We would like to acknowledge the Kabi Kabi people the Traditional Owners of the land on which we meet. We would also like to pay our respects to elders past, present and future.
Arts Front - Leah Barclay, Lyndon Davis, Brent Miller, Nicole Voevodin-Cash, Norm Horton, Sarah Moynihan.
MIC - Andrew Maitland, Marina de Jager, Nick Aggs, Nick Harrison, Sean Nagy
Eudlo Creek Project is a creative initiative that responds to the cultural and biological diversity of Eudlo Creek and its interconnected wetlands and rainforest. The project brings together art, science, technology and first nations cultural heritage through the lens of acoustic ecology and environmental education.
The project is being developed and delivered by Arts Front in partnership with the Montessori International College (MIC) during 2019. This collaboration forms part of Feral Arts’ Arts, Creativity and Education Futures program.
Eudlo Creek Project launched with a creative development workshop on site in February 2019 and is expanding into a 5-week education program each Wednesday from week 2 - week 6. The project will officially launch on International Dawn Chorus Day 2019 (May 5) and conclude with MIC Caring for Country Day with a presentation of the work created.
The education program will have a particular focus on new ways to understand nature through listening and the application of new technologies (including augmented and virtual reality) for environmental art projects. The five workshops will provide students with the skills and technology to participate in Immerse High 2019 – the world's first Immersive storytelling competition for high school students.
Background: Arts Front Context – International Rights Agreements
The Eudlo Creek project is underpinned by ideas behind the Rights of Nature – a growing international movement that rejects the notion that nature is human property and we legally recognise the rights of the natural world to exist, thrive and evolve. Recognising that the natural world is just as entitled to exist and evolve as we are, will provide students with new tools to think about creativity, ecology and the way humans may need to change in the future.
By considering Eudlo Creek as a living entity and exploring how the biological diversity functions in the local environment – this project will instil the idea that humanity is just one member of the natural world, and that we are dependent upon a healthy, interconnected web of life on Earth.
While this shift in thinking may be considered complex for young minds – the concepts will be delivered in an accessible and engaging way, allowing students to understand the world from the perspectives of different species. This will include listening like a native bee, navigating the world as a micro bat and finding water as a plant growing beside the creek.
In approaching the education and creative development, the Eudlo Creek project will adopt Article 2 and Article 3 of the Draft Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth as a foundational approach to explore nature throughout the workshops.
Article 2. Fundamental rights of Mother Earth: Mother Earth has the right to exist, to persist and to continue the vital cycles, structures, functions and processes that sustain all beings
Article 3. Fundamental rights and freedoms of all beings. Every being has:
(a) the right to exist;
(b) the right to habitat or a place to be;
(c) the right to participate in accordance with its nature in the ever-renewing processes of Mother Earth;
(d) the right to maintain its identity and integrity as a distinct, self-regulating being;
(e) the right to be free from pollution, genetic contamination and human modifications of its structure or functioning that threaten its integrity or healthy functioning; and
(f) the freedom to relate to other beings and to participate in communities of beings in accordance with its nature
Adopting these two articles as a way of thinking about the Eudlo Creek project mirrors the Arts Front Environment Stream vision and builds on extensive research in environmental education with young people.
For young people who are shaping their worldview, contemplating the idea of legally recognising the rights of nature may change the way they interact with the environment and provide inspiration to respond to current ecological challenges in a positive, informed and proactive way.
This builds on Leah Barclay’s research in ecological engagement and climate action – which demonstrates that engaging young people in participatory environmental experiences that inspire empathy, hope and action is one of the most effective methods in addressing the current challenges the world is facing today.
Most importantly, the Rights of Nature movement acknowledges, respects and is inspired by the wisdom of First Nations peoples around the world. Many indigenous cultures see plants and animals as relatives, members of an inter-connected community of life that is self-sustaining and deserves respect. They draw from the natural world to live, but do not take more than the natural system can sustainably provide. This contrasts with the culture and legal system that is dominant in western industrialised nations today, which treats plants, animals and entire ecosystems, as objects that are human property. Our current legal system allows humans to destroy ecosystems in the name of material ‘development’ and only grants rights to humans and human-created constructs such as corporations and nation-states.
The Eudlo Creek workshops will not focus on the challenges or complexities of our current legal systems – but instead reimagine a world in which the rights of nature are established, and focus on understanding and respecting the environment from a First Nations perspective. This critical element of the program will be guided by Kabi Kabi artists Lyndon Davis and Brent Miller and underpinned by Lyndon’s key approach to education – that everyone is a custodian of the land and we must do everything in our power to protect, conserve and respect the natural world.
Day 73 - Wednesday 1st
Week 1: Listening to Nature
This session introduces the ideas behind acoustic ecology and how listening to the environment with new technologies can help us understand what is happening in the world today. Practical activities will include a sound walk where Leah Barclay will teach students new acoustic ecology techniques such as “listening with your feet” and Lyndon Davis and Brent Miller will introduce listening to the environment from an indigenous perspective.
Nicole Voevodin-Cash will also continue the Billycan project to assist in the visual recording of being ‘in’ nature via walking, drawing, indexing - representing the bodily experience of the landscape. This is in the form of tracking, mapping and digital drawing using a simple M.A.D.E Walking App. With the edition of another visual recording device a LANDscanner. This handheld scanner provides no barrier to viewing making the invisible, visible. Exposing an interplay of the moment of capture and digital dirt picked up through the process of scanning. These captured textures, surfaces and natural residue will develop a catalogue of visual images to be used and utilised for AR and VR exploration.
Students will be introduced to the idea of remote listening and will deploy a live streaming audio kit in the school and listen to the audio on a live sound map. The group will listen (in real-time) to other environments across the world through the global sound map and introduce the concept for Reveil 2019, a global broadcast for International Dawn Chorus Day, that will follow the soundscapes of dawn around the world for 24-hours.