Episode 2: Land, Place, Roots

Real / Symbol Episode 2: Land, Place, Roots

Making peace with the earth we create and sustain environments where we can come back to ourselves, where we can return home, stand on solid ground and be a true witness.

bell hooks, Belonging: A Culture of Place, (2016)

In our second episode we will explore more deeply how our ideas about place and land shape how we might begin the healing and repair from the violence caused by displacement, gentrifcation and urban development. In our often enclosed narratives of extraction and profit, we have allowed the logic of capitalism to tell us what’s possible, but our imaginations can and must stretch further.

As we listen to the experiences of community members in Shieldfield and beyond, we invite listeners to expand and reimagine our collective responsibilities to the land and to each other through ideas of commons. Drawing on notions of the commons through history, through contemporary protest movements and through work being done in our communities we explore how might tell a different story of our relationship to the land – to tend and care, to caress and cherish it – and to see it as vital to a more life giving and regenerative common life.

Thanks to all those who contributed to this episode: Haley Paxton, Mo Younis, Julia Heslop , Alastair Mcintosh, Luke Devlin, Sheryl Cathey, Ronnie Dougall, Ken Mallon, Val Middleton , Sharon Bousefield, Chris Jones, Al Barrett, Sally Mann, Loretta Lees, Gemma Herries, Alison Wilkinson, Lydia Hiorns, Hannah Marsden.

The podcast was produced by Alison Merritt Smith with post production by David Benjamin Blower. Music used with permission by Newcastle artist Dextro and several tracks from their album ‘In the Crossing’. The song ‘Lay of the Land’ was used by permission from the Newcastle based artist Me Lost Me. The song ‘Holy Ground’ by David Benjamin Blower is the song used in the closing.

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Episode 1: Even the trees are being displaced

Real / Symbol Episode 1: Even the trees are being displaced

“Colonisation is not just the clearance of people’s lands. To sustain unequal power relations, it is an ongoing clearance of our minds. A people without a history struggle to know themselves. A person who struggles to know themselves will feel insecure in their sense of agency in life. Rootlessness left unresolved can lead to inner disconnects between people and place. The oppressed can then so easily flip to becoming the oppressor, as the Persian second devil sets loose. Narcissism, or pronounced self-centredness, is less a choice than an affliction.”

Alastair McIntosh, Soil and Soul: People Versus Corporate Power,

In this episode we start at the beginning by exploring how the process of development has deeply affected neighbourhoods like Shieldfield. We weave conversations with Shieldfield residents alongside sociologists, artists, theologians and activists about the emotional effects of development on people’s everyday lives and sense of self and how these processes have caused not just physical displacement but also emotional and spiritual displacement.

We also ask you to consider how the processes of development are affecting your community. What are the multiple effects of gentrification where you live ? How is it preventing certain communities from flourishing? How can you call attention to what is happening?

Contributors to this episode include Shieldfield residents: Ken, Val, Sharon, Mahamat, Haley, Sheryl, John, Ronnie as well as contributions from Loretta Lees, Chris Jones, Willie James Jennings, Darren McGarvey, Alastair McIntosh, Julia Heslop, Hannah Marsden, Lydia Hiorns, Gemma Herries and Alison Wilkinson.

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