Liturgy of Loss
This workshop combines music-hall ballads, choral singing and acappella to forge a ritual of farewell for lost and vanishing things. Join singers and storytellers Ellie Rose, Chris Rusbridge, Laurell Turner and Nick Hunt for limericks of loss, rounds of renewal and ceremonial shenanigans. Bring words and a stone.
When Precious Red Beads Pour From Our Mouths: Ancient Stories as a Living Being
In this talk, mythologist Martin Shaw will be working into the idea that as we reach towards new stories, the heritage of fairy and folk-tale is a root system grounding us to a history of liminal culture – a storied-speech that many societies have utilised to keep open a door to the wild intelligence of an animistic world. In a culture obsessed with the notion of growth, how do we deepen?
With a mixture of stories and ideas, Shaw will be suggesting several notions – that myth has no author, that myth is promiscuous, that myth is little to do with a long time ago, and that the fairy tale tradition contains a chthonic shadow that stayed close to plants and animals when many in European history tried to become Sun Gods of Empire.
Tribal initiations worldwide have always utilised the highest forms of village culture as well as the prophetic disclosures of the wild. That to be a real human being is to be a beautifully conflicted crossroads of both. We could say the same for the stories. These myths could be the grandparents we long for.
Mark Boyle, who lived without money for three years, explores the reasons why a new Uncivilised culture needs to move beyond monetary economics and into the only tried-and-trusted human economy – the gift economy – if it is to go the heart of the perfect storm of ecological, social and personal crises we face today. He’ll also explore the many practical ways in which we can all move from the globalised monetary economy into the localised gift economy.
YogaWrite is a series of workshops, developed and facilitated over the past year in Wales by poet Susan Richardson and yoga teacher Kathryn Davies, which encourages participants to connect with their authentic writing voice by using a range of yoga techniques as a source of inspiration. Following on from Saturday’s Humanimal session, this uncivilised YogaWrite workshop will focus on animal-inspired breathwork, postures and meditations to encourage you to connect with, and give voice to, the wild within.
Rewilding the Self: the Earth Dreaming Bank
Central to Dark Mountain is a shift from a human-centric to an earth-centric culture. However to connect and communicate with the non-human world we need to activate a different kind of intelligence within ourselves – a creative process known as rewilding. Over a decade Charlotte Du Cann developed a series of practices that explored dreams, myths, places and plants, that become the creative material for a triology called The Earth Dreaming Bank. This session will discuss the story behind the Bank and share key aspects of the practices.
Beacons – stories for our not so distant future
Where are the Aldous Huxleys, the George Orwells of the climate crisis? Beacons consists of 21 original stories by British authors looking for narratives that fit this age of dislocation. The book’s editor, Gregory Norminton, will be reading from and discussing this campaigning project alongside contributors James Miller (Sunshine State) and Nick Hayes (The Rime of the Modern Mariner).
Steve Thorp is a poet and integral psychotherapist who this year launched 21Soul – a new integration of psychology and life practice for a dissolving world. He humbly invites you to experience, explore and co-create a kind of unpsychology for our times. This session introduces his approach that will meld ideas and practice, telling a psychological story that challenges cultural assumptions, has uncertainty and openness at its heart, and holds ecology of mind as its purpose. There’ll be space under the trees for reflection, conversation, meditation and creativity. Come and play with joy in the shadows!
The Illich Conspiracy
For a time, in the 1970s, Ivan Illich had the strange status of an intellectual celebrity: the closest parallel today is probably Slavoj Zizek. Then, this unlikely star, a Catholic priest at odds with the Vatican, fell out of favour. His writings continued to have a strong influence on environmentalism and the appropriate technology movement, as well as in spheres such as education and health, but Illich himself had deep misgivings about the directions in which these movements had gone. In the Dark Mountain books, Dougald Hine has documented a series of conversations with Illich’s surviving friends and collaborators, including David Abram, Sajay Samuel and Gustavo Esteva. In this session, he will trace the development of Illich’s thinking, the web of friendships surrounding his work, and the continuing relevance of the ways of seeing he had to offer.
Metaforestry: storiau o’r Gogledd
In our final session on the Parachute Stage, Metaforestry present a fabulous and colourful mix of poetry, music and art: Y Gogledd sings of myth – of forests and gods, lakes and castles, mountains and dreamers. Time, language and the landscape are mercurial; shape-shifters flitting through the imagination, running riot in our stories and collective psyche; dancing a jig upon the cartographer’s design. Metaforestry’s poetry, song and art are a celebration of north Wales – the land that shapes our mouths, minds and creations as she is shaped by our hand…
THE REWILDING ACADEMY
De-domesticate mind, body and sole with these outdoor activities. Meet for each one by the main firepit, outside the marquee, unless otherwise noted.
Arise and awake with the gentle movements and smooth breathing of this ancient Chinese health practice, led by Steve Wheeler.
Start the day with a session of relaxed and creative Yoga, led by Bryony Henderson. Bring a pad and pen if you fancy jotting down ideas that may spill out from the session. Suitable for all.
Naeem Akram continues his mission to teach us all to run as nature intended. Those who attended on Saturday will be able to improve their understanding and form, while those who missed that session have another opportunity to learn. Athletic ability or experience not required!
Nature likes to move in circles, and the cult of the straight line has done no-one any favours. So we are glad to welcome the non-linear Steve Wheeler back to Uncivilisation with another of his patented mixtures of collective movement, breathing, feeling, speaking and anything else he can think of on the day. This year, the work comes full circle, with a focus on empowering the participants to become their own healers, therapists, entertainers and emancipators.
The Honesty of Children
Coming home means carrying uncivilisation amongst our friends, our families, our neighbours. Sometimes it can be difficult to share our feelings from the festival when we arrive home. Sometimes we swallow them and wish we didn’t. Aided by improviser, psychologist and Dark Mountaineer Alex Fradera, we will explore how to carry our opinions with lightness and to investigate honesty through games and stories we make together. Mixing improvisation techniques and conversation, we will see how play doesn’t always mean pretend.
A selection of activities under the sky and the leaves. Meet by the main firepit, outside the marquee, unless otherwise stated.
The Art of Lacto-fermenting
Fergus Drennan and James Wood explain the true meaning of culture, exploring how lactobacillus bacteria can be enlisted to help preserve and develop a unique range of flavours in fermented wild foods, from pickles to ketchups and fizzy drinks.
Scything for beginners
Scything tutor Beth Tilston introduces an ancient tool with a thoroughly modern application. Throw away your strimmer and get to work on the long grass for an introductory session. You’ll never go back.
Plant Medicine Walk
Mark Watson will lead a walk around the site, and discuss how paying attention to the wild, native (and other) plants growing locally, helps us tap in to the earth’s living systems, wherever we are.
Women and Earth Constellations: listening to the song that is my life
A space for women to explore our relationship to eachother as women and to the earth using mapping and embodied experience. No singing involved! There will be space for discussion. Suitable for all women over the aged of 14. Guided by Annie Davy. Please be prepared to come on time and stay for the whole session, as we will form a closed group for that time.
Singing Over the Bones
Who is the Wild Woman? How might we bring her to life? And where or what is our own wild nature? ‘Singing Over The Bones’ is one of the stories passed on by Clarissa Pinkola Estes through her seminal book Women Who Run with the Wolves. In this experiential workshop we will use creative movement, improvisation and voice to explore the story, which tells of the mysterious origins of the Wild Woman. The process is playful, sometimes surprising, possibly transformational. Guided by Jackie Singer. For adults only. No experience of drama, movement or voice work is necessary, but as we will be working as a group, an intention to come on time and stay for the whole session is requested.
Weaving Our Stories: A Creative Making Space
An invitation for women to take part in creating a collaborative multi-media weaving including textiles, tools, storytelling and found objects. Women who attended the earlier sessions in the women’s space are invited to make story-thread records of their journeys through those sessions, to add to the weaving. Women who didn’t attend these sessions are invited to create their own story-threads in whatever way they choose. The finished artwork will be dismantled at the end of the festival, and participants will if they wish be able to take a piece of it to carry on with them.
Materials and tools will be provided; you are also welcome to bring your own materials to add, and fragments of your story to add to the collective narrative such as text (found or written), photographs, images or objects.
Making with Willow and Clay
Feature creatures, blobsters, dream catchers and wands, with Sophie Phipps, Emma Hood, and Stuart Turner.
Tracking and trails
Wander the woods with Sophia Latham and Zoe Bicat.
Upcycling and crafts
Working with leather and papercrafts, with Helen Osborn, Johnnie Wild and Phil Pritchard