TAKING ACTION ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE: MY ARREST

An account, written on Easter Sunday, of my arrest in London during the climate change protest :

‘It’s 8.30am and I’ve just got home after being arrested yesterday on Waterloo Bridge at about 4.00pm – yes, I was part of the Extinction Rebellion London occupation! Continue reading TAKING ACTION ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE: MY ARREST

REMEMBERING ADA SALTER

Nicolette Burford

I talked to film maker Nicolette Burford about her documentary tracing the remarkable life of Ada Salter – environmentalist, peace activist, and first woman councillor in London. Nicolette’s film Remembering Ada, connects Ada’s legacy to the recent upsurge in non-violent resistance to climate change and ecological breakdown.

Leslie: How did your Remembering Ada documentary begin, grow and develop?

Nicolette: I first heard of Ada a couple of years ago when I went on a guided tour about her life in Bermondsey. I was awestruck by the number of trees she had planted in Bermondsey, over 9,000 before World War Two. I was amazed. How come I had never heard of her? Later I came to realise that hardly anyone outside Bermondsey had heard of her. Continue reading REMEMBERING ADA SALTER

THE DREAM SPEAKS BACK

If it was a piece of music, The Dream Speaks Back, would be a jazz number, passing the lead between different soloists. Written by Sue Hampton, Cy Henty and Leslie Tate, it’s a triple autobiography.

So how do you go about putting together a book written by three authors? In the case of The Dream Speaks Back, it came together, in Lautréamont’s famous phrase, ‘like the chance encounter on an ironing board of a sewing machine and an umbrella’. But behind the surreal adventures and personal stories was my organising work as an editor.

I structured the book so it moves back and forth between a succession of scenes that cue each other. And as the three of us write very differently Continue reading THE DREAM SPEAKS BACK

CULTURE AT MARSDEN: HOW PEOPLE MAKE IT HAPPEN

David Coldwell studio portrait by Bob Bray

I interviewed poet and artist David Coldwell about Marsden village, a centre for poetry, art, festivals and walking. I asked David to describe the people of Marsden and the cultural organisations he’s involved in including The Poetry Village, Marsden Walkers are Welcome, and Maytree Press.

David says about Marsden: “The reason why we have the Jazz Festival, The Cuckoo Festival, The Poetry Village, Imbolc, The Walking Festival, The Park and many other events and buildings is because people make it happen. ” Continue reading CULTURE AT MARSDEN: HOW PEOPLE MAKE IT HAPPEN

BETWEEN THE DATA AND THE POLICY CHANGE IS WHERE THE ARTS LIVE

Rebecca Lawton

I interviewed Rebecca Lawton, scientist, river guide and prize-winning author, about her expertise in nature, conservation, water, and climate. Rebecca has directed research at a community watershed organization in northern California and designed and managed numerous stream studies and projects in citizen science. She is currently Executive Director of PLAYA Summer Lake, Oregon, a residency program for artists and scientists.

Between the data and policy change is where the arts live.– Bill Fox

Leslie: Tell us about the artist and scientist residency program at PLAYA in Summer Lake, Oregon, that you direct. What’s special about how it works as a creative retreat? Continue reading BETWEEN THE DATA AND THE POLICY CHANGE IS WHERE THE ARTS LIVE

ART AGAINST EXTINCTION

I interviewed artist Carla Winterbottom, whose visionary work has a deep connection with climate change and extinction.

Leslie: What have been the phases in your approach to art, and what caused those changes? Continue reading ART AGAINST EXTINCTION

FLASH FICTION AND CLI-FI

Anna Orridge

Author Anna Orridge writes cli-fi as well as eco and nature-influenced stories, novels and poems. I asked Anna about the psychological impact of writing about these difficult but important subjects and her own personal creative methods.

Leslie: What are the various ways you write about climate change?

Anna: The short stories I write which have a climate focus are usually set in the near future. ‘Vane’, for example, which appeared in Mslexia, is set in an anonymous British coastal village about fifty years from now. The cli fi novel I’m currently writing takes place in York in 2054. Continue reading FLASH FICTION AND CLI-FI

REBEL WITH A LOVING CAUSE

Niamh Calderwood

Author Niamh Calderwood talks about acting, writing, transitioning in Sunderland and finding herself in a deep and loving relationship. As part of her journey, Niamh talks about joining Extinction Rebellion and living with an awareness of climate breakdown.

Leslie: You’re a multi-disciplinary creative person with an emphasis on crafting words. Can you describe your passions, your projects and what inspires your creative work, please.

Niamh: When I first began my creative journey it was all about escapism. I was a troubled kid, and having the opportunity to disappear into another person’s life through acting (mostly on stage, but a little bit on screen too) was a necessity in my formative years. I wouldn’t have survived high school (John Spence Community High in Tynemouth) or my first few years of college in Newcastle if I hadn’t been able to pretend to be someone else. Continue reading REBEL WITH A LOVING CAUSE

TOM FOX – BUILDING NEW MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS

Tom Fox at Hackoustic August 2017

Tom Fox uses recycled and reclaimed materials to make musical instruments, sound machines and interactive installations. He has performed or talked at The Tate Modern, The Royal College of Music, The Royal College of Art, and many European music tech festivals. I interviewed Tom about what goes into his performances, his vulpestruments and his organisation Hackoustic – a London-based group that promotes original sound artists, music technologists and instrument builders.

Leslie: Can you tell us about the simplest instruments you build, please. Continue reading TOM FOX – BUILDING NEW MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS

Author and Poet