Our good friends Miche and Flora at touchstones have recently published this piece in The Ecological Citizen.
Sympoiethics: For the Love of a Field
The Ecological Citizen Vol 4 No 2 2021: epub-037 [online first]. First published January 27, 2021
“We are of and belong within nature. Human wellbeing and social justice are intimately entangled with caring for the places we humans inhabit. In exploring ecological citizenship, our arts collaboration Touchstones Earth asks the question “What is a truly human human being?” The concept of sympoiethics – a term that combines sym (with), poieisis (to make) and ethics – is the lodestar for our inquiry.1
A central thread of our arts practice is hosting ritual encounters with food and land to enliven the interconnections between humans and the Earth. As an “ecology of practices for cultivating response-ability” (Haraway, 2016: 34), these are sensuous and sense-making experiences which re-mind us of how our consciousness co-exists with the sentient world. These embodied ritual explorations are expressions of rta – a Sanskrit term which is the root of both art and ritual, and which can be translated as “the dynamic movement from which all arises” (Haley, 2016: 46).
Our on-going arts project For the Love of a Field is based upon exploring the thought “What a farm can be.” Its genesis was in 2010 on an organic farm in Oxfordshire, UK. In 2017, it emerged as FieldTable, a ritual feast hosted on biodynamic land in South Africa. In 2020, the residency continues in Suffolk, UK, where we live and work. As guardians of an agricultural field of ten acres we are called to become animateurs of its transformation from a mono-cultured system towards regenerative landscapes of enriched natural-cultural diversity.”