Writing

  1.  

     

    Now I am come to praise my father Wayland

    – or rather, our father, who art now in the chalk earth downs of Wiltshire,

    and also in the sun, the rain and the wind that ripples through the leaves and sails,

    in the laugh of an infant and the slap of a wave

    and the arc of a gull across the sky..

     

     

    Mere words are small, for the mysteries of life and death

    and for the hollow loss that our physical, emotional selves have been feeling.

    There is really very little to be said

     

     

    I could say that I miss him

    and am made of him

    and that he’s changed in form..

    Our Wayland’s there – not here.

    Becoming ancestor.

     

     

    One of the strong ones

    who brought us here to this time, this place, these ways

    and may be remembered always…

     

     

    I think our dad was one who tried,

    and oftentimes succeeded,

    in good company

    to honour dignity and truth

    and our natural lust for life.

     

     

    Progeny of priests, and pirate admirals, a sculptor and politician

    Son of Bill and Kathleen,

    younger brother of Pete,

    husband only of Liz,

    father of Easter, Emily, Mopsa, Thoby, Louisa, and me,

     

     

    Grandpa of many, becoming great,

    friend, colleague, inspiration,

    and generally good man to countless unnamed others.

    It’s strange, and good, to have parents known beyond their circles

    – to share the wisdom, joy, and sadness.. and the mystery

     

     

    No one here has the full picture, no words can sum him up,

    there are thoughts and prayers for him today in an LA Buddhist temple,

    in India, in Africa, Australia… one quoted:

    “When Wayland would tell stories of his life, he was for me like 'that low door in the wall... which opened on an enclosed and enchanted garden'” 

     

     

    The picture I offer too is partial,

    that of a child and rebellious but devoted daughter.

    By the time I came to know him

    he was statesman, chairman, spokesman, writer, editor,

    activist and mentor, walker, sailor, linguist,

    lover of the sun and water and land,

    maker of fires and protector of old stones,

    wise to the birds and wind,

     

     

    a traveller in mind and word and body…

    he was born quite lucky, with reasonable wealth if not always health

    and grew up situated and partial, tetchy as the best of us,

    but always interested, erudite, appreciative, concerned, and open-hearted when he could.

     

     

    Iridescent, said one tribute,

    that came from the Parliamentary Office for Science and Technology,

    an organisation Dad helped to create,

    educating lawmakers about such very practical matters..

     

     

    It’s an unusual inheritance, to be raised

    with the ways of banning female genital mutilation discussed over dinner,

    and a prime minister over for tea,

    knowing landmarks like this church and St Pancras wouldn’t be here now but for Dad,

    in the 1960s he ensured there were stopping places for travellers,

    there’s even a rumour he made a call that let the Rolling Stones play in Hyde Park.

     

     

    Where our uncle Peter worked to create conservation areas

    Wayland and Liz worked for arms control,

    pushed government to avoid the ‘dangerous precedent’ of paying people not to pollute

    saying instead that industry everywhere needs to plan for systemic nature protection.

    Had this sane approach been adopted since the 60s

    more potential guests might be here today.

    Several now are across the sea in Copenhagen,

    still trying to make polluters pay …

     

     

    Oh it’s not just Eros been denied, as dad knew well,

    but the straight talking, life-giving whole of life

    from which we take so much without giving back

    and of which we are so much a part.

     

     

    Our father’s name was Wayland Young

    and with our Mum, Elizabeth

    and also Nanny, Ellen,

    he tried to show not only us, his Young,

    a good Way to be in this Land.

     

    Wayland is an old name,

    Wayland the Smith,

    From the myths of these our Northern lands.

    A craftsman, son of a sea-giantess,

    blessed with a talent for beauty,

    he was trapped and made to work,

    but given feathers, flew high, and escaped…

     

     

    Among his last words, that strange dark sacred night that Dad departed:

    ‘shall we go up’?

     

     

    When I was small and walking in the park ,

    I would often seek out feathers - ‘a feffa for my faffa’.

    Each feather I see now reminds me of my dad..

     

     

    …that kind and clever man who gathered us up and shaped us,

    challenged and frustrated us,

    encouraged and protected us.

    Some of his jokes may have been the worst

    but he made the tastiest chips in the world

    and welcomed our strangest friends.

     

     

    And giving, loving, loving so

    his wife and friends and family

    and homes and place and history,

    and justice, and wholeness, and peace,

    And music and writing and books and ideas, and young people having fun

    and democracy and that really interesting new person he met just last night…,

    holding fast to what is good from the past while glorying in the present…

    and welcoming the best of the wondrous new.

     

     

    We may remember him writing, at work in grand old buildings

    in conversation over a fine long dinner

    maybe sailing an Italian lake ..

    or walking, always walking (a writer needs to walk he said)

    in Kensington Gardens or the welcoming Wiltshire downs

    or soaking up the sun like the beneficent Leo he was

     - the family would say he only need look at his passport to get a tan..

     

     

    In his last years,

    during the ‘long goodbye’ as some would call dementia,

    many trees in the park would become the ‘most beautiful’,

    the dog, the ‘friendliest ever’,

    people, the ‘cleverest and nicest’ too.

    The core of him, as it reduced , was ever kind, and warm, and funny

     

     

    He’d dive deep into memory

    or the music of Bach, or Faure

    eyes closed, entranced.. delighted..

    or play his fine strong piano while we readied to go out

    or dance, drinking wine and chatting for hours

    before settling down with Liz.

     

     

    At times he would lament decline

    and weep for other old people,

    the lonely and the destitute

    who lack the comforts he had.

     

     

    Other times our Dad would quote a Yoruba man

    who, when asked what something nearby was,

    had told him simply ‘Nachar’.

     

     

     

     

    Dad died at Beltaine, early May,

    time of wild fertility, when heart fire burns so fresh and strong

    that one day one old, old, worn out, patched up heart,

    just couldn’t take it any more, and stopped.

     

     

    That was the heart of a bright-eyed blond and baby boy,

    child who became the man we knew and loved,

    and mourn and celebrate today

    so much more than these few words can express…

     

     

    There aren’t many men around like Wayland.

    In fact, from this year, there are none.

     

     

    But what there are, is the millions of us,

    his friends and family, colleagues and allies

    and more that I have forgotten to name.

    however it is that we knew or knew of him, and came to be here today,

    we each of us embody and reflect his same mission to connection

    with that source from which we all came,

    and to which we will eventually return.

     

     

    And while we live, and strive, and love

    tell our tales and honour the ancestors and dance

    He’s with us, and among the others passed this way.

     

     

    The shine has now gone from our Wayland’s eyes,

    And that is difficult to know,

    but bluebells their colour

    will grow in the west woods

    at the time of year that he died.

     

     

    Thank You.

     

     

  2. What other ways than religion are there to organize our spiritual needs and answer life's big questions? To live more sustainably, maybe it's time to stop prostituting our moral compass to the promises of diverse priests....

     

    A Challenge Paper for the Schumacher Institute

     

  3. Abstract. Alternative media form an important part of the global mediascape. Research on this phenomenon is, however, often drawn from studies in the ‘global North’. In this paper we discuss alternative media in the ‘global South’, by exploring two case studies of cooperation between Northern and Southern partners: IFIWatchnet in South America, and Indymedia Centre in Africa. We highlight how Northern and Southern partners differed in identity, organizational forms, and accountability. We find that Northern partners were oriented to more ‘marginal’ identities, fluid organizational structures, and informal structures of accountability. In contrast, Southern activists articulated more ‘mainstream’ identities, relied on more structured forms, and linked to formalized modes of accountability. The result was often significant clashes over what it meant to be alternative media, how alternative media should be organized, and how people should be held to account. This meant that North – South cooperation was often fraught with struggle. These difficulties are reminiscent of the limitations of creating global cooperation through seeking to spread modes of activist organization developed in the North, which emphasize autonomy, networks, fluidity, and, in some instances, direct action. Authors:  Fabian Frenzel, Steffen Boehm, Pennie Quinton, André Spicer, Sian Sullivan, Zoe Young

  4. Article on the Global Environment Facility and making our films 'Suits and Savages' in the special issue of Current Conservation (Volume 3, Issue 3) on 'Displaced and Disobedient Knowledge', Spring 2010.

  5. Upsetting the Offset, Mayfly Books 2009.

     

    This book engages critically with the political economy of carbon markets. It presents a range of case studies and critiques from around the world, showing how the scam of carbon markets affects the lives of communities. But the book doesn’t stop there. It also presents a number of alternatives to carbon markets which enable communities to live in real low-carbon futures.

  6. Doth a leaf protest its changing colour
    Or mourn when time it comes to fall?
    Might the moon resist its waning
    Or tides raise struggle 'gainst the ebb?
    Would the sun tire of its journeys
    Or days lament the dwindling light?
    What eats, excretes
    Whoever lives, becomes an ancestor
    Whatever grows, will wither and decay
    Why is decline so hard for us who grew to face?
    Changing coloured leaves give space for beauty
    Their leaf mould, more to earth
    Cycles of the moon shape lives of woman,
    The tides leave fertile edge for all
    Sunset - and man can lay to rest
    Evening.. evening.. evening.. fall.

  7. Contributions to Tactical Technology Collective's "Message in a Box" Video Toolkit, 2008

  8. The Transmission Metadata Standard” with Mick Fuzz in Deptford.TV Diaries II - Pirate Strategies, 2008

  9. Written with Tim Forsyth, Mute, 2007, republished in Eurozine, 2009.
    In its current form, cap-and-trade amounts to a system that interferes with development patterns in the South to offset carbon emissions resulting from "business as usual" in the North. Politics should be seeking alternatives to the trading model.

  10. In ECO - The Voice of the NGO Community in International Environmental Negotiations.

    CoP of the Convention on Biological Diversity, March 2006

  11. Tamáss echoes Gödel’s theorem: ‘no theories, no forms … can be up to the phenomenological complexity of contemporary Beirut’; something similar is true of all globalising cities, from Los Angeles’s segregated dream factories to occupied Baghdad. Like military, religious or corporate strategists, intellectuals conceptually map as they observe. And like the post-war planners’ remaking of central Beirut as ‘a laboratory for current and future elaborations of global capitalism’, artists too leave blank areas beyond care, co-option or comprehension.

  12.  

    Beach Buffs and Film Combers” Illustrated article about the 'Bring Your Own Film Festival" on an Orissan beach, published in Mute, 2004.

  13. Agribusiness Invades Poland”, illustrated article on the ecological and economic consequences of expanding corporate pig 'factories' in former collective farms of Northern Poland, published in Mute magazine, 2004.

  14. With Glastonbury sanitised this year, the Big Green Gathering (BGG) drew in party people in search of Avalon’s freer spirit. They found a sorted little festival in Cheddar, Somerset – run mostly on wind and solar power – with music, info, art, permaculture, workshops and films. But organisation and self-control started to break down after dark. It was only afterwards that I discovered it was meant to be ‘alcohol free’.

  15. World Bank in a New Avatar - While the World Bank launches its ‘development gateway’, critics gear up to counter the ‘caring sharing knowledge bank’ that it strives to portray. Published in Down to Earth, New Delhi, 2002