Black2Nature’s Mya-Rose Craig on the conservation sector: its foundations and its racism (Level 1, Studio 2)

Mya-Rose will talk about the foundations of the conservation sector and how racism was pervasive from the beginning and continues to this date. The nineteenth-century context will begin with Darwin and Wallace’s travels around the world. They collected (a euphemism for shooting) thousands of birds, sending the specimens back to the Natural History Museum, as birds “new to man”. Teddy Roosevelt, the US President, declared Native Americans the cause of the decline of animals (regularly shot by his […]

Green Romanticism (Level 1, Studio 2)

The roots of the ecology movement (1750-1900)

Stephen Hunt of the Bristol Radical History Group will start the day with an overview of the ecology movement’s roots in the Romantic era. Industrial capitalism emerged together with the mass exploitation of fossil fuels during the Eighteenth Century. Over the next century it became increasingly apparent that accelerating processes of expansion and extraction threatened many habitats, or even the whole planet. Green Romantic anti-capitalism was an outcome of such processes. The negative social […]

Reflections on Radical Technology in the 1970s (Level 1, Studio 2)

Peter Harper coined the term ‘Alternative Technology’ in 1972 and became Head of Innovation at the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT). During the mid-1970s, he co-edited Radical Technology, a compendium of ideas for sustainable living. Many of these ideas were showcased at local Comtek (Community Technology) events in Bath, a pioneering national celebration of innovation rolled into lively 1970's pop festivals. "Technology and innovation bring many benefits. They also bring harms, risks and […]

Back to the land (Level 1, Studio 2)

Personal reflections on green and community politics in the 1970s

In 1973 Kath Holden helped found a small commune based on a 135-acre dairy farm in West Wales. She went on to become a smallholder in the same area and disputed her entitlement to common grazing with local farmers, recalling earlier struggles for common-land rights. Later in the decade she volunteered on a farm in the USA, which offered sanctuary for people with mental health difficulties recovering from being in hospital. Inspired by these experiences, she went on to work on one of the earliest […]

Make Rojava Green Again

Building an Ecological Society

By Internationalist Commune of Rojava
The ‘Make Rojava Green Again’ campaign of the Internationalist Commune of Rojava began in early 2018. I am pleased and impressed that they have now published this inspirational book. That such a text is being produced is in itself an expression of hope. It is a most promising development in some of the least promising circumstances. The Internationalist Commune of Rojava rightly states that ‘the ecological crisis has become the most urgent challenge of our time because it touches and impacts all […]

Graham Caine (1945-2018)

Sad news that Graham Caine of Street Farm and the Bristol Gnomes died on 19th September. As well as being the Street Farmer who designed and lived in the first ecological house, Graham was responsible for distinctive Bristolian 'Gnomework' such as St Werburghs City Farm Café and the 'Gnome House’ in Boiling Wells. Graham was a great representative of the 1968 generation and spoke passionately of how the events in Paris 1968 inspired him in England. Meeting fellow Street Farmers Peter Crump and […]

Kurdish ecology initiatives: screening of film about Hasankeyf and talk

Event before the Global Action Day for Hasankeyf

Screening of short film, ‘Water’s Date with Death’ (Directed by Ali Ergül, 2017) about the threat the construction of the Ilisu Dam poses to people, archaeological heritage and biodiversity at the site of the 12000 year old settlement at Hasankeyf in south-east Turkey/Bakûr (north Kurdistan). This will be followed by a short talk about the aspirations to implement ecological sustainability, a central principle of the Kurdish struggle in Bakûr and Rojava (Democratic Federation of Northern Syria). […]

Swords Into Ploughshares, Arms To Renewables

miscellaneous 2018 poster
“To inflame the imagination of others” – that is the way shop steward convenor Mike Cooley saw the Lucas Aerospace Alternative Plan. The Plan had arisen out of the threat of massive redundancies at Lucas Aerospace in 1976 where half of its output depended on military contracts. Why, asked its workers, can’t we use our skills in creating socially useful products instead of making killing machines? And wouldn’t it make more sense spending money on things that society needed rather than on […]

Talk and film night on the revolution in Rojava

Plan C report from the Democratic Confederation of Northern Syria

Members of Plan C, who have just returned from volunteering on civil projects in Rojava (the Democratic Confederation of Northern Syria) will be reporting back on Rojava and the wider Kurdish movement. The revolution is based on direct democracy, gender equality and ecology, and seeks to create a solidarity economy. How can we in the West learn from what is happening and offer our solidarity? Followed by question and answer session. We will also be screening some short films in tribute to Mehmet […]

Studio 2: 800 Years and Counting

The 1217 Charter of the Forests in the Forest of Dean and its Enduring Legacy

The Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire - royal larder or people's larder? The Charter of the Forests, a lesser-known but wider-ranging companion to the Magna Carta, confirmed any "freemen" or commoners could help themselves to many of the resources of forests across England. Within 500 years, those subsisting in the woods were declared illegal squatters as aristocrats and the Crown tried to fence them out and grab all the iron ore, coal, timber and land. Successive waves of tenacious, described […]

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