A Journey Begins


Published on the blog for ‘the Dark Mountain Workshop’, a project I created during my time as leader of artistic development at Riksteatern, Sweden’s touring national theatre.

This October, as the leaves gather in the gutters of Stockholm, a gang of artists, writers, performers and theatre makers will set off on a journey in search of a cultural language capable of reframing the largest questions the world is facing.

The search will take us deep underground, into the places inside ourselves that never see daylight, the kingdoms of loss and longing, the dark soil in which love begins again.

Time works differently down here.

Down here you are still a child.
You are older than the mountains.
You are bones that have shed their name.
You are waiting to be born.
All of this is happening always.

A thin thread of story is the safety line between us and forever: the memory of an upper world where cars wait at traffic lights and carry in their tanks the remains of ancient sea creatures, where cafes serve drinks brewed from beans shipped halfway around the world, and all of this looks as though it could go on forever.

It will not go on forever. We know this and we don’t know how to know this, how to make it real to ourselves, how to imagine what it is that will go on.

At night, this knowing and unknowing comes to us and takes the place of sleep.

This is what has brought us here, together, to this journey.

By Dougald Hine

Dougald Hine