BMCAN’s Creatives for Regenerative living project would like to acknowledge Damon Gameau’s leadership with his Regenerating Australia film. As Damon says:
Our current economic system is degenerative and extractive; it steals the future. A regeneratively designed system heals the future. With so many people searching for meaning in their lives, regeneration offers a way forward. What could be more meaningful than taking part in the regeneration of our planetary home?
The Creative Arts—visual arts, film, music, dance, theatre, storytelling—and their various fusions and hybrid forms, have the emotional power to communicate to our longing for meaning in understanding our rapidly changing world, providing us with a new framework to address the serious challenges we face ahead.
The Challenges Ahead
- The deep psychic wound at the heart of Australia in dealing with the physical, social and epistemic violence of colonial settlement on Australia’s First Nations peoples, and our failed response to their invitation in the Uluru Statement from the Heart to non-Indigenous Australians, “to walk with us in a movement of the Australian people for a better future, through Truth, Treaty and a Voice to Parliament”
- Global warming with the global temperature of the Earth predicted to rise well above 2 degrees Celsius on our current trajectory of carbon emissions, leading to increasingly catastrophic impacts of climate change from industrialisation linked to the use of fossil fuels
- Environmental degradation caused by industrial-scale practices such as land clearing, mono-agriculture and use of chemicals, extraction of water resources from rivers and underground aquifers, large-scale mining, plastic pollution and waste management
- Societal breakdown in so-called advanced industrial economies linked to increasing wealth inequality, insecure work, insecure housing, rising mental health problems, loss of capacity and effectiveness in public services, loss of public trust in political and business leaders, and the rise of information pollution and conspiracy thinking infecting the body politic
- The power of technology and tech conglomerates through algorithms designed to be addictive, and finding ourselves as ‘data’ for the growth industry of data mining, and where our lives are increasingly mediated by sophisticated brain-machine interfaces, smart algorithms, and biochemical devices in a new tech vision of transhumanism.
From the agony of this situation, we are being urgently called upon to pivot from this paradigm of industrial civilisation, based on consumer driven economic growth and wealth extraction, to a new paradigm of eco-civilisation based on a philosophy of regenerative living.
Planetary Health, Songlines and Regenerative Living
BMCAN’s Creatives for Regenerative Living initiative aims to harness the creative energies of the community-based arts and culture sector to amplify the message of Blue Mountains City Council, which says: ‘like a Songline which spirals deep into the past and far into the future, the Blue Mountains Planetary Health Initiative has a strong vision to grow Planetary Health for the whole City of Blue Mountains, for all life, and for future generations. We recognise that #WeAreNature and that all life is interconnected.” This builds on the profoundly eco-spiritual nature of First Nation’s understanding of the meaning of Country.
Country (Ngurra) takes in everything within the cultural and spiritual landscape—landforms, trees, rocks, plants, animals foods, medicine, minerals, stories and significant places. It includes Cultural practices, knowledge, songs, stories and art as well as Spiritual Beings and people, present and future. Ngurra has a deep meaning of belonging. The best way to understand Ngurra is to walk along the track.
—Aunty Sharyn Halls, September 2020, Blue Mountains Cultural Centre, Art of Planetary Health exhibition.
—BMCAN multi-arts Open Day, on the theme: ENGAGE CREATE REGENERATE, in collaboration with BANC (Blackheath Area Neighbourhood Centre), Gallery H and Mark O’Halloran and ABCD Inc, to be held on the afternoon of 30 April at the Gallery H complex, Dargan, an area that was heavily impacted by the Gosper mega fire during the 2019-2020 Black Summer Fires.
—Grant submission to BMCC’s City of Arts Trust program for the EMBRACE project, exploring the capacity of the arts to evoke the meaning of regenerative living, involving a workshop, a yarning circle with Darug artist Chris Tobin, and an exhibition of works at Gallery H Basement
—A competition prize during the Katoomba Winter Magic Festival to be held 26-28 August, 2022, for visual artworks, literary works and performance works, on the basis of their ability to best evoke the meaning of ‘regenerative living’ – working collaboratively with a range of our network partners
—Grant Submission for an Exhibition on Regenerative Stories, to be held during the month of July 2022 to celebrate NAIDOC, and to be co-curated by Wiradjuri artist Peter Swain and gallerist, Sharon Howard of Gang Gang Gallery, Seven Valleys (Lithgow)