dream(ing) field lab talk about their installation ‘another garden (will be our city)’, showing as part of Tonybee Studio’s ‘What Shall We Build Here’ season

the dream(ing) field lab. Photo by Flannery Miller.

Over a month until the COP26 Climate Conference in Scotland, and the arts have continued to contribute their responses to the urgent call for climate action. Artsadmin’s What Shall We Build Here festival a continuation of this, taking place from the 8th to 12th September in East London. Presenting another garden (will be our city), dream(ing), co-created by Jennifer Farmer and Zoe Palmer, the installation re-visions the relationship between women and femmes of the African Diaspora and the land in the context of climate breakdown. Ahead of their installation on Sunday 12th September, dream(ing) field lab tell us more about what to expect!

Hi dream(ing) field lab, you’ll be presenting another garden (will be our city) at Toynbee Studios, as part of Artsadmin’s What Shall We Build Here season. How are you feeling ahead of the event?

it is always exciting to be able to create spaces where we can invite Black women + femmes to celebrate their full selves, + each other, through acts of softness + joy.

another garden (will be our city) is an installation that re-visions the relationship between women and femmes of the African diaspora and land in the context of climate breakdown. What inspired yourselves to explore this further?

the liberation + protection of Black women + femmes across the African diaspora (who are amongst those greatest impacted by climate breakdown) will be the liberation + protection of everyone.  climate breakdown is not a situation of our making, yet we have had to find coping strategies, rooted in ancestral knowledge + traditions, long before climate breakdown was given a name.

How have you approached creating the installation?

with a sense of playfulness to counter the current narrative surrounding climate breakdown.  we don’t deny the urgency, the rage or the grief that comes with climate breakdown, but we believe that pessimistic strategies trying to shame or anger people into action contribute to people being overwhelmed, disengaged burnt out.  Black women + femmes don’t need to be guilted into change because we have always been at the grassroots of climate justice.

What can audiences expect from the installation?

an Afro-futuristic sensory feast!  we have really tried to evoke what is possible if we approach climate breakdown with radical empathy + imagination.  what worlds can we step into?

What would you like for audiences to take away from the installation?

that their activism + contributions don’t need to be recognised by academia in order to be valuable.  that resilience isn’t a badge of honour, but an act of violence.

Questions by Lucy Basaba.

another garden (will be our city) will show on Sunday 12th September as part of What Shall We Build Here at the Tonybee Studios. To find out more about the installation and festival, visit here…

Written by Theatrefullstop