Etsy says they’re just following the law but in effect starving children and a community of much needed funds for Proyecto Muraleando. This grassroots community placemaking initiative provides hundreds of children in inner-city Havana the opportunity to unleash the creative, and live with dignity and hope, surrounded by murals and inspiration. I had the pleasure of working with this project as a visiting artist earlier this year. Continue reading “Please Help! Etsy, Illegal US Sanctions and Artful Grassroots Empowerment in Havana”
It’s a wet and windy as we drive up the long country road. Sheep huddle on flooding paddocks. This place is really rural I think to myself. But most of New Zealand is. When a “journalist” visited the farm to write a piece in the paper and heard that no agri-chemicals and fertilizers were being used, that grazing was being done in a carbon sequestering manner, they made sure not to let the story go to press. It certainly contradicted their advertisers’ agendas. Here lies an account of my time WWOOFing (worldwide opportunities on organic farms) on New Zealand’s north island in the Hawke’s Bay region. The farm I was at is known throughout the country for its use of permaculture principles, regenerative ag and holistic land management. The Family Farm at Mangarara Sheep Station puts right livelihood into practice, along with land stewardship and slow money. The Hart family opened their doors to me for 2 weeks where I also spent considerable time helping out and learning an immense amount from the wonderful Maori family renting and farmsteading on the property. I am so grateful to have had this adventure. Continue reading “Planting Manuka in the Rain: My New Zealand Farmsteading Adventure”
“Making connects me with with so much in a way that gives me autonomy and hope for the planet” –Manuela Hernandez, Tsotsil Elder, Chiapas
I once read that women do two thirds of the world’s work. Work that often remains invisible, under compensated and simply expected by society. Throughout my Latin American travels I met artisans that make with their hands their whole lives, slowly carrying on ancient traditions of beauty and culture, that stitch resistance toward a dominant culture that rejects indigenous, handmade one-of-a-kind and small is beautiful ethos. Continue reading “Stitching Resistance: women who make”
I’d heard about him through word of mouth. He uses local clay and had opened his own workshop. So I’m on a bike in the scorching afternoon sun and the dusty dirt roads are beginning to all look the same. Amongst the brighly coloured cinder block buildings and helpful abuelas taking in their laundry, I see it at last: a cluttered clay workshop where topless men waft cigarette smoke and work boisterously. Continue reading “Artisan Profile: Fernando Cruz, Sancti Spiritus, Cuba”
With approximately 12 million tons of textile waste being generated each year in North America amounting to approximately 68 lbs of waste per household per year —85% of which winding up in landfills, it’s time we both curb consumption and upcycle what we’re not wearing! Continue reading “Whites Upcycled Project (WUP)”
Simply designed composting toilets are a perfectly legal and sustainable option throughout the country. Just make sure you follow the directions!
There was so much to take in. Without Starbucks at every corner and big box eyesores in every community Cuba has been leading a green revolution since the fall of the Soviet Union. That’s when the country was largely cut off from foreign aid and catapulted into crisis mode or what is known as the ‘Special Period’ ending in the year 2000. With the US embargo still in full swing (Yes, the US has only stopped travel restrictions for Americans and no longer views it an enemy nation), the country is exemplary in its sustainable design, organic, localized food production, small scale business, appropriate technology and all round inventive ingenuity making do with what can be found, fixed or retrofitted…sometimes all three! Continue reading “Cuba: Simple Solutions for Simple Living”
It’s foggy when the sun first hits the horizon. Like smoke rising from the milpa it bears itself over the Chiapan highlands. I sit motionless on a crowded second class bus from Palenque. Eyes peeled out the window in disbelief. There’s a road blockade, I’m in Zapatista country and I could burst with excitement. Continue reading “Por Comandanta Ramona”
Was natural dyeing and regenerative textiles a part of your Permaculture Design Certification? Or how about permaculture beyond food production? An alumni of the annual Cuba Permaculture Design Course run by the Urban Farmer, I was thrilled to lead a workshop on natural dyeing using locally sourced organic dyes and how we can apply permaculture principles to nourish ourselves beyond calories. Cuz, it’s all connected…riiiight? Interested in taking a workshop or hosting me? Visit the workshops page! Continue reading “My PDC Workshop in Cuba”
Check out Proyecto Muraleando, an incredible art space and project I visited and continue to work with in Havana, Cuba. The artist run and cooperatively governed El Tanque space, formerly a derelict water tank abandoned pre-revolution, raises funds using a community focused economic model where profits are invested right back into the project through the sale of the artists’ work locally and internationally. In turn, hundreds of children in inner city Havana receive free art classes and everyone in the neighbourhood gains the opportunity to participate in creative citizen engagement and placemaking. Todo es possible!