CategoryConversations

Believing in Holidays: A Conversation with Elizabeth Slade

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Published on Dark Mountain’s Online Edition to accompany the release of SANCTUM, a special issue on ‘the sacred’. Extract from ‘The God-Shaped Hole’ by Elizabeth Slade We sit on cushions in a circle, about 25 of us surrounding one lit candle. Each of us is invited to place a personal object in the middle. Some put jewellery, a hat, a piece of quartz. I stay still, very conscious...

We Are the Only Species We Have the Option of Being: A Conversation With Anne Tagonist

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Published in Dark Mountain: Issue 9. A couple of weeks before COP21, I did an interview with an American radio station. They set me up against another guest, a professor at Yale who specialises in the psychology of climate communication. I don’t know what my credentials were meant to be, on this occasion, except that the producer said, ‘I spend a lot of time interviewing people...

The Limits to Measurement: A Conversation With Christopher Brewster

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These days, people talk a lot about ‘the art of hosting’, but that is only one half of the dance of hospitality: there is an art of guesting, too. I can say this with conviction, because I have been a lousy guest, in my time, and lately I’ve had the luck to live with someone who teaches me to notice the things that make a person easy to have around: the moments at which an artful guest steps...

Dealing With Our Own Shit: A Conversation With Gustavo Esteva

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Published in Dark Mountain: Issue 4. There were eagles riding the air overhead as we took the backroad out of San Pablo Etla to the Casa Esteva. The taxi driver had left us at the crossroads: at ease in the highspeed free-for-all of the highway, he had no desire to risk his exhaust on the unpaved road ahead, so a young man from one of the neighbouring households drove down to collect us. It was...

Coming to Our Animal Senses: A Conversation with David Abram

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In the opening pages of The Spell of the Sensuous, David Abram stands in the night outside his hut in Bali, the stars spread across the sky, mirrored from below in the water of the rice paddies, and countless fireflies dancing in between. This disorientating abundance of wonder is close to what many of his readers have felt on encountering Abram’s words and his way of making sense of the world.

Black Elephants & Skull Jackets: A Conversation with Vinay Gupta

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Published in Dark Mountain: Issue 1. Before I know who he is, Vinay Gupta has started telling me about his plan to start a small African country. The drug factory is the important part, apparently – that and the Gurkha mercenaries. We’re sitting on the bare floorboards of a townhouse in Mayfair: five storeys of gilded mirrors, marble hallways, handpainted Chinese wallpaper and furniture that...

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