Give us a smile Oxford!

out of oxford

We realised during our practice walk through Oxford that it is packed with people taking action to protect the environment. We spoke to Rupert Griffin about his achievements in getting more local food available in Oxford.

Rupert now runs his own business providing local apple juice and honey.

You know when you smile at a stranger and they smile back, then you smile more, and there’s a shared moment. Those are the moments I wait for but strangely there was only an average of 10% smile return rate through Oxford. One man surprised me by cycling back to me to thank me for smiling at him and it made my day. Just keep smiling people, sometimes they smile back. 🙂

keep smiling

 

Reclaiming our culture from fossil fuels

The Reclaim Shakespeare Company is part of a growing movement of artivism – using the art form in the activism. The group challenges the sponsorship of the arts by fossil fuel companies with protest performance pieces. The subversive plays based on the form of art that is being sponsored are performed just before the official productions are due to begin. I spoke with writer, climate change researcher and artivist Danny Chivers about the group.

The Reclaim Shakespeare Company and Danny are now themselves portrayed as part of a new play about taking a stand for your conscience. You can watch performances of STAND at the Oxford Playhouse until the 8th of June.

What them in action at the British Museum.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXHJxTFTsj4

A new group BP Out of Opera recently did a lovely dance under pressure in London.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7eZrTbTMtg

Shell Out Sounds successfully sang songs at Shell sponsored events resulting in Shell’s sponsorship not being renewed.

If you are feeling inspired there are a number of groups under the Art Not Oil Coalition that you can join, or they can help you form a new one of your own!

Out damned logo out!

 

 

A walking university

During the tour walkers will be offering free courses and sessions. Here are some that we’ve got coming up!

If you’d like to offer a session or attend just email us.

What’s the law? – Knowing your rights, property law and the new civil rights movement. The first of these sessions will run around the 24th-26th May near Aylesbury/Milton Keynes with another at a later date.

Introduction to Mindfulness – Mindfulness is a way of changing your thought patterns and behaviours to influence your emotions and improve your life. In this weekend session, the first day will be an introduction to some aspects of the practice and the second will be a facilitated silent walk. End of June.

Poi – poi is a performance art where balls on cords are swung in intricate patterns. You can learn this at any point on the walk up until 6th June and possibly at later dates as well.

Conflict resolution – the methods and processes for peacefully resolving conflict. This one day session will run at some point before the 6th of June with the date depending upon interested persons.

Project management – a process and skills to help you get things done and organise your projects. This course can run at any point during the walk according to interest.

Banner making – what’s a good event without a banner? Practical chance to make a banner, please bring a sheet.

Campaign planning – what are some of the processes to go through when planning your own campaign?

Ethical investment – divestment

A cancer research charity would not invest in tobacco, it would be unethical. A peace group would not invest in arms. Where you put your money is where you put power, so if we want to create a healthy future we can’t invest in unhealthy things.

Money is a bit like energy, it’s only doing something when it’s flowing, so organisations and banks are constantly investing, and some of that money is going to fund the expansion of fossil fuel drilling. Even if we spend all day campaigning against climate change, our money may be quietly funding climate change. The process of removing money from unethical investments is called divestment.

The campaign for fossil fuel divestment worldwide is Fossil Free, and there are campaigns all over the UK. I spoke with Al about her work on the Fossil Free Oxfordshire campaign.

In Oxford on the 31st of May will be a rally to call for the City Council, the County Council and the universities to divest.