Join us for the last in the series of events that have been Borrowed Time: on death, dying & change. As Borrowed Time’s final event, we mark the tenth Remembrance Day for Lost Species returning us to the predicament of accelerating ecological loss that gave birth to our theme, and which therefore feels like an especially fitting day on which to conclude it. We look forward to being with you for this, our final discussion.
In conversation with Caroline Hickman of the Climate Psychology Alliance
Tuesday, November 30, 17.00 – 18.15 GMT/UTC+0.00
‘I’m really sad, my friends are dying ….. My friends the fish are dying’
The evening begins with a short sound piece made for Remembrance Day for Lost Species by musician Rob Harrison and artist Amanda Brown, with the borrowed voices of creatures on the critically endangered list. Headphones are recommended for the immersive soundscape. The voice that opens the evening’s sound piece is the last recording of the single male Kauai O-o bird left alive, calling for its mate (see image information below*).
Caroline is in conversation with Mat Osmond (Falmouth University and Co-convenor of Borrowed Time) and Zoe Young, Falmouth University Pagan Chaplain**) about the love, longing and loss we may struggle to feel as we remember lost species. Caroline has been working as a depth psychotherapist with an ecological awareness whilst also researching children & young people’s emotional responses to the climate and biodiversity crisis globally for many years. She will bring these children’s narratives of loss to the conversation and reflect on their awareness of their own vulnerability and that of the others with whom we are living through these troubled times. For some young people they are being born and growing up in the shadow of their own personal and cultural mortality. And for them ‘it is personal, what happens to the animals is happening to me too’.
As more of us turn to face the increasingly painful, hard-to-imagine truths of the climate and biodiversity crisis, we can find ourselves in deep water, struggling with broken or numbed hearts. We need shared spaces in which to call together the obscure hurt and sadness, spaces in which we can feel the earth under our feet, and listen to the grief and longing that surrounds us: grief for who and what we have lost already, who and what we are losing now, and will in the future. In remembering them we can perhaps be reminded that that we too are – as Donna Haraway puts it – ‘mortal critters entwined in myriad unfinished configurations of places, times, matters, meanings’.
Caroline’s event will finish at 18.15. Following this, for those interested, our friends at ONCA gallery are marking Remembrance Day for Lost Species with an Interdependence Ritual with Bea Xu that will be streamed shortly after this session, and which you can find out about and register for here.
*The image above is a museum specimen of Kauai O-o, Moho braccatus (collected 1898, believed extinct since c. 1985) From the collection of Te Papa Tongarewa (Museum of New Zealand) used here with their kind permission.
** We are grateful for support from Falmouth University’s Multifaith Chaplaincy in producing this event.
About Caroline Hickman
|Caroline Hickman is a climate psychologist who teaches at the University of Bath and is a member of the Climate Psychology Alliance (CPA) for whom she is creating a series of podcasts on Climate Psychology & Eco-Anxiety/Grief – ‘Climate Crisis Conversations – Catastrophe or Transformation’. She is currently researching children & young people’s feelings including eco-anxiety/grief about the climate and biodiversity crisis using a psychosocial free association methodology to uncover and explore different stories, narratives and images around our defences against the ‘difficult truth’ of the climate and bio-diversity crisis, and explore hidden and ‘less conscious’ feelings. She is passionate about getting ‘under the surface’ metaphorically and literally.|
About Remembrance Day for Lost Species
Remembrance Day for Lost Species, November 30th, is a chance each year to explore the stories of extinct species. These stories lead to the stories of critically endangered species, ways of life, and ecological communities. Set up in 2011 in response to species extinctions resulting from human activity, Lost Species Day is an opportunity to make or renew commitments to all who remain and to collaborate on creative and practical solutions. The primary intention of the day is to create spaces for grieving and reflection. Previous activities have included art, processions, tree planting, building Life Cairns, bell casting and ringing, Regenerative Memorials and more. Explore this website for examples of past events.
Lost Species Day is a voluntary initiative supported by a loose collective of artists, activists and charitable organisations.
Lost Species Day was first held in November 2011. Since then, thousands of people have taken part in a wide range of events exploring the stories of extinct and threatened species, cultures and communities each year. Over the past decade the project has evolved, with its advocates hoping for it to serve as an opportunity to learn about and respond to structural oppression and inequity, as well as being a recurrent space for contemplating biodiversity loss and emotions arising.
To mark ten years of RDLS, the theme for 2021 is interdependence. Focusing on single species as a tool for conservation has proven flawed (as discussed in this brilliant conversation between Sadiah Qureshi, Suzanne Dhaliwal and Audra Mitchell for RDLS 2020), arguably contributing to harms to places and ecological communities and driving human communities from their homes. This year, we invite RDLS participants and organisers to consider and celebrate:
- specific relationships and lives
- particular ecological / bio-cultural collectives and webs
- examples of care, commitment and solidarity.
Associated event: screening of Jennifer Abbott’s The New Corporation: the unfortunately necessary sequel
This screening will be available from 09.00GMT November 29 to 21.00GMT November 30.
Details are at https://borrowed-time.info/film-screening-the-new-corporation/
The New Corporation reveals how the corporate takeover of society is being justified by the sly rebranding of corporations as socially conscious entities. From gatherings of corporate elites in Davos, to climate change and spiralling inequality; the rise of ultra-right leaders to Covid-19 and racial injustice, the film looks at corporations’ devastating power. Countering this is a groundswell of resistance worldwide as people take to the streets in pursuit of justice and the planet’s future. More information to follow.