It’s mid-afternoon and the day’s brilliant sunlight has disappeared behind thickening cloud. Still, the day is warm, if a tad breezy, and the morning was rich with bird sound, a true harbinger of spring.
Last week Jennie and I learned we each had workshop proposals accepted for the Building Bridges conference in the UK this summer. True to form we will be focused on the capacity of the arts to support self-care, renewal, and profound social change. We will be engaging artists and social change workers in conversations about the arts based practices they employ and the communities they engage with and care for. Jennie’s workshop will be focused on arts based self-care for socially engaged community workers and activists, while I will be hosting a conversation, with artists who identify as “Othered”, about the artistic practices they are utilizing to envision a more inclusive, welcoming world and to challenge exclusion in this time of sweeping attempts to roll back social change.
We realize these conversations will take place against a background of deep worry about the state of the natural world, of concern for the Earth as a living system that is increasingly profoundly othered, and expect those concerns to be spoken into the room. How could it be otherwise?
Given we are in early April, summer seems far away. Still, I know the conference will arrive sooner than I imagine and I’m curious and excited to discover what will happen in our workshops.