Saturday, 21 May 2016

The Shape of Things to Come

We are now fully booked for Base Camp, the Dark Mountain gathering to be held at Embercombe this September. Although we have both organised other events - Carrying the Fire festivals and recent book launches - this is the first full-on UK gathering my fellow curator, Dougie Strang and I have put togther and we are really excited about the programme and the people who will be taking part, Full details can be found on our website.

Welcome to Dark Mountain Base Camp 2016

At the heart of our gathering you can find a question: if we no longer believe the stories civilisation tells us, what are the ones that might bring meaning and joy for the future? Since The Dark Mountain Project began it has looked at collapse and ecocide, felt grief and despair, found its roots in place and time, brought together fellow artists, writers and thinkers. So what do we need to know and speak to each other about now?

This is the territory we will be exploring during a weekend of talks, workshops, performance, encounter and conversation.

Like all good stories, our programme will have a beginning, middle and an end - a welcome, a celebration and a farewell.

Here is the outline plot:

Different Paths to the Mountain 

Base camp is the transition point in any expedition. It's a pause, a taking stock and a honing of intent. It's the place where things get real, where we see the track before us begin to rise more steeply, leave behind what is no longer necessary and gather what really matters to move ahead. In this introductory session, hosts Charlotte Du Cann and Dougie Strang will invite everyone to take stock, share where we have come from and what has brought us to the Dark Mountain. 

Gathering at the Fire   

unciv '12 by andy letcher 3
After a full day of listening, discussion and part- icipation, Saturday evening will be about singing and dancing - a grand ceilidh in the main hall. And then, in the dark, a procession to the woods to gather at the hearth, to sit between the shadows and the flames and to sing and tell stories into the night. Expect surprises!   

Redrawing the Maps - The Return 

Base camp is about what we take with us for the rocky road ahead. What can we take from the experiences of our gathering at Embercombe to make sense of a world that is falling apart? We set out to ascend an unknown and difficult path and at the same time find ourselves descending into a forgotten valley that feels like home.
This session will invite everyone to create the road maps that will sustain us on that paradoxical return journey – in language, in culture, in myth, dreaming and action - maps that cohere and connect and convene, and lead us towards the future.

Looking forward to seeing you in September!

Images: Base Camp signiture - Crow Wing for Manon by Rebecca Clarke (Issue 9); Where To? Where From? by Garrett Hupe (Issue 7), Fireside celebration, Uncivilisation Festival, 2013 (Photo: Andy Letchworth), Detail from Map of the Journey, Dark Mountain Workshop, curated by Dougald Hine with artist Monique Besten in February 2016, Stockholm, Sweden

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