Should there be a Fire Starter Festival this year?
It’s something that we debated long and hard. What is the appetite for the sparks, the innovation, the creativity? With Brexit, a new lockdown, children once more being educated from home, the on-going worry about jobs, the potential for overwhelmed public services, was this the right time to talk about fires of change?
However, what we did learn from last year, is how people have overwhelmingly appreciated the spaces to come together, to build virtual communities, to share, to listen, to connect and be inspired by each other. We have come to think of these as democratic and creative spaces, a move aware from polarised positioning to spaces for the potential for new understandings of complex issues to emerge.
So, we decided to offer a slightly different experience – slower, more spacious and of course, pre-dominantly on-line. Along with all of our wonderful co-hosts we have created opportunities for people to come together, in what we hope will be generative spaces, with an emphasis on how we communicate, how we tell stories , and how we build communities. This year, we hope people will dip in and out depending on what you are curious about, and what time you can make available. We hope it is a restorative space, but also a creative space.
It’s not all online though!
One of the sparks that caught fire from last year’s festival and the Creative Bravery Festival was walking, and in particular dialogue walking. It’s essential for our physical and mental health but also for our ability to solve problems and be creative. There will be invitations to leave your desk, be mobile in body and mind and walk throughout the festival, and share what emerges at our event: Walking Our Landscapes.
Power has become an increasingly visible theme of the festival, ignited through the legislative theatre Launch and then addressed by Diana Reynolds, Sustainable Development Manager from the Welsh Government, who will be exploring how Covid has changed power relations in the workplace: “Power and the New Professionalism” , as well as award winning Poet and writer Beth Cochrane who will be exploring what power can mean to you in her writing workshop: Powerful Fictions .
We also welcome a deeper investigation by Jane Booth into power and privilege , the elephant in the room of diversity and inclusiveness?
We also recognised the power in fire for refection and creative thinking. One of my highlights of the holidays was just sitting by a fire, at home, in the garden or on the beach, not doing but just being. These spaces are embedded in the whole festival, from the Sanctuary with guest reflective guides, Beehive lunch cafes to share reflections and connect, and Candlelight Clubs to share stories and meet those you never knew you needed to meet.
If you have a spark to share, a burning question or a practice that keeps the embers glowing please don’t hesitate to join the Fire Starter Community. All the information for creating an event is on the website or email us for more information.