What if we were invited to imagine our future lives, homes and cities with excitement and hope?
For many of us at this point in time, the future looms dark in our imaginations. Emissions keep rising, biodiversity shrinks, inequality widens. Paying attention is painful, dystopian visions abound and clamour for space in our minds. But, under the noise and smoke, many hands are hard at work, building better ways of being from plans drawn up both new, evolving and ancient, plans that have justice as their foundation and a thriving, safe future as the goal.
What if these plans for the thriving future became widely available? With accessible language, beautiful art and friendly faces to discuss and plot new plans with?
What if these hubs of information, inclusivity and imagination popped up in a park, or a high street corner, or place of worship? What if they could easily replicate, creating a network of ideas, inspiration and collective community power?
With seed funding generously provided by Transitions Network's Bounce Forward project and the Lotteries Community Fund, in partnership with Transition Leytonstone, we have been busily establishing the foundations of our Hubs of Resilience idea - HubRen*. Building a website, recruiting volunteers, writing and researching, commissioning artists and designers to visually bring to life the ideas and concepts. As these things often go, the vision has grown beyond the scope of the original funding, and we now need some extra help to..
1) Pay more artists.
2) Design and build a most beautiful bike trailer or cargo tricycle, that unfolds up and out like a theatrical pop-up book into a hybrid art installation/information desk/outdoor reading room.
Inspired by creatively reimagined cargo trikes such as Portland's Icicle Tricycles (below left) Cleveland Public Library's Book Bike (below right), it will be a beautiful roving structure that invites curiosity, encouraging people passing by to stop for a while, explore ideas, share their thoughts and feelings, imagine a better, safer world and be directed towards all the local groups already engaged in the work of bringing that world to life.
Our longer term plans are to create a network of hubs, but our first one will be based in Waltham Forest, London UK, roving about between Leytonstone and Walthamstow, further afield if invited. If the goodwill of our donors extends beyond our funding goal, any extra money will go towards building and establishing hubs in other communities, paying more artists, and developing and holding participatory workshops to facilitate community created poster resources. Expressions of interest have already come in from South Lambeth and Yorkshire!
If you are involved in the bike/trike/trailer building and modifying community and have ideas or offers of design/build advice or help, we'd love to hear from you.
Are you an artist with a deep sense of care for community and planet? We are commissioning creatives to illustrate posters that explore themes such as Green New Deal, The Interconnectedness of All Things, Biodiversity, Reparations and on.
So, would you like to see this wheeled island of positive visioning, solutions, understanding and imagination roll up and unfurl in a public space near you? Of course you do! To make that happen, please chip in and share.
Sadly, we don't have a rewards system in place like a lot of crowdfunders out there, but we promise to hold a super bangin' launch party that you will be invited to (everything eventually being covid safe of course).
*Ren - a neo-Confucian term meaning the sense of love arising out of an embodied realization of one's intrinsic connectedness with all other beings in the universe. Jeremy Lent, The Patterning Instinct