FO.R.E.ST calls for conspiracy for Spring Season 2023, 7 May – 4 June
For spring season 2023 FO.R.E.ST is calling 10 participants to conspire for a 4-week collective (un)learning moment in time during which we want to turn to SOIL as an entry point to a range of ecological concerns.
FO.R.E.ST is an experiment in self-organised collective study and practice. The forum insists in the agency of each of us to agitate ecological transformation with our respective participations in the world, and the ways in which we can dream future versions of it. Inhabiting an ecological perspective that cannot unlink environmental crises from racialised, social, economic and cultural ones, FO.R.E.ST imagines small, collective gestures for alternative ways of attending to the world and worlding it.
Each FO.R.E.ST season is a rehearsal in building ecologies of care and forms of relation based in daily, somatic and experiential actions and co-creations : conspiring with FO.R.E.ST means living together as a temporary community that is embedded in and interacting with the living world it is situated in.
For this season of FO.R.E.ST. we propose the thematic of SOIL as a non-prescriptive way to meet with curiosity, and share our individual interests, practices and experiences. With a commitment to responsiveness and emergence, we will map the various practices that Conspirators are engaged in and sense for synergies.
The season coincides with warming spring weather and we imagine much of our activities to take place in the garden and surrounds, with hands, feet and bellies in multiple soils.
Co-conspirators for Spring season 2023 will be Dani(ela) Bershan and Dash Che; Complotters will be miha brebenel and Sepideh Ardalani. You can find descriptions of their offerings and their bios further below — as well as on this online whiteboard, where we also share questions we are interested in spending time with and references that inform FO.R.E.ST in general, and the upcoming season in particular.
Where? MASSIA, Massiaru, Estonia (www.massia.ee)
7th May – 4th June, 4 weeks
This year, FO.R.E.ST tests a sliding scale model that offers a range for Conspirator’s financial contributions between 300-900 euro (excluding food at ca. 45 euro per week). Please find more information here.
Unfortunately, the building is not barrier-free and doesn’t meet accessibility standards. There are no ramps and no elevator. To enter the building one needs to climb 6 steps, followed by 3cm high thresholds which are part of the door frames. On the ground floor are bedrooms, studios, the theater hall, toilets and a shower. The functional rooms are too small for wheelchairs. The kitchens are located on the upper floor. To get to the 1st floor one needs to climb two flights of stairs.
We aim to make the season accessible in terms of needs around food (dietary requirements, preferences, times of meals), needs around sleeping arrangements, sensory needs, social time/spending time alone, schedule of activities and timings for these, other commitments that need to be attended to. If you would like to communicate any access needs, please include these when you write us.
Travel info accessible in detail on Massia’s website: www.massia.ee/getting-here/
How to conspire?
Please write an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and share about yourself, how these descriptions resonate with you, and anything else you feel relevant. We will organise video calls with people who signal their interest, during which we can give more context and get a sense for one another. Please register your interest by 15th March. Video calls will take place in March but can be held earlier if it makes organisation and/or funding access easier.
If you would like to forward the call to friends and colleagues, you can also use this PDF
Co-Conspirators and their invitations:
GUT ∞ SOILING
In the midst of crisis, we gather around the simple proposal to attend to where we are, and to where we are at. We will ground our attention materially by starting from the soil, as we will gather mainly outdoors, in the gardens and surroundings of Massia. And to start from the soil equally means to start from our gut. Not only are the soil-biome and the gut-biome intrinsically interwoven and connected but our gut is a material and speculative gateway to connect to soil and to everything that composes it.
We can attend to what grows and how, sharing ways of tending to it. We can begin by “soiling” ourselves, by being with the soil and by learning about its complex processes that endlessly compose and decompose us, as we go about sharing, making and living. We can do things together and collaboratively without turning them into tasks or have-tos. We can attend to where we are and where we are at on all levels, materially, politically, existentially and affectively.
Diversity shall be the guide and key to the various ontological and epistemological remixes of this week together; science, eros, ritual and reading shall be some of the porous and promiscuous modalities in which we experiment to be together with the soil, may it be with the microscope, a lecture, a mud-bath or a drawing. The hope and aim is to create micro- and macroscopic ways of encounter where complexity can be held, connection can be rehearsed, community can flourish, and imaginations of doing otherwise can come to fruition.
Daniela Bershan a.k.a. Baba Electronica is an artist, DJ and independent researcher working on relational structures and the politics of intimacy. Through her work – ranging from sculpture and performance to community facilitation and sound – she proposes practices of collective intimacy and care as a way to study and honour the complexity of interdependency and relational structures; Her current work is exploring the ecological, historical, emotional and political dimensions of reproductive labour and its re-organization through different registers. She composes and holds potentia-spaces for erotic/aesthetic practices and non-monotonic thinking.
Daniela co-founded and directed FATFORM (NL), and is co-founder and co-organiser of ELSEWHERE & OTHERWISE at Performing Arts Forum (FR). Her work and collaborations have been presented at ao. 29th Sao Paulo Biennale (BR), De Appel Arts Centre (NL), MaerzMusik (DE), KunstenfestivaldesArts (BE), Berlin Art Week (DE), W139 (NL), Portikus (DE), NAS Gallery Sydney (AU), Capacete (BR), Paradiso (NL), Oslo Internasjonale Teaterfestival (NO), Dansehallerne (DK), MDT (SE), Le CentQuatre (FR), Centre Pompidou Kanal (BE), CentroCentro (ES), Tempo Festival (BR) and Triennale Luxembourg (LUX).
SOIL STRANGER BODIES
Soil is a loose body of multiples that shifts and moves. Soil consists of inorganic particles and organic matter. Soil is always a stranger to itself, as it constantly hosts and mixes with other bodies that were not soil at some point but become it overtime. Can our human bodies learn from the soil ever-shifting stranger body? What kind of information about boundaries, porosity, permeation, mixing, foreignness, transgressing and crossing can we read from soil when we commune with it?
We will observe, touch, smell, and converse with the organism of soil in its strangeness and familiarity. We will work with our individual bodies and our collective body. We will use various somatic, improvisation and performative practices to study ourselves as we study soil and to study soil as we study ourselves.
Dash Che (they/them) is a transnational Russian American queer performing artist, dancer and movement facilitator who has been living and making artwork in Finland since 2019. Dash works with the questions of estrangement, foreigners, memories, touch and intimacy.
miha brebenel (they/them) is a romanian-born disabled white queer based in london. their long-term and expanding explorations are focused on the histories of internationalism and solidarity, intersections with disability, gender, critical plant studies, law, social and healing justice, somatics. they are developing practice and research on herbalism and socialism, mainly in eastern europe and the baltic region.
Sepideh Ardalani (they/she) is Iranian-born, invisibly disabled, and co-organises MASSIA as a laboratory and rehearsal space for alternative modes of learning, working, organising, and co-existing. Here and elsewhere, they co-cultivate spaces and situations engaged with practices of care: with people, herbs, gardens, etc. They have accompanied FO.R.E.ST throughout its stages of conception, and carry most of its organisation.