Borrowed Time is an online conference with a difference: it feels like a live gathering and brings together a wide array of voices exploring ideas of loss and dying from personal and planetary perspectives.
These themes are explored across the event which runs from October 31 to November 3. We proudly offer a screening of Jennifer Abbott’s The Magnitude of All Things, her feature-length documentary film which is not yet on general release. Jennifer will also be in conversation with Mat Osmond. Other keynote presentations come from the renowned thinker Bayo Akomolafe who asks us In what sense might we consider death – more than just a terminal point – a gift to this pandemic-inflected Anthropocene. And choreographer Paul Michael Henry whose searingly powerful work explores the ecological crisis from many human angles.
When Jennifer Abbott lost her sister to cancer, her sorrow opened her up to the profound gravity of climate breakdown. Abbott’s new documentary The Magnitude of All Things draws intimate parallels between the experiences of grief—both personal and planetary. Stories from the frontlines of climate change merge with recollections from the filmmaker’s childhood on Ontario’s Georgian Bay. What do these stories have in common? The answer, surprisingly, is everything.
For the people featured, climate change is not happening in the distant future: it is kicking down the front door. Battles waged, lamentations of loss, and raw testimony coalesce into an extraordinary tapestry, woven together with raw emotion and staggering beauty that transform darkness into light, grief into action.
We’re all of us living on borrowed time: the brevity of our personal span of existence now mirrored by a biosphere under intolerable pressure, its every life system beginning to fray and unravel under civilisation’s weight. We witness its collapse every day now, in new stories of cataclysmic weather events, of lives lost, of flora and fauna weirded, disrupted, gone. However incipiently or unconsciously, we live at a time of collective grieving - no life exempt from the consequences of this relentless devastation and what it has set loose.
Borrowed Time, on death dying & change is nevertheless a celebration: a gathering of disparate voices from across the globe coming together online from October 31 to November 3. These voices use many registers and tones to delve into the depths of living with and dealing with death and dying with joy as well as with sadness. Borrowed Time is a space to explore questions pertaining to death, dying and change, and to ask what dying has to teach us about living well, and living sustainably.
Above all Borrowed Time is a celebration of life, one that sets out to embrace and welcome all of its messy joys and travails.