The role(s) of art under the shadow of climate change


In 2015-16, I had the opportunity to spend two years working with Riksteatern, Sweden's touring national theatre, as leader of artistic and audience development. Part of my brief was to bring together practitioners from within and beyond the world of the performance arts to explore the role(s) of art under the shadow of climate change.

Childish Things


It was September and I hadn’t seen Ruben all summer, but there he was, the same as ever, gangly and lounging, his hair cropped almost to the bone, his eyes alert; a kid from the wrong side of town who turns the skills his childhood taught him into art.

You Want It Darker


The regular mechanisms of political narration are breaking down. The pollsters lose confidence in their methods, the pundits struggle to offer authoritative explanations for events that they laughed off as wild improbabilities only months before.

The Shield of Perseus


‘Julian and Theo met among a million protesters in a rally by chance.’ The camera glances across a collage of news clippings on the wall of the house in the woods. Among them, an ageing photograph of a sea of placards, the slogan familiar: Not In My Name.

Introduction to the Fifth Anniversary Edition of the Dark Mountain Manifesto


It is unusual for a twenty-page, self-published pamphlet to be given a two-page lead review in the New Statesman, and rarer still for that pamphlet to start a cultural movement that the New York Times can introduce to its readers as ‘changing the environmental debate in Britain and the rest of Europe.’ Yet those are two of the more public markers of the strange journey taken by this manifesto in...

The Crossing of Two Lines


The walls of the house on the Antešić land at Rab were built in the last years of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, but three generations would go by, and two wars, before it came to have a roof. They were a metre thick, those walls, made of local stone, the openings in places no architect would think to put them. It was the brothers Stjepan and Mile Antešić who began the building. On the island, the...

Remember the Future?


Published in Dark Mountain: Issue 2. I am retracing my steps, trying to work out where I last saw it. In the north of Moscow, there is a park called VDNKh. It was built in the1930s, under Stalin, and then rebuilt in the 1950s as an Exhibition of the Achievements of the National Economy. An enormous site, full of gilded statues, fountains and pavilions dedicated to different industries and...