Warm welcome to the third Re-emergence/Emergency Walk in Alnarp! Read more about the series of walks under the title “The Ecology of Life and Death: Learning about Radical Softness to Imagine a New Now” here.
January 18, 2023, 1:30-3:15 pm: We Will All Die! On Death and What it Can Teach Us
Who: Everyone! Bring your neighbours, colleagues, friends to spark our academic bubble!
Where: The walk will start outside of Alnarp’s castle (front side), Slottsvägen 5, where we will have a short introduction. We will then walk through Alnarpsparken, discuss and share, and conclude again at the castle. If fika is something that makes you feel safe and warm while walking, feel free to bring just that. Also: We will meet in all weather, so remember to dress accordingly and maybe bring an umbrella, too.
Registration: No registration needed, just be there a couple of minutes before we walk from Slottsvägen 5.
Picture by Stanford University Photo/Monica Lopez and Stuart Goodman: As human stem cells are known for surviving for about two weeks after we have died, they show how we live on on this planet.
Questions and framing
How are you today? I just came home from a walk. The sun is out on this January day. And what a mild sun it is. Balmy, tender light on my pale face. I embrace it gratefully after many grey days that have left me feel sluggish. Have you seen the sun, too?
At the same time, I sense unease. I look and see the bulbs bud, the twigs come into leaf. And I know, I believe you know, something is not as it used to be: the climate has changed, seasons as we knew them do no longer exist, the winter of our childhoods is dead. A particular time is dead, from how predictions look like forever gone, making us at the same time enter into an age of mass extinction. Death, which especially Western societies have pushed to the margins of our lives, comes closer, reveals itself in a pandemic, in loss, grief, mourning, bereavement.
And yet here we are, existing in a life that holds this one universal truth: We will all die. Do we dare to accept this truth and look at it? Could we, should we try? Facing our momentariness in a courageous and sensitive way, we want to gather for a Re-emergence/Emergency Walk through Alnarpsparken, a walk to lift the veil which obscures the values we can find if we bring death back into our lives.
Background reading, watching and inspiration is available here.
As much as societies try to push death to the margins of our perceptions and life in general, death remains a universal and yet personal topic: Death, loss, grief, bereavement can mean darkness and hopelessness as we are trying to make sense of someone or something ceasing to exist. If you find yourself overwhelmed or in search for someone to talk through difficult feelings, emotions or thoughts, SLU’s Student Health Centre offers you support. Contact them here.
CEMUS invites you to a series of Re-emergence/Emergency Walks at SLU Alnarp’s campus to explore issues, questions and unknowns central to our ability to re-imagine and re-shape human societies and culture.
I’ve lived humbly, reading the paper,
pondering the riddle of power
and the reasons for obedience.
I’ve watched sunsets
I’ve heard the birds grow quiet
and night’s muteness.
I’ve seen sunflowers dangling
their heads at dusk, as if a careless hangman
had gone strolling through the gardens.
September’s sweet dust gathered
on the windowsill and lizards
hid in the bends of walls.
I’ve taken long walks,
craving one thing only:
'Transformation' by Adam Zagajewski (translated by Clare Cavanagh)
We as human beings, educators, researchers and universities are failing in bringing about meaningful and radical (to the root causes) change – systemic changes of systems that are destroying human and more-than-human worlds.
We need to explore and rediscover old ideas and ways of organising resistance, and build new spaces that can survive the present-future destruction and madness.
The idea is also built on and inspired by the botanical walks – Herbationes Upsalienses – that Linnaeus did around Uppsala during the 18th century, read more here: The Linnaeus Trails.
The concept is simple: before the actual walking discussion you can (but don’t have to) watch a background-video or read some texts that aim to provoke and inspire some initial thoughts, feeling on the topic being discussed. Then we gather in Alnarpsparken in front of the castle, walk through the park; engage in dialogue, disagreement, discussion two and two; find a space to gather again and switch our conversation partners; then walk back and have a conversation with someone new before we close with a final round of shared reflections.