What is Place by Place?
It is a global movement seeking to change our culture so that we can address the environmental crisis that is bearing down on us. It recognises that human beings have become estranged from the natural world and seeks to remake our connections with nature through using the ancient art of festival coupled to ongoing care for nature in our local area.
Does it matter what size of place we are?
One of our main aims is to include the mass of ordinary people who can all too easily feel that environmental concerns are out of reach of their daily lives or overwhelming in their demands. For that reason, we are emphasising small communities, where everyone naturally feels included. These can be anything from small towns, of several thousand people, to isolated villages with just a few hundred, but the important thing is that people feel a natural sense of belonging to this place. Cities would not join this movement as a city, but as individual neighbourhoods, which have their own unique culture and way of seeing the world.
Working with relatively small communities also has the advantage that looking after festivals and nature places will be relatively easy and manageable by a local voluntary group. It will also not require any great financial input or risk.
Can we join the Movement
All local communities, all around the world, are welcome to join the Movement. The essence of the movement is found in attitudes towards the Earth that are focused on celebration and deep respect, coupled to the two practices of festival and ongoing care of nature.
There is a logo that can be used to identify with the movement. It can be used in various forms including some that are constructed of natural materials. If you prefer to use your own symbolic identity, that is also fine. Every place that registers will be sent their own logo to use if they wish.
We are keen to emphasise local community ownership and initiative, so the central organisation of Place by Place will be minimal. We are suggesting that you develop your own ways of communicating, around your own initiatives and events and simply provide us with digital links to the content you would like to make known to the Movement. That way you always have control over how your neighbourhood is presented.
What sort of festival?
The key thing about a festival in this movement is that it is about celebration of our relationship with the Earth. There are three obvious core themes.
- Festival is an opportunity to work with people who can open our eyes and our hearts to our relationship with the Earth, like ecologists and naturalists.
- We might want to use music, parade and the visual arts to stimulate our imagination.
- Depending on the time of year, there may also be annual rhythms that can be recognised and celebrated, like solstice or equinox, harvest or springtime.
This website will highlight what places are doing at their festivals all around the world so that we can appreciate cultural differences and gain inspiring ideas.
What does it mean to care for nature?
Many local areas already have special places. They may be community orchards, veg growing initiatives, pieces of woodland or a wildlife corridor. They may be parks or streams, rivers or hills. But whatever they are, ‘care for nature’ implies that there is a deliberate attempt to give wildlife the deep respect it deserves and celebrate its flourishing. Such places can become for us, and for our imagination, a microcosm of the Earth.
This website will highlight stories about these nature-rich places and how important they have become to local communities.