How much of ourselves do we sacrifice for the love of stuff?
Modern life can be glossy, competitive and obsessed with the consumerist ideal that ‘the more you buy - the more you’re worth’, but even raw human connections can be as polished and fake as the grinning nuclear family in a cereal advert. We are as packed and prepared as the things we own, oven ready for unrelenting judgment in the court of social-media, but at what detriment to the planet? When happiness becomes confused with owning more things, we start to become things ourselves.
’For The Love Of Stuff’ will aim to inspire action for change, by starting conversations about how we can eradicate some of the bad habits that have and are having a negative effect on the environment. We invite the public to laugh, cry and sing along with us through our vibrant, entertaining and moving theatre show, ultimately encouraging them to open up and be sensitive to the world around them - to feel gratitude and care for our planet (and each other). We hope after seeing the show, people will be inspired to join our campaign to make a change.
"I initially started to make a conscious effort to change some of my lifestyle choices when my daughter was born five years ago, realising just how much waste is being created through our everyday lives and in particular when we have children. Starting by investing in reusable nappies and using small cloths instead of baby wipes. Anything that wasn’t reusable was biodegradable - which yes, is usually more expensive but not in comparison to the overall cost of buying, even the cheapest nappies and wipes regularly over two and a half years, and I was determined not to add to the ridiculous amounts of waste already created from the use of disposables. This was the start of my own serious journey, to attempt to become plastic free and conscious of the environmental impact of my existence on this planet.
Any plastic waste we had, that couldn’t be recycled, we started to make into eco bricks - putting small bits of plastic and cellophane inside larger plastic bottles. I started doing this without really knowing what I would build with them but then one day a friend asked and I replied, in jest ‘I dunno, maybe it will be the set for my next show?’. We laughed about it but then clearly, it triggered an idea in my brain and from that point onwards I started to dream about a new outdoor theatre show, telling a story that would be set in a dystopian future, where plastic had infiltrated our lives so much so, that we didn’t know where our veins began and the plastic ended, a world where we’d lost all sight of what it meant to be human and humane and became so disconnected from nature that any other living thing on the planet scared us. Destroying our planet and ourselves all ‘For The Love Of Stuff’.
I aim to put the voice of younger generations at the forefront of this project, starting by giving the opportunity to 19 year old student illustrator/animator Lea Dekany, who's creative work is inspired by nature and environmental issues, to design a poster for our promotional materials. I plan to commision more young people to amplify their voices through some form of creative expression and by leading creative workshops with schools and youth groups. My ambition is, that during the creation/making and touring in 2022/23, participants will be given the opportunity to perform in the show, alongside professional dancers, actors and musicians. I will also be creating documentary type films that highlight younger generations' concerns about the climate crisis and our throwaway society, finding out what they know about it and what they think we should do about it. Afterall, it is their future that we are trying to change and I believe it is their voices that canl have the biggest impact on what we do about it, if we give them a chance to speak. I want to encourage everyone to take responsibility for the damage that has been done and to make at least one change to contribute to a bigger movement. Spend money differently, throwaway less, eat less meat and fish, reuse and recycle, to do something imperfectly rather than nothing at all and ultimately care about the planet and each other more. My five year old said to me just today, "if we take care of the planet, it will take care of us" and I couldn't agree more.
This fund will contribute to all of our work on this project - the creation of the show and dance, theatre, media and music workshops with young people in the community, helping us to gain support and larger funds from other sources, such as Arts Council England.
Anything you're able to give will be gratefully received, however large or small.
"No one is too small to make a difference" (Greta Thunberg)