Life in the Woods

Workshop initiated by Olivia Plender and Patrick Staff

Commissioned by RADAR, Loughborough University, UK.



In 2011 I was invited to participate in an experimental project utilizing the collaborative filmmaking process for a temporary social experiment, an intentional Woodland Community. The project, initiated by Olivia Plender and Patrick Staff, borrows its format from historical left-wing outdoor education programs and socialist summer camps, such as the Kibbo Kift, and aimed to reflect upon the history of folk revivalism, the neo-pagan movement and the relationship with queer and left wing politics in the British context.

Together fifteen persons with different backgrounds, such as an amateur ornithologist, an environmental activist, a folklore historian, Folk dance practitioners, artists and art students, formed a temporary community. The responsibility for finding ways of representing the experience on camera, as well as the taking responsibility to initiate different communal activities was taken by the whole group, bringing together a broad set of experiences. The final video, edited by Plender and Staff, approaches the question how our relationship to nature is mediated by histories, ideologies, stories and myths and whether living experiments such as this do have the potential to produce collectivities.

A year later I arranged a public presentation of the project at Slakthusateljéerna, supported by Konstnärsnämnden. The screening of the final film was followed by a much-appreciated discussion.


Images below; documentation of the public presentation and workshop .

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