We begin our journey exploring time, place, and interconnectedness. In her talk, 'An Islander Adrift on a Continent' Leny discusses longing for home and the disconnection to place caused by colonisation. In Andreas' session, the concept of islands is used as a metaphor to highlight the interconnectedness of living beings and the ongoing process of self-creation. This module emphasises the relationship between separation and connection, inviting us to consider our place in the world and our shared existence.
In module two, we explore interconnectedness, hidden histories, and the transformative power of poetry. Anna Arabindan-Kesson examines the global plantation within the British Empire, delving into its entanglements and visual cultures. David Whyte discusses how poetry allows us to uncover and express our hidden selves, empowering us to engage with the world and take meaningful action. In the third session, Maureen Penjueli reflects on the "other" through the exploration of bacteria and viruses, offering lessons in kinship and the interplay between foreignness and shared humanity.
Iain McGilchrist and Himali Singh Soin explore perception, cultural synthesis, and the celebration of difference. In the first session, Iain discusses the balance between sameness and difference in perception, drawing on his research into hemisphere differences in the brain. Next, Himali shares a mythopoetic memo about the space between the shore and the tide, illegibility, and translucency as an erotic way back into our new-natural.
In module four, we consider relationships with the more-than-human and the significance of kinship. Bathsheba Demuth describes the changing dynamics of human-whale relationships, from Indigenous hunters to commercial whaling ships, and Angaangaq Angakkorsuaq discusses the importance of unity and acceptance in a world that has become divided. He highlights the need for harmonious living and calls upon young people to learn how to build relationships and relate to one another.
This module explores archipelagos, islands, and local cultures. Craig Santos Perez focuses on the significance of archipelagos in Pacific Islander literature, highlighting kinship, traditional knowledge, and decolonisation. David Gange examines the interconnectedness of island spaces through small family boats, emphasising alternative ways of being beyond growth-based economics.
To close our journey, Alastair McIntosh reflects on the interconnectedness and interdependence of living on the island of Lewis, highlighting the value of nurturing the soul and creating positive change. Kailea Frederick emphasises the importance of bridging worlds and identities in a divided society, using storytelling and writing prompts to encourage self-reflection and understanding.