners, ecocriticism is extremely helpful in uncovering outworn ideas and conventions in cultural practices that may obscure or perpetuate damaging perceptions of the earth, other human and non-human communities. (more…)