Part 3: Mobilising our intellectual, creative and political forces
Forging an internal path to change our system of values
In order to perceive a new vibrant and coherent future, we have to start by reconstructing the very foundations of our world vision, as well as recognising our mistakes and failures – namely the way we’ve treated the earth and other living beings for hundreds of years. We’ve got to change our way of thinking. We must transform ourselves from within and tell others about this transformation. And, this is the role of stories, which bring the outside world inside and our internal vision to the exterior. We think of loss in material terms without perceiving the living, immaterial profit of a life defined by sharing because we’re not reading the world through the correct framework of values. We need a system of principles that no longer values success in terms of acquisition and possessions, but rather in terms of respect for life.
Place to B’s Creative Factory
For two weeks in December 2015, the Creative Factory brought together artists, illustrators, photographers, writers, company founders and engaged citizens.
The aim? Reconsider our way of thinking to invent new stories and language around different themes like the relationship between man and nature.
Participants were intuitively searching to recreate a delicate and nuanced relationship with the Earth. “We made plants speak in the streets of Paris, we even planted some of them. We created a new language detailed with new concepts. We went from being beekeepers to planet keepers and then human keepers. We saw what an apartment block with interior gardens could look like. We started to weave new, collective fantasies invented by new rituals.”
Other articles about The Creative Factory include: New Climate Story at Creative Factory
Storytelling et écologie
During the Storytelling and Ecology workshop, organised with Eloi Saint Bris and Yvan Rytz, we questioned the idea of internal change.
How can we bring about an internal revolution to help us reject the gloomy destiny that seems to await us? Which “tick-tock, tick-tock” will drive us from being passive to taking action, from an internal to external revolution, from conforming worriedly to engaging with reality to build a vibrant future?
During the workshop, we lit a symbolic fire in the middle of a circle imagining that we were in the middle of a forest. We then shared our personal stories. During this extremely intense, collective experience, we shared a strong emotional connection, we got in touch with nature and this connection made us want to protect the living world in all its forms.
We then compared our experiences of internal transformation to the narrative diagram suggested by mythologist Joseph Campbell, known for his work on the mythology of heroes. For the writer, all forms of spirituality search for an unknown force that exists both internally and externally, a force in which everything exists and to which everything will return one day. He presented his theory of the “initiatory journey” in “The Hero with a Thousand Faces”. We analyzed our stories based on this theory and found that the majority of our journeys followed a path containing at least one part of the plan elaborated by the story specialist.
“Having to stand up against everything may well be easier than accepting yourself” wrote Marguerite Yourcenar. Unprecedented in the history of humanity, the current crisis forces us to acknowledge our limitations. It pushes us to re-evaluate our way of thinking and invent different ways of being happy, whilst respecting the life that carries us and of which we are a part. We are the heroes of a present that is looking for a dignified and happy future.
Check out the articles in the Storytelling and Ecology series:
- #1 Isabelle Delannoy – Co-Screenwriter of Home
- #2 Anne-Sophie Novel – Journalist and Founder of Place to B
- #3 Cyril Dion et Mélanie Laurent – Directors of Demain
- #4 Mireille Pacquet – Professor of Storytelling
- #5 Tristan Lecomte – Founder of Alter Eco and Pur Projet
- #6 Vaia Tuuhia – Storytelling Workshops for OurLife21
- Place to B – Workshop on Storytelling & ecology
And now, it’s over to you, how do think the tree people can be saved?