The Wild | Training the senses | Marres - Maastricht
21st March, 7 pm ·
Christ Fitch, Mattijs van de Port
“‘Wilderness is a necessity’, insisted the naturalist John Muir. Similarly, writer Henry David Thoreau passionately argued that ‘we need the tonic of wildness’. [...] Whichever way you look at it, the world had overwhelmingly been developed and controlled. Trees felled, oceans emptied, wild animal eradicated. Leashed and domesticated, the true wildness thoroughly bred out. The modern era is even on the verge of being officially declared an entirely new geological age. The Antropocene - the era of ma. It’s a declaration that confirms humanity as the most dominant force on the planet. Yet, despite this, aren’t we still enamoured by these unpredictable and undeveloped landscapes? Remote and exotic, full of of mysteries and unanswered questions - visions of far-flung wilderness tug at our sense of wanderlust. “ - From the Atlas of Untamed Places
During this training the senses evening author and journalist Chris Fitch will explore what defines wild and untamed places, and how the diverse stimuli within them — often ecological — can awaken our senses.' While anthropologist Mattijs van der Port will let us experience that the world does not comply with our narration of it. As that’s where the wildness is.
Christopher Fitch (1988), obtained a BA Geography with Science Communication, from Royal Holloway, University of London
He is the Author of the book Atlas of Untamed Place, nominated for an Edward Stanford Travel Writing Award. In the same year he contribute to Wellcome Collection exhibition A Museum of Modern Nature. From 2014 he is Senior staff writer at Geographical, the official magazine of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), including stories on London becoming the world's first National Park City, and the de-extinction movement. His current thematic interests include preserving modern wildernesses, enhancing biodiversity, large-scale rewilding, long-term sustainable/holistic living, and the role of ethnic and gender equality in preventing the worst impacts of climate change. Moreover, he is keen to explore how aural and immersive art can bring sensory experiences of the wild into society's sanitised spaces, to reinforce how far removed modern humans are from their biological and ecological past.
Mattijs van de Port (1961) is a visual anthropologist working at the University of Amsterdam and the VU University. In the latter institution he holds a chair in the study of Popular Religiosity. He did research in Serbia, and since 2001 in Bahia, Brazil. He is author of monographs on Gypsy musicians and their Serbian customers (1998); contract killings in the Netherlands (2003) and global encounters on the threshold of candomblé temples in Bahia, Brazil (2011). His first documentary is called Saborear Frutas Brasileiras, on eating Bahian fruits. The essay film The Possibility of Spirits, using footage from 6 years of filming in Bahia, was completed in 2016.
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