Re-emergence/Emergency Walks – Alnarp


Welcome to a series of Re-emergence/Emergency Walks at SLU Alnarp’s campus “The Ecology of Life and Death: Learning about Radical Softness to Imagine a New Now” to explore issues, questions and unknowns central to our ability to re-imagine and re-shape human societies and culture.


I haven’t written a single poem
in months.
I’ve lived humbly, reading the paper,
pondering the riddle of power
and the reasons for obedience.
I’ve watched sunsets
(crimson, anxious),
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:
lightning,
transformation,
you.
'Transformation' by Adam Zagajewski (translated by Clare Cavanagh)

 

Why?
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.

Concept
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.

 


 

November 2022

November 16, 2-3:45 pm: Citizen Science and “The Politics of Emotions” 

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 Chempetitive: Neurons which conduct emotions as electrochemical messages throughout our brains.

 

Questions and framing
What a time to be alive! What a privilege to be able to study! What a gift to still be able to enjoy the sun! Yet what a trial to not grow numb to the struggles of our times! What a challenge to not fall asleep under the weight of our existence! What a decision to not let your heart become cold in the face of our age, that teaches us daily to suppress our emotions and feelings—cause after all, “big boys don’t cry!”.

Going to work we have to function as passive, marble entities, we obey to rules of objectivity and come back home to lull ourselves to sleep while succumbing to some form of entertainment so we don’t have to feel ourselves. But wait! Is that really all there is? Are we not more than some thinking, intelligent cells that still linger on on this planet?

As we are gathering for a Re-emergence/Emergency walk through Alnarpsparken, listen to and share our own perspectives (no prior knowledge needed!) we want to explore ourselves as body, mind and spirit; learn about the “Politics of Emotions” as a valid source of knowledge that makes us become “humanly accessible” (Lyons 1988: 31); and tap into the world of feelings that can help us to transform and soften ourselves both individually and collectively. 


Lyons, G. (1988). Constructive Criticism. Speaking and listening more effectively in personal relations, groups, and political activities. A Handbook. Berkeley: Wingbow Press.

 

Background material
Background reading, watching is available here.


December 2022

December 14, 1:30-3:15 pm: The Human, Humanity and What it Can Mean to Be Humane

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 Wei Li: The human eye uses many layers of nerve cells to convert light into sight. What do we see as we are looking at ourselves and at others?

 

Questions and framing
As you are reading these lines, your brain and eyes are at work: Layers of nerve cells convert light into sight. In a myriad of ways your intelligent body transports a picture of some written words to your mind. Your outward looking eyes see the letters dancing on your screen scanning your environment for new information.

It seems, what we are looking for is always laying outside of ourselves. But what happens if we turn this look around and rivet on ourselves instead? What do we see as we turn away from our screens, peel back layers of our own existence and explore what lays underneath? Is it just us we see or more? And what teaches us this journey to our own cores as we look out for others, the different, the non-human?

Meeting for a Re-emergence/Emergency Walk through Alnarpsparken (come as you are, no prior knowledge needed to join!), we want to open up an inclusive space grounded in place and time, which allows for radical yet soft conversations around our human existence. We want to revisit the notions of human and humanity and talk and connect with each other to ask: In these times, what could it mean to be humane?

 

Background material
Background reading, watching and inspiration is available here.


January 2023

January 18, time tbaWe 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
Coming soon.

Background material
Coming soon.


February 2023

February 18, time tbaTo Love the Marigold: The Politics of Imagination” 

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 Argonne National Laboratory: Bobby Kasthuri, a researcher at Argonne National Laboratory, imagines the entire human brain down to the level of single cells. With this brain, what are we capable of imagining? 

 

Questions and framing
Coming soon.

Background material
Coming soon.