2018 Summer Solstice Gathering

La Terre Institute for Community and Ecology
22500 Rue La Terre, Kiln, MS 39556
June 23-24, 2018

Saturday Schedule

Noon Arrival and Orientation Please arrive by Noon for introductions and information on La Terre Institute and the weekend’s activities.

1:00 Education for the Earth or Education for Empire? (John Clark) We are conditioned to become egocentric, anthropocentric, ethnocentric, nationalistic, acquisitive, competitive, defensive, distracted, hierarchical, patriarchal, statist, power-seeking beings. How can we recreate ourselves to be communal, compassionate, caring, creative, spontaneous, awakened, loving, empathetic, mutualistic, cooperative, solidaristic, geological, cosmological beings? Perhaps education should be about this.

2:00 Mysteries of the Gulf (David Hensley) Life in the Gulf South bioregion is defined by the enigmatic, larger-than-life presence of the Gulf of Mexico. Although we think we know our local ocean, it holds more mysteries and ancient stories than most are aware, even those who have lived in its shadow our entire lives. From its shipwrecks and bizarre ancient volcanoes thousands of feet below the surface, to the world’s liveliest estuaries, to the shaping of life in eastern North America, and even the course of world history: the Gulf of Mexico deserves a larger place in our imagination.

3:00 Devil Winds, talking plants and solar economies: How can we make ourselves into weird naturalists (without organs). (Mat Keel) This talk draws on original research into the magic plants and the science and philosophy of indigenous modernity, to propose the beginning of a new popular naturalism. Where can we find nature? What can we do with it? How do these moments and discoveries become something more than reflections and pleasures? Might they have really real immediate political meaning?  Let’s talk.

4:00 Is Love Sustainable? (Jean Martinolich) In the Age of Pharmaceuticals a construct for psychological treatment emerged that was morphed into science for the benefit of Big Pharma and remains in ascendancy. I have studied successful therapeutic models of care and conclude that what is needed for people to heal is what is needed for humanity to heal. These models are rooted in relationships created by average people living together in various degrees of equity with those who are anguished and disconnected, creating communities of friendship and belonging. For background, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDnfdHQu-rg&t=165s

5:00 No Bayou Bridge Pipeline (Sarah Howard and Bayou Bridge activists) Participants in the movement will lead a discussion about the present state of the struggle against the pipeline and prospects and strategies for the future.

6:00 The Ecology of Incarceration (Jessie Zelisco and Amy Myers) We will discuss the effects of mass incarceration on the person, the family, the community, and the social and natural environment, and we will hear stories of prison experience in the incarceration capital of the world.

7:00 Dinner We will share contributions of food and drink brought and prepared by members of the group.

9:00 Bonfire with Solstice Readings & Reflections (Group activity). Each person is asked to read briefly from a favorite chosen text or something of their own, or say a few words relevant to the seasons, to cycles of life, death and rebirth, and to the relationship between the Earth and the human community.

Sunday Schedule

Sunday we will have hiking on the trails and in the creek, informal activities organized by the participants, and trail blazing and other work for those who would like to volunteer. Additional organized activities may be announced.

For additional information, email surregionalist@bellsouth.net, call or text 504-920-6523.

Essential Information for Participants and Visitors

Directions to La Terre Institute