‘This is a true story.
Two friends stand admiring something.
I’m not actually sure what they are admiring. I think that it is a building – a Gothic Cathedral, stone arches, buttresses and towers soaring.
But it could be a bridge. I’m picturing Clifton Suspension Bridge, though it could be the Forth Road Bridge.
Perhaps it is a machine, or an engine. I know that one of the friends likes vehicles.
It could equally be a painting, maybe something by Pollock, or Picasso’s Guernica or anything by Paula Rego. Or a sculpture – perhaps the figures on Crosby beach.
Let’s say that it is a building. And they are admiring it.
The first friend says, “It’s amazing, isn’t it, to think that this was built by ordinary people.”
“Yes, but,” says the second friend, “everything is done by ordinary people.”
– Alex Kelly, Third Angel
‘The world’s going to shits. Ruins. All down the drain. At least, that’s what it looks like to me. And what can we do about it? “Fucking nothing,” is what I hear a lot for an answer.
I disagree. Strongly.
What’s art got to do with the downfall of the world? Everything, I’d say. We’re all enacting stories. Every day, all the time. Because it’s part of the human condition, because we need them as much as air and food. What else is art than a form of dealing with the world and our lives in it?
Basically it’s like this: we depend on heart-wrenching, thought-provoking, visionary stories and world views, told and presented by passionate, fierce performers, writers and artists. That might actually be the only chance we’ve got. All of us, whether so-called professionals or not. Because in society as a social sculpture as Joseph Beuys called it, we’re all artists. And desperately needed.’
– Isa Maubach, Forest Fringe
‘The deed is everything, the glory naught. (Goethe)’
‘This is the Gift Manifesto.
We live in an age of rampant capitalism.
An age when the laws of the market pervade our every interaction – financial, political, social, personal.
An age when we can understand our relationship with the world only in terms of value and return. When all is reduced to a commodifiable transaction.
There is no alternative, no escape, because this is not simply a system that surrounds us, it is one that we embody, and perpetuate with nearly every thought and gesture.
In such an age the gift is a radical gesture. A tiny rupture in our understanding of the world. A space opened up to think differently. To exist differently. To relate to each other differently.
Giving is a revolutionary act.
But we have forgotten how to give properly.
So this manifesto is a guide.
A guide to radical giving.
Do not do unto other as you would have them do unto you. This is not giving it is a transaction.
Do not pay it forward. This is not giving, it is a balance sheet.
Do not give to those in need of your gift. Those who will suffer without it. This is not giving, this is common decency.
Give when nobody asked
Give when nobody expected
Give in the unlikeliest of circumstances
Give to the unlikeliest of recipients
Give to those who don’t want your gift.
Give when it inconveniences you
Give when it pains you
Give in imaginative, radical, impossible ways.
Give in ways that don’t even look like giving.
Gestures become strategies become ways of living.
A few well placed gifts could change the world.’
– Andy Field, Forest Fringe
‘I believe that the world is fundamentally corrupt. And when I say the world I don’t mean our communities. When I say the world I mean institutions – any institution – because I believe that the moment that people and lives are made into something that can easily be filed away onto a piece of paper they are not people, they are pieces of paper, and pieces of paper are easy to dispose of, to disappoint, to misfile.
I believe that the only truly beautiful things I own are gifts. I do not believe in buying gifts for myself. But I do believe in ensuring my own survival.
I believe that advertising makes it virtually impossible to be a good person or to do the right thing – I believe we are being constantly exposed to easy options, that we are trapped in a system that does not serve human beings – not good human beings, not bad human beings, in truth it serves no one. And I believe that the people who argue that this is incorrect know that they are lying to themselves. And are not truly happy with what is easy.
I believe that anything worthwhile is as difficult as it is valuable. But that this rule should not apply to the default setting of a relationship.
I believe that we live in a society that is unsustainable, and that change is coming and it won’t be easy.
And I believe that in light of this, nothing is more important than kindness. You will only meet so many people in your life, even if you are aware of these very big, very confusing things. I believe in caring about each other.
I believe we are all at bottom compassionate people who want to build together, who want to work together, who want to care together.
There is a very annoying man next to me who is challenging this belief. But I’m doing my best. I believe in doing your best. He just apologized. I believe he meant it.’
– Deborah Pearson, Forest Fringe
‘I HAVE NO INTEREST IN TELLING YOU WHAT ANYTHING IS. I HAVE NO INTEREST IN TELLING YOU WHAT I THINK IS RIGHT OR WRONG. THE ONLY THINGS THAT EXIST ARE ENERGY, AMBITION, AND THE DETERMINATION NOT TO LET YOURSELF DOWN BY WALKING AWAY BEFORE THE JOB IS DONE. DO NOT GIVE UP. DO NOT LEAVE YOUR IDEAS HALF-BORN. DO NOT WALK AWAY. BECAUSE OTHERWISE THE ONLY ONES LEFT GOING FORWARD ARE THE CUNTS OF THIS WORLD. AND IF WE GIVE UP AND FADE INTO THE BACKGROUND, THEIR VOICES WILL BE LOUD AND THEIR SIGNAL WILL BE ON ALL THE FREQUENCIES. DO NOT STOP. DO NOT STOP. OR THEY WILL WIN.’
– Chris Thorpe, Unlimited Theatre
(…these are what I read when I Get Stuck…xx…)