I emerged at the beginning of April dazed and knackered from a week at the Centre for Alternative Technology (Wales – fantastic place) where I was lucky enough to be awarded a grant to attend the first Creative Climate Leaderships course run by Julie’s Bicycle (UK) and PiNA (Slovenia).
The first weeks back home with a tonne of new knowledge, friends, collaborators and sense of imperative, have been bewildering. No longer in amongst an extraordinary group with whom it was OK to talk about Climate Change, with whom I enjoyed the sensation of their caring. Since returning to life and work, I have received much the same brush offs as I have come to expect when I try and spread the reach of my own creative endeavours. I have fluctuated between despair and determination. Obviously I have to practice the ‘ways of communicating’ that we explored, because I am definitely not doing it right… yet.
Now I need to GETONWITHIT. I need to stop banging on locked doors.
CCL brought together some amazing people. The inspirational actions, projects and sensitivities that I was able to learn about, share and imagine, have quite simply given me a new lease of life. We have to respond to what is happening to our natural world and we have to rise above the deafening silence on the subject, with creativity, empathy, resourcefulness and determination. We have to, because the next generation deserve more than what we are giving them at present. I believe that at this critical juncture in history it is Art and Culture that can respond most affectively, and must do so.
As I reflect on where Stumble should direct it’s efforts I realise that I have much to let go of. Making and touring small to middle scale work is no longer relevant. There are gatekeepers telling me that audiences do not want to see work about ’real life’, that festivals are not appropriate places to talk about Climate Change, that venues can not book work that is not guaranteed an audience. I have to find other ways to share my work, outside of my own industry (circus), because the opportunities within that sector are sewn up in other priorities than mine.
I will forge ahead with Can of Worms. I will push forwards with Tshirt Conversations. Mostly I am now looking for collaborators, people to share the challenges with, audiences to communicate with, and artists to enjoy the work of.
Look out for The Tunnel, The Serious Circus Symposium and get yourself a Tshirt. Consider who your heroes are, and share ideas of things to do and lets do them. And, if nothing else, have a conversation today about how you see the future.