Land Body Ecologies Shared Principles
Stemming from the first Land Body Ecologies team workshop, the Shared Principles were developed by Sheila Ghelani and Cecilia Vilela, alongside the wider LBE team, through discussion and collaboration. These principles aim to serve as anchors and guidance for our work together.
We all come from different places, different cultures, different disciplines and different generations. This implies embracing multiple ways of doing, being, or seeing, which is what we understand plurality to be. A critical part of celebrating this diversity and plurality will be through engaging in respectful listening.
We will be mindful of the different languages used across the team.
Similarly, we will aim to extend this understanding (and celebration) of plurality across our entire
environment – the flora, the fauna, the fungi…
We understand that through plurality we can achieve meaningful collaboration, transcending the limitations of single fields, disciplines or expertises in order to grow stronger together.
We immerse ourselves in entangled histories, stories, experiences and perspectives.
Messiness and uncertainty may at times take shape out of these entanglements, at all scales, and we will
embrace the complexity and nuance this presents. Through this process, we leave room for creativity and
the potential to reach multiple solutions – a thousand threads of connection that we did not know existed.
We’re in it for the long haul and we recognise that taking care of others requires taking care of ourselves.
There are lots of things to do and make, so we must remember not to exhaust ourselves on the journey.
As we will find ourselves holding knowledge and stories on behalf of others, we will be mindful of our
agency and endeavour to honour these stories.
We will be mindful not to perpetuate extractive and exploitative practices.
We will remain sensitive to the power dynamics that are always at play in any interaction (from the macro to micro).
We will remain vigilant to any preconceptions we might have in order to try and work with, from, and
There will likely be moments of not knowing, and moments of things feeling unsorted. We will trust each other through that uncertainty.
Each of us will be able to follow our own paths because we can trust we are moving in the same direction and towards the same destination.
We will aim to create safe spaces for expression of all types of emotions, whether it is pain and longing, anger, or suffering, struggle or confusion, but also joy and accomplishment.
We aim to be independent in thought, and throughout the project.
We are an autonomous group that will strive not to be swayed by people and outside bodies’ agendas.
We will trust each other's expertise and often work in smaller groups in order to feed into the larger project as a whole, and will aim to remain self-aware and not censor the work we do to fit in.
On seeking autonomy whilst also encouraging entanglement, we will endeavour to always remind
ourselves of the level of autonomy a plant has: self-sustainable to an extent, yet constantly relying on and feeding back into an entire ecosystem.
We will endeavour to approach time sensitively.
We recognise some of the situations we engage with are urgent, and therefore we need to move fast but, at other times, slow. For in slowness we see an antidote to product-oriented ways of being.
We can think of the meandering of a river – the current might be fast, but the entire river follows its own slow rhythm through its meanderings.
Our way of constantly reconsidering time includes making space for sharing stories and coming together to listen. Through stories we hear other voices (be they from other generations or from other living
beings…) and we also help hold them for future listeners.
We choose to have hope.
We choose to believe in the possibilities of creating positive change. We choose to hold on to hope because it fuels us, yet we recognise that hope is only productive paired with action, so that change is never taken for granted.