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Friday, March 14, 2014

The Dark Mountain Project


The Dark Mountain Project is a network of writers, artists and thinkers who have stopped believing the stories our civilisation tells itself. We see that the world is entering an age of ecological collapse, material contraction and social and political unravelling, and we want our cultural responses to reflect this reality rather than denying it.

The Project grew out of a feeling that contemporary art and literature were failing to respond honestly or adequately to the scale of our entwined ecological, economic and social crises. We believe that writing and art have a crucial role to play in coming to terms with this reality, and in questioning its foundations.
The Earth is currently undergoing what has been called, accurately, an ecocide. Industrial humanity is in the process of destroying much of life on Earth in order to feed its ever-advancing appetites. As it does so, it also destroys itself. We don’t believe that responses to this global reality can be confined, as they currently are, to the political, scientific or technological: they need to be cultural too. This is not a luxury, but a necessity.

The stories which any culture tells itself about its origins and values determine its direction and destination. The dominant stories of our culture tell us that humanity is separate from all other life and destined to control it; that the ecological and economic crises we face are mere technical glitches; that anything which cannot be measured cannot matter. But these stories are losing their power. We see them falling apart before our eyes.

New stories are needed for dark times. Older ones need to be rediscovered. The Dark Mountain Project was created to help this happen. We promote and curate writing, storytelling, art and music rooted in place, time and nature. We stand against the comforting narratives of our age. We aim to shake up our cultural establishment, and provide a home for writers and artists who are looking with honest eyes at the real state of the world.

It might also be useful to explain what Dark Mountain is not. It is not a campaign. It is not an ‘activist’ project, seeking to use writing or art to ‘save the planet’ or stop climate change. Rather, it is a creative space in which people can come to terms with the unravelling of much of the world we have all taken for granted, and engage in a conversation about what the future is likely to hold, without any need for pretence or denial.

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