The Beat of Courage; the Shape of Hope: creative resistance in the face of catastrophe

A 2 day workshop with

The Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination

Saturday 5 & Sunday 6 July 2014 – 10am to 6pm

Berliner Festspiele – Schaperstraße 24 – 10719 Berlin

fa14_labofii_we_have_never_been_here_before_media_gallery_res

As a society we are caught between a sense of impending apocalypse and the fear of acknowledging it. In this ‘caught’ place our responses are blocked and confused. On one level we maintain a more or less up-beat capacity to carry on as usual… and all the while, underneath, there is this inchoate knowledge that our world could go at any moment. Unless we find ways of acknowledging and integrating that level of anguished awareness, we repress it; and with that repression we are drained of the energy we need for action.” Joanna Macy

Faced with the immensity and complexity of the catastrophic entwining of ecological, economic and social crises that threaten our entire way of life, in fact threatens life itself, we often feel paralysed. “We could do more”, our intuition nags at us, and yet something holds us back from actions commensurate with the scale of the problem.

Even Yvo de Boer, (executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 2009) recently asserted that “The only way that a 2015 agreement can achieve a two-degree goal (the ‘safe’ limit to warming) is to shut down the whole global economy.” Thus “what are we waiting for? And to do what?” will be some of the core questions that this workshop will explore.

We will delve into our fears of action, and attempt to find collective tools to overcome the feeling of disempowerment that can overcome us in these dark times.

Participants will be encouraged to share and reflect upon personal and historical stories of courage and disobedience, learn to trust each other and engage in horizontal processes of organising, as well as explore tools for effective strategies that are required in order to organise appropriate responses to the injustices of the climate catastrophe.

Working with local artists and activists and using a diversity of participatory and playful methods of popular education, it will aim to start a momentum towards collective organising and affinity group building for effective disobedience in response to the UN’s 2015 Paris Climate summit.

The workshops will be facilitated by Isabelle Fremeaux, co-founder of the Labofii, and will be in English.

In parrallel to the workshop is the show: We Have Never Been Here Before, written and performed by John Jordan, co-founder of the Labofii. Participants are encouraged to attend the performance on Friday 4 July, as is content is key for full engagement with the workshop. Free tickets are available for all selected participants.

http://www.berlinerfestspiele.de/en/aktuell/festivals/foreign_affairs/fa14_programm/fa14_programm_gesamt/fa14_veranstaltungsdetail_98532.php

The workshop is free, but places limited, bookings need to be made by June 15th (with a short letter to labofii@berlinerfestspiele.de explaining why you’d like to attend, this is to get a sense of who you are so that we can tailor the workshop to the participants). Confirmations will be sent by June 22nd. Participants will be expected to bring lunch to share with others on both days.

The Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination

“It reminds us of the time when it was still possible for free theatre to try out a loving anarchic social utopias… This is about saying goodbye to representation and is therefore the most radical form of theatre” The Frankfurter Rundschau, 2010.

“This isn’t a normal travelling theatre company you know.” Scotland Yard, (British Police HQ) 

The Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination (Lab of ii) merges art and life, creativity and resistance, proposition and opposition. Infamous for touring the UK recruiting a rebel clown army, running courses in postcapitalist culture, throwing snowballs at bankers, turning hundreds of abandoned bikes into machines of disobedience and launching a rebel raft regatta to shut down a coal fired power station; we treat insurrection as an art and art as a means of preparing for the coming insurrection. The Lab of ii is now in the process of setting up a school for creative resistance and a communal organic farm in Brittany.

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