Detail from Dark Mountain by Rima Staines

I first came across the Dark Mountain project through Rima Staines’ excellent blog as she was responsible for the cover design of their latest book.
The text on the back cover struck a chord with me, and reads –

“Welcome to the end of the world as we know it,
The advertised future has been cancelled,
due to unforseen circumstances.
All around us there are signs that our whole
way of living is passing into history.
This is a book about what we do next.”

As the authors put it in their manifestoUncivilisation‘ – It is, it seems, our civilisation’s turn to experience the inrush of the savage and the unseen; our turn to be brought up short by contact with untamed reality. There is a fall coming. We live in an age in which familiar restraints are being kicked away, and foundations snatched from under us. After a quarter century of complacency, in which we were invited to believe in bubbles that would never burst, prices that would never fall, the end of history, the crude repackaging of the triumphalism of Conrad’s Victorian twilight – Hubris has been introduced to Nemesis. Now a familiar human story is being played out. It is the story of an empire corroding from within. It is the story of a people who believed, for a long time, that their actions did not have consequences. It is the story of how that people will cope with the crumbling of their own myth. It is our story.”


Reading this, I can’t help wondering how many countless times this fall has played out down the ages, and whether there were those who could see it coming. As the Roman empire began to fall apart, were there some who had the foresight to prepare, or do these things simply creep up on us when we are too busy to see them?
My hope lies with the Transitioners, Diggers, Travellers, Low-Impacters, Campaigners, and perhaps most importantly with the Dreamers. They are the ones who dare to think the unthinkable, which once thought, makes the previously impossible, possible. Without them, we would most definitely be lost. Without them, I would never have dared to dream, and wouldn’t be sitting here in the sun, at the back of our truck-house, watching the swallows, making plans to live in a wooden house of our own making, somewhere on a hill in another country altogether. I thank them all.



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