Art and Sustainability: Joseph Beuys and beyond
Chair: Deirdre Heddon
Keynote: Satish Kumar
Plus more to be announced
For millennia, storytellers, musicians, and other artists and indigenous thinkers have engaged with sentient environments and cosmologies that enmesh people into complex relationships between them and all matter. At the core of action and organisation is climate and obtaining peace.
Our current eco-political system is designed by and for the very few, resulting in unending war, mass incarceration, and ecological ruin. What world can we dream of for future generations? And what contributions can art make?
The White Wood Forum discussions centre on social and cultural perspectives of sustainability: local and global understandings and lived practices around the world.
Focusing on the nexus between art, peace and ecology, the forum questions whether art can be in harmony with the key principles of sustainability, to include social justice, grass roots democracy and non-violence, next to ecology. How can we foster a culture of complexity, an art that impacts the future, to the benefit of generations to come?
Opening night - 26 May
7pm, TBA, Huntly
Day 1 - 27 May: White Wood Forum
9am, Stewarts Hall, Huntly
Day 2 - 28 May: White Wood Opening Ceremony
10am, meet Huntly Square (11am, White Wood, Bin Forest)
£25 (Early bird)
Chairperson: Deirdre Heddon, University of Glasgow
Deirdre Heddon is Professor of Contemporary Performance at the University of Glasgow, author of Autobiography and Performance, and co-author of Devising Performance: A Critical History. Dee is also contributor to Walking, Writing and Performance: Autobiographical Texts and has written a number of articles about walking and performance, including 'Walking and Friendship', Performance Research (2012); 'Women Walking: Shifting the Tales and Scales of Mobility', with Cathy Turner, Contemporary Theatre Review (2012). She has also co-edited a themed edition of RiDE: A Journal of Applied Drama, which focused on applied theatre and environmentalism (2012).
Keynote Speaker: Satish Kumar
A former monk and long-term peace and environment activist, Satish Kumar has been quietly setting the Global Agenda for change for over 50 years.
Inspired in his early 20s by the example of the British peace activist Bertrand Russell, Satish embarked on an 8,000 mile peace pilgrimage. Carrying no money and depending on the kindness and hospitality of strangers, he walked from India to America, via Moscow, London and Paris, to deliver a humble packet of 'peace tea' to the then leaders of the world's four nuclear powers.
Satish is editor of Resurgence magazine and guiding spirit behind a number of internationally respected ecological and educational ventures including Schumacher College in South Devon.
In his 50th year, Satish undertook another pilgrimage - again carrying no money. This time, he walked 2,000 miles to the holy places of Britain, a venture he describes as a celebration of his love of life and nature.
His autobiography, No Destination, has sold over 50,000 copies.
Caroline Wendling, artist who has created the White Wood with the community of Huntly in 2015. Originally from Lorraine, France Caroline's work explores ideas of place and belonging through drawing, print and three-dimensional constructions. She has lectured in Fine Art Printmaking for twenty years, been a studio artist at Wysing Arts Centre, artist in residence at Cambridge School of Art, Anglia Ruskin University for a year, and is currently teaching at West Dean College, Chichester.
Rhea Thoenges-Stringaris joined in 1972 the German movement Direct Democracy e. V., where she made friends with Joseph Beuys. During documenta 6 she worked with Beuys, co-founding the Free International University. In the same year she founded the FIU-Kassel branch. Thönges-Stringaris was also a founding member of the Green Party. From 1981 to 1987 she was a member of the supervisory board of documenta and worked on the Beuys-action 7000 Oaks. Since 2003 Thönges-Stringaris is on the board of trustees of the Foundation "7000 Oaks".
Shelly Sacks is Professor of Social Sculpture at Oxford Brooks University and Founder of The University of the Trees, a global participatory framework recognising different kinds of thinking and knowledge, and prioritising experiential knowing.
Robin McAlpine is Director of Common Weal, a Scottish 'think and do tank' which campaigns for social and economic equality, participative democracy, environmental sustainability, wellbeing, quality of life, peace, justice and cooperation. He has worked for over 20 years in journalism, public affairs, political strategy and policy. He writes for a wide range of sources on Scottish politics.