Timed to take place just before the intergovernmental climate conference COP26, Sensing the Planet will highlight issues of race and environmental harm as well as the role played by the UK, most prominently the south-west of England, in histories of slavery, empire and climate breakdown. It will also champion the role of interdisciplinary culture in imagining new futures built on principles of sustainability and justice, bringing together leading decolonial thinkers, artists and activists including headline speakers Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Paul Gilroy, Alexis Pauline Gumbs and Philippe Sands.
programme of events
friday 29 – sunday 31 october: sensing the planet symposium
Join leading decolonial thinkers, artists and activists for a truly unique symposium.
Timed to take place just before the intergovernmental climate conference COP26, Sensing the Planet will highlight issues of race and environmental harm as well as the role played by the UK, most prominently the south-west of England, in histories of slavery, empire and climate breakdown. It will also champion the role of interdisciplinary artists in imagining new futures built on principles of sustainability and justice.
Earth Talk: Bristol Decolonising Network
course: Decolonising the Curriculum
workshop: Forensic Architecture
Working at the intersections of technology, political engagement and creative practice, Forensic Architecture (FA) has emerged in recent years as an icon of new possibilities for visualising and prosecuting environmental crimes. Nabil Ahmed and Imani Jacqueline Brown, decolonial artists associated with FA, offer participants an intimate and in-depth insight into the approach, methodologies and practices they have engaged within this field, to offer strategies for naming and evidencing ecocide.
course: Lessons for Liberation
A reflective interspecies writing intensive with queer black troublemaker, Alexis Pauline Gumbs. Participants will experience a set of writing activities based on Alexis’s research into the survival techniques of underwater mammals, documented in her recent book, Undrowned: Black Feminist Lessons from Marine Mammals.
live music: Shifa + Elaine Mitchener
Shifa, from the Arabic word for healing, is a new trio (Pat Thomas, Rachel Musson and Mark Sanders) born out of old musical partnerships from the ever shifting sands of the UK improvised music scene.
Elaine Mitchener is an experimental vocalist, movement artist and composer, whose work encompasses improvisation, contemporary music theatre and performance art.
8pm – late
Black Atlantic DJ Sessions
8pm – late
Land:Scapes (guided walks)
Follow Jason Singh through the beautiful gardens at Dartington, absorbing sound, shifting gradients, temperature and smell to inspire reflection.
22-24 Oct, various times
26-31 Oct, various times
pier kids 
Filmed between 2011 and 2016, it follows Casper, Desean, and Krystal, three homeless queer black youth as they navigate the streets of Manhattan’s Chelsea Piers, welfare, and their biological families in order to find stable housing. Along the way, Bratton brings light to an underground community and what it means to be black and queer in America, 50 years after Stonewall and against a backdrop of police brutality, gentrification and financial precarity.
26 Oct – 3 Nov, various times
An agent of the British government, Sir William Walker (Brando) is sent to the fictional 1800s Caribbean island of Queimada for a three-part mission: to trick its enslaved people into revolt, to divert the sugar trade to England, and then return its people to servitude.
Sometimes recalling an Errol Flynn swashbuckler, Burn! nevertheless refuses to shift focus from its primary story: a devastating indictment of imperialistic nations – here, 19th century Portugal and Britain; but by implication, also the United States, and the country’s contemporaneous involvement in the Vietnam war.
27-31 Oct, various times
Summer of soul [12A]
Summer of Soul shines a light on the importance of history to our spiritual well-being and stands as a testament to the healing power of music during times of unrest, both past and present. The feature includes concert performances by Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Sly & the Family Stone, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Mahalia Jackson, B.B. King, The 5th Dimension and more.
30 Oct 4 Nov, various times