Uncivilisation 2011, the Dark Mountain festival, sold all its 300 (£60) weekend tickets and took place from 19-21 August at the Sustainability Centre in Hampshire. The festival was born out of the Dark Mountain Project and its manifesto, conceived by Paul Kingsnorth and Dougald Hine. The manifesto, which “starts with our sense that civilisation as we have known it is coming to an end; brought down by a rapidly changing climate, a cancerous economic system and the ongoing mass destruction of the non-human world”, has inspired lots of dialogue online and among artisans and two Dark Mountain books of essays and poems have resulted.
At the festival, there were directly practical workshops such as scything, foraging and permaculture, alongside more wordy discussions, including a talk on practical strategies to deal with system collapse, as well as creative events such as a “wild writing” workshop and “Liminal”, a performance and silent night walk through the forest. Throughout the weekend, creativity, spirituality, and myth took a prominent place, because, as the manifesto states: “We will reassert the role of story-telling as more than mere entertainment. It is through stories that we weave reality.”