An Ecology of the Imagination

Collaboration: Ritual performance-lecture (1 hour)

A collaboration with ecologist and writer Alastair McIntosh (author of Soil and Soul, Hell and High Water and Spiritual Activism). This is an choreographed adaptation of Alastair's marvellous lectures, with sound design drawn from psalm-singing recordings from his home church on the Isle of Lewis. In it Alastair explores the imaginal realm accompanied by Butoh dance and music by Paul Michael Henry alongside dancer Alessandra Campoli and 'literary consultant' Cristina Garriga, with costumes by Jill Skulina. Through the lens of both activism and a pilgrimage through the Outer Hebrides Alastair shares what he sees as an “ecology of the imagination.”

The human response to climate change and other major issues in our times such as war, poverty and the loss of plant and animal species depends on having an awakened imagination. But what is that? How does the artist (in the broadest sense of that word) connect to wellsprings of the imaginal world? How do these activate imaginative responses in others? What kinds of art and artist can fulfil the shamanic-bardic role in our times of helping to feed the flow of life back into the community? Alastair and Paul are grateful for the blessing of Ralph Metzner in using material from his representation of the Tibetan Book of the Dead by with Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert (Ram Dass). You can find more about Alastair's truly valuable work here.

An Ecology of the imagination was presented at the first UNFIX festival in July 2015. It is available for touring (contact Stephanie K. Hunter with booking enquiries).