Meeting Ground 2019
Meeting Ground records and communicates the embodied knowledge of islanders in the Outer Hebrides (UK) undertaking mitigating climate change actions through developing their own local food growing hubs. This public exhibition presented visual documentation of the performative activities undertaken by each micro-community. The collaborative activations were achieved through a myriad of deeds and interconnections co-constituted by each group.
Meeting Ground, 2019 (HDV: 16:15) presents the resourceful actions of six micro-communities who created localised food-growing hubs as part of a series of Uist-based food growing projects funded by the Scottish Government's Climate Challenge Fund (2015-18). The video's aesthetic seeks to communicate the nature of the actions undertaken to increase local food growing activities as a decarbonisation strategy by building on each micro-community's existing intrinsic connections
while developing climate change awareness through Carbon Literacy training .
Meeting Ground sought to capture the un-directed, liberated agency of each groups' collaborative activities, by presenting them as people in charge of their own legacy within the context of their own territories: that is, within their own identity, community, dominion, control, land, knowledge, activity, and experience. Here, mutuality, like-mindedness, and kinship are presented as vital components in establishing new ways of addressing the contemporary ecological crisis in a manner that can be seen as reciprocally beneficial both for communities and ecology.
My intention with this work was to explore the collective wisdom that is held within the community. This wisdom encompasses the knowledges that are accumulated through lived experience, as well as intergenerational and inherited knowledges developed through the microcosm of geographically defined and contained communities. Through my research activities I have been able to show how these can be deployed to motivate awareness of recent ecological changes that threaten current and future populations. When these knowledges are combined with an artistic, co-creative approach, they help to bring local people, community organisations and national partners together into an open learning environment that begins to address areas of collective concern. This combined approach explores mutuality, like-mindedness and kinship, through a visual register focussed on the environment, human interactions and social context. These are enacted in spaces of the everyday and negotiated within the personal, social and political realm of the individual and the collective. This form of co-creative practice develops an interpretive and participatory position within the community. It contributes to eco-social actions and creates spaces for engagement where interactive multi-media artworks can be developed to record and express the embodied knowledge of that community.
REVITALISING EMBODIED COMMUNITY KNOWLEDGES AS LEVERAGE FOR CLIMATE CHANGE ENGAGEMENT by Laura Donkers
In March 2022, I published a research paper Revitalising Community Embodied Knowledges as Leverage for Climate Change Engagement in Springer journal 'Climatic Change' that shared the metholodogy of working in Communities of Practice as a way to engage communities with climate change mitigation practices, as exemplified by this project.
If you would like to read it please download a copy by clicking the PDF button that will take you to the Open Access weblink.