November 30th 2017 saw a range of participatory events happening across the UK, USA and other parts of the world. Here are the ones we know of:
Pembrokeshire, Wales: Permaculturist Debbie Rees and artist Emily Laurens hosted a pollinator procession through the polytunnels at Blaenffos Permaculture Market Garden.
Glasgow, Scotland: Galgael held a sharing circle at the weekly community meal, focusing on the meaning of remembrance for lost species and on the decline of pollinators with poetry, reflections and commitments. Organiser Svenja Meyerricks said, “At the end I chucked my tobacco on the table to publicly announce my intention to quit smoking for good, because of the adverse effects pesticide-heavy monocultures like tobacco crops have on pollinators. Wish me luck!”
Svenja also wrote about the RDLS on the Bella Caledonia blog here, and thanks to her awareness raising, a group of Glasgow school children learned about pollinators and will be planting pollinator friendly seeds in the spring.
Georgia, USA: A small group of homeschoolers focused their attention on RDLS for the whole week. Organiser Kim Cornelia Banton, writer and content manager at Solutions Spotlight explained: “At the start of the week, I introduced the meaning of the day and how different people have participated in the past. Then each day leading up to RDLS, we discussed how different kinds of extinctions are caused by human activity and spent some time each day learning about animals from different places across the globe that have become extinct within the last hundred years. In line with this year’s theme, we also spent some time exploring pollinators. The kids fell in love with the Xerces blue butterfly of the San Francisco peninsula and opted to memorialize this particular species with their art.”
Oakland, California, USA: Extinction Witness, Pollinator Posse and Giant Puppets Save the World collaborated to host the Lake Merritt Regenerative Memorial and Pollinator Procession. Lucille’s Regenerative Memorials are publicly accessible green spaces ranging from small plots in community gardens to verges, fields and groves in parks or forests. Their intention is to support the human grieving process within the context of life’s complete cycle of birth, decay, death, and birth.
Chicago, USA: Musician Rebecca Jasso and friends held a concert.
Sacramento, CA, USA: Erin Reschke and friends held a riverside ceremony and potluck, wit a talk about the ancient history of the river lands.
New York, USA: Ecological artist Jan Harrison created a new series of pastel pieces depicting bats. See the whole collection here.
Los Angeles, USA: Embroidery artist Sherrell Cuneo made this tribute to the Xerces blue butterfly:
and continued to develop her long-term project, the Mourning Gown:
Melbourne, Australia: Artists Gabbee Stolp and Michelle Stewart ‘s RDLS exhibition To the Future Lost was ‘a space for reflection, a poignant reminder of our human relationship with nature and the destructive impact we humans continue to have on the Earth… a wunderkammer of objects characterising endangered species, as a tribute to Australia’s many critically endangered flora and fauna.’
Brighton, England: ONCA Gallery hosted Extinct Icons & Ritual Burials – an exhibition for RDLS. It featured works by artists Katie Tume, Hannah Battershell, Clare Whistler, Sol Howard, Susan Richardson, Megan Powell and OX Art. (Read an artist profile of Katie Tume by John Platt for RDLS on The Revelator here.)
Off site, ONCA outreach artist Ellie Liddell-Crewe ran projects with teenagers at St John’s SEN College and Brighton & Hove Pupil Referral Unit. After exploring artefacts at The Booth, Brighton’s natural history museum, participants made pollinator-inspired masks and art which formed part of the RDLS exhibition in the gallery.
ONCA also hosted a bat mask making workshop for children (and dogs) …
…and a Procession for Pollinators which took 45 participants on a route that ended at local organically-managed green space, The Level. The withy structure, which was burned at the end of the gathering, was made by the Hailsham-based Material Collective.
Finally, ONCA hosted a panel discussion called ‘Daring To Hope’ with three extraordinary artists and campaigners who all explore approaches to art and ways to sustain activism and hope in the Anthropocene: Clare Whistler, artist and co-founder of WATERWEEK, Louise Lily Gibson, creative communication/ BSL specialist and photographic artist, and Josie Cohen, campaigner for Pesticide Action Network – UK.
Brighton, England: Artist Adrian Ventura did a series of daily sketches in the lead-up to November 30. See the full collection here.
Brighton, England: Artist Miranda Ellis invited passersby to her studio and offered warming memorial mead, seed bombs containing bee-friendly flowering plants, and an opportunity to learn about bees.
Brighton: University of Sussex researchers held a symposium, ‘Memory Beyond the Human’ on deep time and extinction alongside artists and researcher RDLS researcher Matt Stanfield.
Brighton: RDLS stickers appeared around the town overnight…
Galway, Republic of Ireland: Transition Tunes Galway hosted a Sing for Our Planet event.
Oxford, England: Helen Jukes wrote a piece for the Dark Mountain blog.
Malvern, Worcestershire: Buddhist temple gathering.
Dublin, Republic of Ireland: Artist and creative entomologist Nessa Darcy held a solo exhibition of works called Bugonia.
Heidelberg, Germany: Council of All Beings. Inspired by Joanna Macy’s Work That Reconnects.
Madrid, Spain: Bionic Dance Festival‘s lost species- themed dance competition was won by a Brazilian dancer whose piece embodied Amazon deforestation.
Salt Lake City, Utah, USA: The Good Grief Network held a candle-lit vigil in the Salt Lake CIty Peace Garden, with poetry and reflection.
Montreal, Canada: Artist Katrine Claasens collaborated with staff at Redpath Museum to run a workshop with children learning about extinct and endangered species through the museum’s collection. As Katrine explains, “We started out by listening to rainforest sounds and then investigating the history of species lost to human activity. The museum curator gave a tour of the extinct species. We then removed some of the specimens from the museum display, with the children carrying them in a solemn procession through the museum to a room where we painted them. It was a very moving experience.”
Dorset, England: Movement artist Sandra Reeve hosted a vigil and performance.
Frome, Somerset: End of life doula Mike Grenville led a procession up Cley Hill to read Bestiary by Joanna Macy.
Winchester, England: Giraffe Social Enterprise hosted a performance of Andrew Boyd’s ‘Twelve Characters in Search of An Apocalypse’.
Fiji, South Pacific: NatureFiji and Anniemalsartist held a day for the Kulawai bird and invited people locally and around the world to make and wear kulawai masks in support of the beautiful critically endangered pollinator.
Skagway, Alaska: Artist Kim Burnham made this piece about the monarch butterfly:
London, England: Illustrator Louis T Fowler made a new piece called Return to Splendour.
Telegraph Hill, London: Bridget McKenzie organised a simple action of a winged bench which people could sit on to become an insect and hold a message. Some bees (Emma Garofolo from Mischief Makers, and Stephanie Patient) also came along to amaze and inform. Many conversations and connections were made. Everybody that passed by expressed support, and a wish to green the area and make it pollinator-friendly.
Kings Cross, London: Collaborative storytelling Bee Wreath. Ecological artist Beckie Leach led a workshop to create a giant wreath made of bees. Participants each made a paper bee from paper, wrote a story on it and added it to the wreath.
London: Comic performer Luke Rollason did a special performance of his acclaimed clown show Planet Earth III at Leicester Square Theatre for RDLS. Planet Earth III is a low-budget one-man nature documentary, set in a future where our worst predictions came true – following ecological collapse, thousands of endangered species are extinct, including the BBC. But one plucky intern isn’t giving up…
London: Artist/ activist Liam Geary Baulch made this poster, inspired not only by the RDLS 2017 pollinator theme but by the speculative storytelling of interspecies feminist academic Donna Haraway and others.
Hastings, England: Artist Daniela Othieno made tiny pollinator memorials.
Hastings: Jilliene Sellner made a sound piece on insect population collapse, inspired by Silent Spring
Online: Hapi & The Lost Species made a track for RDLS.