In conversation with Caroline Hickman

30nov17:0018:15In conversation with Caroline HickmanA Borrowed Time conversation17:00 - 18:15(GMT+00:00) View in my timeEvent typeKeynote,PresentationTopicEcological Grief


(Tuesday) 17:00 - 18:15(GMT+00:00) View in my time



Event Details

The evening begins with a short sound-and-image 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 Hickman (University of Bath and Climate Psychology Alliance) 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’. 

Caroline says: 

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.

Speakers for this event

  • Caroline Hickman

    Caroline Hickman

    Caroline Hickman is a lecturer at the University of Bath in social work and climate psychology; psychotherapist & member of the Climate Psychology Alliance (CPA). Caroline works with schools, parent groups, youth activist groups and as a pyschotherapist with children, young people & adults dealing with eco anxiety and distress about the climate & biodiversity crisis. Through the University of Bath she has been researching children & young people’s feelings about the climate and biodiversity crisis for 5 years to uncover and explore different stories, narratives and images around our defences against the 'difficult truth' we are facing. Her research is with children & young people in the UK, Sweden, Brazil, USA, Maldives, Nigeria & Bangladesh.

  • Mat Osmond

    Mat Osmond

    Falmouth University

    Mat’s a writer and visual artist with an interest in the arts’ role in helping us to understand and confront the dominant culture’s radical unsustainability. His recent work includes an ongoing series of illustrated poetry chapbooks, Strandline Books (which won the British Museum’s 2015 Michael Marks Prize for poetry illustration), as well as image-word collaborations with the poet Em Strang (Stone, 2016) and the painter Kate Walters (The Black Madonna’s Song, 2020). Mat regularly publishes essays that speak to entanglements of art, ecology and spirit within arts practice, including The Schoolgirl & The Drunkard, on storytelling and runaway climate change, An Underswell of Divination, on the illustrational collaborations between Ted Hughes and Leonard Baskin, and Black Light, on mass-extinction, regenerative culture and the rewilding of prayer. As part of Falmouth University’s Dark Economies research group, in 2019 Mat curated Negotiating the Surrender, a regional series of talks and workshops with Dark Mountain co-founder Dougald Hine, in support of the regenerative work of the Extinction Rebellion movement. In 2017 Mat led a residential Art.Earth Short Course with the poet Alyson Hallett, Intimate Ecologies, which experimented with writing, drawing and improvised ritual as a means to enter into a reciprocal conversation with place. Mat’s a director of the graphic literature publisher Atlantic Press and of the Art.Earth research collective based at Dartington, where he’s currently leading a year-long series of events on the theme of Death, Dying & Change. Having regularly published his own illustration, poetry and essays with the Dark Mountain Project since its inception, in 2017 Mat acted as art editor for Issue 11 of their Dark Mountain Journal and as guest editor for In Other Tongues: a series of essays flowing out of the Art.Earth summit of the same name.


    Falmouth University