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Issue 263
November/December 2010
Apostles of Beauty

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Dark Mountain Project
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Image courtesy: Dark Mountain Project

Image courtesy: Dark Mountain Project

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Dark Mountain Project

Dark Mountain: Issue 1. Dougald Hine & Paul Kingsnorth (eds), 2010, hardback, 260pp. ISBN 9780956496003. Literature that goes deep into the roots of our culture.

The Dark Mountain Movement is a ‘new cultural movement for an age of global disruption.’ Including artists, writers, craftspeople, scientists and other makers, thinkers and doers, the Dark Mountain movement seeks to imaginatively and creatively respond to the reality of the current state of being in the world.

Material decline, social and political uncertainty, and ecological collapse are often denied, and business as usual is taken for granted. But the Dark Mountain Movement calls us to carve out new stories, question failings, face up to the future and reflect on our place in the world.

This has led to the formation of a set of principles; the ‘Principles of Uncivilisation’, and it is these principles, laid out below, that underpin the work of the Dark Mountain Project.

Eight Principles of Uncivilisation

1. We live in a time of social, economic and ecological unravelling. All around us are signs that our whole way of living is already passing into history. We will face this reality honestly and learn how to live with it.

2. We reject the faith which holds that the converging crises of our times can be reduced to a set of ‘problems’ in need of technological or political ‘solutions’.

3. We believe that the roots of these crises lie in the stories we have been telling ourselves. We intend to challenge the stories which underpin our civilisation: the myth of progress, the myth of human centrality, and the myth of our separation from ‘nature’. These myths are more dangerous for the fact that we have forgotten they are myths.

4. We will reassert the role of story-telling as more than mere entertainment. It is through stories that we weave reality.

5. Humans are not the point and purpose of the planet. Our art will begin with the attempt to step outside the human bubble. By careful attention, we will reengage with the non-human world.

6. We will celebrate writing and art which is grounded in a sense of place and of time. Our literature has been dominated for too long by those who inhabit the cosmopolitan citadels.

7. We will not lose ourselves in the elaboration of theories or ideologies. Our words will be elemental. We write with dirt under our finger nails.

8. The end of the world as we know it is not the end of the world full stop. Together, we will find the hope beyond hope, the paths which lead to the unknown world ahead of us.

Dark Mountain: Issue 1 The Dark Mountain project has now produced a book of Uncivilised writing and art. Dark Mountain: Issue 1 is a book-length collection of new writing that goes deep into the roots of our culture, addressing the questions raised by the Dark Mountain manifesto: what do we do after we stop pretending that our way of living can be made ‘sustainable’? And where do we find new stories with which to ground ourselves, as that way of living passes?

The book brings together a remarkable combination of thinkers, writers and artists whose work engages with these questions. Their essays, stories, poems and images are woven into a conversation which draws on a range of cultural and intellectual traditions.

Contributors include John Michael Greer, Jay Griffiths, Ran Prieur, Alastair McIntosh, Maria Stadtmueller, Simon Fairlie, Rupert Cathles, Chris Pak and Jeff Ollerton.

There is new fiction from Nick Hunt, Simon Lys and Paul Kingsnorth, alongside celebrations of great writers whose work offers possibilities for the unknown world ahead – Robinson Jeffers, Ursula le Guin, John Berger.

Poetry from Melanie Challenger, Mario Petrucci, Glynn Hughes, Louis Jenkins, JD Whitney, Adrienne Odasso, Mark Waters, Dan Grace, Charles Davies, Tony Walton, Seamus Brady, Tom Scott, Christine Bousfield, William Haas and Lewis Bassett.

The first in a series of Dark Mountain dialogues, features Anthony McCann interviewing Derrick Jensen and Vinay Gupta in conversation with Dougald Hine.

To find out more and purchase the book, visit: www.dark-mountain.net/join-us/dark-mountain-issue-1/ For more on the Dark Mountain project, see www.dark-mountain.net

Paul Kingsnorth is the co-founder of the Dark Mountain Project.

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