Talk: Singing in the Dark: on Rebellion, Adaption & Art



Date: September 13, 2019

‘with the animals dying around us
taking our feelings we are saying thank you
with the forests falling faster than the minutes
of our lives we are saying thank you
with the words going out like cells of a brain
with the cities growing over us
we are saying thank you faster and faster
with nobody listening we are saying thank you
thank you we are saying and waving
dark though it is’

– W. S. Merwin, Thanks (excerpt), 2005

A gathering for artists and writers drawn to Extinction Rebellion, and for anyone wondering about the value of art & poetry in this context, or struggling with the challenge that XR throws into our laps as artists and citizens.

With a lightly-structured open-mic format, we’ll share work and\or speak to whatever art offers us in the face of the emerging crises of anthropogenic mass-extinction, runaway climate change and the related possibility of near-term societal collapse.

This event is free and open to all, regardless of experience. No prior involvement in XR is required, although a familiarity with its core demands and principles would help (see rebellion.earth). If you have time, download and read Professor Jem Bendell’s online paper Deep Adaptation: A Map for Navigating Climate Tragedy before coming: this offers one clear framing of the context being looked to here.

You’re invited to bring your concerns as open questions to draw out others’ responses – i.e: questions without Yes\No answers, such as: What does it mean to sing on behalf of other-than-human species, or of the unborn? If making work cannot fend off catastrophe, why might we bother all the same? Who or what does our work serve?

The meeting will start at 7pm, but a number of us will be gathering at Tremenheere Kitchen when it opens at 6pm. We look forward to joining you then.

Hosted by Mat Osmond & Kate Walters. The event is free, no need to book.

Image: Soul mother opens her back, opens her soul door