Online Zoom Forum: Rewilding Spirituality: Spiritual Perspectives on our (Re-)Connection to the Natural World.
Date: Wednesday 14 December 2022.
Time: 7pm-9pm (UK time).
Format: There will be five talks, each of 10 minutes, followed by 20 minutes of discussion among the speakers, the chair, and the audience, followed by Q & A.
Prof Ullrich Kockel:
Bio: Ullrich Kockel has held professorships at universities in England, Ireland, Latvia and Lithuania and Scotland, where he is currently Professor of Creative Ethnology at the Institute for Northern Studies, University of the Highlands and Islands. A Member of the Royal Irish Academy and Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, during his tenure as President of the Société Internationale d´Ethnologie et de Folklore (2008-13) he established SIEF’s Place Wisdom research group. He is an Associate of the Iona Community and has served on the Councils of the Scottish Centre for Geopoetics and the Alliance for Intergenerational Resilience, and on the Steering Group of Learning for Sustainability Scotland.
Dr Nadine Andrews:
Title: Rewilding the Mind-body.
Description: Nadine will bring a personal perspective influenced by ecopsychology, modern Druidry and Taoist philosophy and physical arts practice.
Bio: Dr Nadine Andrews is a mindfulness and nature-based coach/trainer, and a qualified Mountain Leader. She is a member of Climate Psychology Alliance and part of the ecopsychology community in the UK, a visiting researcher at the Pentland Centre for Sustainability in Business at Lancaster University, and works as a social researcher and organisational learning lead in the Scottish Government.
Dr Gameli Tordzro:
Tile: ‘Kú, Tsì Kple Agbe!’ - Seed, Water And Live Memory an Anlɔ Eʋe concept of spiritual connections to Nature.
Description: The Eʋegbe speaking people of South-Eastern Ghana, southern Togo, and Benin conceptualise spirituality as an everyday continuous engagement that factors a connection to the earth and nature. I explore this connections through the linguistic values invested in the understanding of Seed, Water and Memory as a pathway to ‘rewilding’ spirituality.
Bio: Dr Gameli Tordzro is an Anlɔ Eʋe tradition bearer from Ghana. He is an educator, artistic researcher, director and performer and farmer. He works part time in the School of Education at the University of Glasgow as an Artist in Residence of the UNESCO Chair in Refugee Integration Through Languages and The Arts (UNESCO RILA) and as a Research Associate of the MIDEQ Hub. He is also a freelance creative arts consultant and producer. His professional experience cuts across Education, Artistic Research, Film, Television production and performance, Community Theatre and Development, traditional African cultures, music, fashion and textile production. He is well known in Ghana for his storytelling role in the 1990s as Grandpa on the popular Ghana Television’s Kids Television programme ‘By The Fireside’ and later as ‘Paa Joe’ in the forty-episode TV Series ‘All That Glitters’ (2005 - 2006). Tordzro is Critics Award for Theatre in Scotland (CATS Awards 2015) winner for Music and Sound for his work on the National Theatre of Scotland production ‘Last Dream on Earth’.
Title: Responding to Wildness Threats.
Description: After giving a brief overview of how much wildness and the spiritual nourishment this brings has been lost, Bill will discuss how renewable energy developments have impacted on wild Scotland with no sign of any change in the direction of travel. He will then focus on three developments that are having even greater impacts but without the benefits that renewables bring:
Long range/ large calibre rifle shooting ranges that have been established without planning permission in and around Eskdalemuir Forest affecting a large area of the Southern Uplands and the tranquility of the Samye Ling Tibetan Monastery;
Satellite launching sites in Sutherland, Shetland and North Uist, all within or close to valued landscapes and/or areas of significant nature conservation interest; and
Extracting gold and silver from the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park that is supposed to have landscape protection and nature conservation as part of its statutory purpose with the Cononish Mine already operational and plans to open other mines in the vicinity.
Bio: An environmental planner who worked in local government before running his own consultancy in Cumbria. Forty years ago, he became a life member of both the John Muir Trust and Friends of the Lake District because of concerns about the loss of wildness when on sea kayaking and mountaineering forays and more recently joined the Scottish Wild Land Group. These concerns have grown over the years and he does what he can to campaign against inappropriate development that will make things worse.
Title: Allotment as Sanctuary.
Description: Local Councils have a legal duty to provide 250 sqm plots of land for citizens who wish to grow vegetables, fruit, flowers and herbs. In these plots we engage with the natural world through our hearts, hands and minds. They are a sanctuary where, for a while, we can be quiet and avoid the anger, pain and fear swirling around Every allotment site is different and the communities are diverse depending on local needs and culture but I hope my story about the living rhythms and patterns I encounter in my allotment will show the wonder, joy and mystery that many of us, fortunate enough to have a growing space, experience.
Bio: Judy Wilkinson has lived and worked in Glasgow for over 50 years and for most of this time cultivated a plot on a nearby allotment site. Because I enjoy my plot and it provides so many benefits I have campaigned for many years through Scottish Allotments and Glasgow Allotments Forum so their contribution to society, well being and spiritual growth is recognised and everyone who wants one has access to ‘a patch of earth’ .
Dr Kenny Taylor:
Title: Wilds Without and Within.
Description: The word ‘rewilding’ has become common currency in recent years. As with ‘nature’ it means many things to different people. Whatever the places or species referenced in rewilding (think beaver, think Caledonian pine forest, think river reshaping, think what those mean to you) different levels of perception and aspiration are often at play. One is on the surface: plans for restored and healthy habitats, and creatures or vegetation welcomed back to areas from which they have been exiled. Another is the way that restoration of such places and species symbolises positive action at a time of the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss. Another is the deeper striving for both physical and emotional connection to the vibrancy of other-than-human life and processes. In this talk, I’ll explore some of those links and levels to ask if the burgeoning fields and woods and waters of rewilding can now be a source of the kind of wonder that some would think of as spiritual.
Bio: Dr Kenny Taylor is a writer, editor, naturalist and musician who communicates through many different media. This includes editing the bi-annual Northwords Now, decades of work for BBC Wildlife Magazine, literary nonfiction and performances. A former chair of Trees for Life and vice chair of the Scottish Wildlife Trust, he helped with TfL’s purchase of the Dundreggan Estate. He is a board member of the Isle of Eigg Heritage Trust and was part of the campaign team for community buyout of the island. Much of his work draws on a lifelong enthusiasm for the wild, both the always near and sometimes far, including through spring and summer surveys of golden eagles, and other birds, animals and plants in some of Scotland’s most remote upland areas.
NB: There will be no refund if you cancel your booking.
Cost: By Donation. For a Registration Form:
(for late inquiries on the day, then email, do not phone.
If you book on the day of the event you will be emailed the Zoom sign-in details 1-2 hours before the event).