This Spring-Summer we’re presenting a trilogy of unique, lunch-time talks in partnership with 42 Acres Shoreditch. Gaia’s founding Director Liz Hosken will kick things off on Tuesday 15th May with an insight into how we might re-imagine our relationship with the Earth through the lens of ‘Earth Jurisprudence’.
On Tuesday 12th June Method Gundidza from Gaia’s South African partner organisation, Earthlore, will continue this journey by sharing the story of his own back to roots experience reclaiming Africa’s pre-colonial identity. Finally, on Tuesday 17th July, Colin Campbell, a traditional sangoma from Botswana, will explore what an understanding of indigenous African perspectives could mean for us all.
Full details below. Places are limited so we recommend early booking.
We hope to see you there!
Reimagining our Relationship with the Earth – Earth Jurisprudence and Indigenous Perspectives with Liz Hosken, The Gaia Foundation
Tuesday 15th May, 12.15pm – 1pm
Liz will share the story behind the growing global movement for Earth Jurisprudence, which recognises Nature as the primary source of law and ethics. Earth Jurisprudence draws on the worldview of indigenous peoples and their recognition of the sacredness of land and sea, and our kinship with animals and the natural world. It reflects an appreciation of an animate Earth whose language humans can learn and with whom we can communicate if we are open. Liz will touch on the need for rights of Nature in the current context of planetary crises, arising out of our loss of relationship with our source of life. These are inherent rights to be recognised, not given, by humans. She will share some of the journey, from developing the basic principles alongside the late philosopher Thomas Berry, to her innovative programme of UN-commended trainings for an emerging network of African Earth Jurisprudence practitioners.
Liz Hosken is Co-founder and Director of The Gaia Foundation (Gaia). Born in South Africa, Liz was active from a young age in both environmental issues and the anti-apartheid movement. In the mid-1980s she began a journey working with indigenous peoples in the Amazon, and co-founded Gaia, building ‘affectionate alliances’ across Africa, South America, Asia and Europe. At the core of Gaia’s work is the revival of indigenous ecological knowledge systems and restoring a respectful relationship with the Earth. Thomas Berry has been a great inspiration, recognising indigenous peoples’ thinking and naming their conception of law as Earth Jurisprudence, in which the Rights of Nature are inherent. With an academic background in Environmental Sciences, Philosophy and Education for Social Change, Liz has developed a three-year experiential training course in Earth Jurisprudence, and is currently training-up practitioners across Africa.
Going back to Roots – Reclaiming African Identity and Reshaping our own Future, with Method Gundidza, Earthlore, Zimbabwe & South Africa
Tuesday 12th June, 12.15pm – 1pm
Method is working with communities in Zimbabwe and South Africa, accompanying them in a process of reviving their indigenous seed varieties, restoring sacred natural sites and revalorising their traditional knowledge, thereby carving out a path which is true to the identity of the people, and which respects Nature. Known as ‘endogenous development’, this approach is designed and led by the community, and rooted in their context and territory. Method, who recently spoke at the UN Harmony of Nature dialogue will talk about his experience working with communities and about his personal journey back to his roots and childhood in rural Zimbabwe. He is one of eight practitioners who graduated from the first Earth Jurisprudence course in Africa in 2017. The process, which has been designed in partnership with The Gaia Foundation and lawyer Roger Chennells, celebrates Nature as the primary source of law, and indigenous perspectives as critical as we navigate the challenging times ahead.
Method is the Programme Manager of Earthlore, a South African based organisation supporting local and traditional communities to restore their sacred lands and territories, revive indigenous seed varieties and knowledge, and reclaim Africa’s rich and diverse identity. Method is trained as an Accountant and joined EarthLore in 2013 as Finance Manager, but became increasingly involved in field activities because the work of the organisation stirred a passion within him, invoking memories of his childhood growing up in a subsistence farming community in Zimbabwe. He now leads the work in accompanying communities for Earthlore.
African cosmology and indigenous perspectives – the role of sacred ritual in modern industrialised life, with Colin Campbell, traditional Sangoma from Botswana
Tuesday 17th July, 12.15pm – 1pm
Colin will inspire us to reconsider our sense of place within the whole, connecting us to our ancestors, one another, and ultimately to all of Nature. What can we learn from ancestral, pre-industrial traditions, many of which are still practiced in traditional societies today? How can we see the Universe as animate – imbued with life – and therefore in relationship with everything, in order to fully understand what it is to be human on a living planet? Thomas Berry, philosopher and founder of the term Earth Jurisprudence, said we must remember that we are “a communion of subjects rather than a collection of objects”. How can we reconnect to this purpose, and what might be the role of sacred ritual in modern industrialised life?
Colin grew up in rural southeastern Botswana, the son of a renowned anthropologist and a creative healing mother. He is currently a practitioner of traditional African medicine, based in Cape Town, South Africa and the UK. He receives clients from all over the world, and facilitates international group processes relating to natural law, transformation, healing & personal power, sacred sites, and cross-cultural cosmology. His work bridges major world cities with ancestral homelands and forgotten wilderness, taking him from the Amazon Basin to Los Angeles, the sacred sites of Venda to the urban grit of Johannesburg, and remote Ethiopia to the City of London. Colin co-founded and co-runs a training school in Botswana for traditional doctors and sangomas with his brother Niall Campbell.
All events will take place at 42 Acres Shoreditch, 66 Leonard Street, London, EC2A 4LW