By Lauren Taverner Brown
With climate change a current hot topic in the news – this week UK and US scientists launched a £20million Antarctic research expedition to investigate the precarious state of the Thwaites glacier – Retreat Cornwall is a creative residency that will explore what life might look like when sea levels rise, and organisers are now looking for families to participate in the retreat.
A partnership between The University of Gothenburg, The University Of Wageningen, The Seed Box and Plymouth College of Art, Retreat Cornwall is part of a creative research project titled ‘Imaginative Disruption’ which seeks to explore the transgressive potential of art and making to engage a group of citizens and experts in an imaginative conception of alternative environmental narratives.
Retreat Cornwall will take a look at a fictional (but potentially very real) world 70 years from now, where coastal homes have become uninhabitable, sea levels have flooded harbours and eaten away land, and parts of the coastline have collapsed, causing houses to fall into the sea. The project imagines families as climate refugees, who have been evacuated to higher ground.
Taking place in three countries (Sweden, United Kingdom and The Netherlands) these three “collective residencies” will bring together an intergenerational group of people who will play, make, eat, re-imagine and learn together, to design alternative futures around a selected “glocal” issue, and explore what needs to be disrupted to realise these new realities.
The first residency takes place in Cornwall from Friday 27 July 2018 to Monday 30 July 2018, on a 5-acre plot of land between Porthleven and Camborne. Over four days, the families taking part will explore the impact of climate change on their lives through a guided journey to “resettle” to higher ground.
The residency will bring together people with different skills and expertise: residents, policy-makers, artists, scientists and – most importantly – children, as they are the future inhabitants of our coasts and will help adults to creatively and playfully re-imagine issues.
All learnings, reflections and products from the different creative making-activities will become part of a collectively-curated exhibition in an art venue in Cornwall.
Organisers of the project are now looking for families to take part in this creative residency. The deadline for registrations is 15 May 2018, and anyone is welcome, but places are limited. There will be a fee of £12 per person (covers 4 days of accommodation and subsistence; under 2s join for free).
Find out more on the project website, on their Facebook page or by emailing Dr Natalia Eernstman, Senior Lecturer on Plymouth College of Art’s MA Creative Education: Making Learning on firstname.lastname@example.org. To follow the rest of the project, go to the Imaginative Disruption website, https://neernstman.wixsite.com/imaginedisrupt