June 2007


 Climate Camp 2006 was great. Hundreds of people living together sustainably, teaching themselves and each other, and most of all *taking action* against Europe’s biggest single source of carbon dioxide, Drax power station, near Selby, Yorkshire.

Climate Camp 2007, from August 14th to 21st , will be bigger and better. Ordinary people are organising it now, and you can get involved either ‘nationally’ or locally. Email info@climatecamp.org.uk to find out how.

We want to get people thinking and talking and most of all DOING things about climate change.

As part of that, we are launching a short story contest. See leaflet

You don’t have to come to the camp. You don’t have to give up flying (though that would be really good!). You just have to write good fiction on the theme of climate change and send it in!

The winning entries and other particularly good ones will be published in a booklet that will be launched at Climate Camp.

Send your entries to:


Terms and conditions

Here’s one rule though: you MUST send every entry in the body of the message because we will not open any attachments.


Workshop in Creative Workshop facilitation for volunteers at SDCAS

March 2007

(this post has been copied from a word processing document – the line layout has changed. Please contact openbracket@riseup.net for a copy of the original)


Some warmer exercises to work on the group dynamic: how to work with and change the energy

Writing strategies: 2 exercises to do and discuss

(Because we are where we’ve been and FOUND)

Visual Arts strategies: why do visual art together with creative writing? 1 exercise to do and discuss. Recap on papermaking

Over to you: Practical Task:  


Warmer exercises:

Clap / Hand weaving / Anyone who / web weaving

 Writing strategies: 

Silence silence silence

Silence            silence

Silence silence silence

Talk about your responses to this one-word poem by Eugene Gomringer (all responses are valid!)


When writing with people who have English as a second language the following strategies are useful:

  • Ask lots of opening questions to contextualise theme
  • working with objects provides a tactile way in to writing, images will provide a visual way in, sounds, an aural way in – try out different approaches rather than always using the same one, people all respond in different ways
  • breaking a task down into manageable stages is essential
  • give lots of examples and/or bits of language writers can recycle
  • working with a model will support lower level writers

 See handouts below to create the poems Because we are where we’ve been (Strategies include collecting places then ideas, memories, experiences associated with these places) and FOUND (strategies include working with a model and template, working with objects as a tactile way in and using an easy visual strategy to accompany the writing).  
Visual Arts strategies:

Present papermaking and bookbinding, the  visual aspect of Because we are where we’ve been and My fingers are lonely for my country piece.

Practice with different materials (pencils, acrylic, watercolour, pastels)

Present other ideas (in photos)

Over to you: Practical Task: 

     1.    Create an exercise in which participants write creatively about one of the following themes:

  • Spring in London
  • A Journey
  • An object
  1. Think of a visual art exercise, the result of which you will join together with the writing

Don’t forget, you can write creatively with just one word



Ceri Buck, 2007

As part of the Pulp-Paper-Poem project

at Southwark Day Centre for Asylum Seekers




(what does this object need to give it life or movement?)     



Writing & Activism & Pedagogy In the practice I’m in the process of developing, my role fluctuates between that of artist, activist and pedagogue. For me, art without activism feels unreal, activism without creativity is easily contained by the authorities, and art and activism without pedagogy neglects a curiosity about and communication with the ‘other’.

Practical projects come out of a dialogue with a contemporary political moment, which manifests itself locally and networks globally. We want to find out how text-making and text-receiving can transform social relations and organising strategies, (and vice versa); and how, by working with new technologies, and emerging artist / activist initiatives, we can continue to investigate the notion of community through collaborative literacy. 

Creative Skills for Life, arts workshops for homeless people at South London Gallery

Pulp-Paper-Poem: Creative writing and Paper making for Asylum Seekers at the Southwark Day Centre for Asylum Seekers

Site Specific writing workshop with the Southern African British Council project at Oval House

Associate schools project: Mapping, History and Creative writing at St Matthias primary school in Brick lane

Associate schools project: INSETs at Ashmount Primary school and Mayflower primary school – Mapping, Geography, personal history and creative writing for Key stage 1 and 2 teachers

Speech writing project for Key Stage 3 & 4 in Islington

Stories Everywhere! (storytelling project in Hermitage School, Wapping, devised and delivered with Kai Fierle-Hedrick)

Biodiversity: Creative writing project for Key Stage 3 & 4 in Islington

Poetry Places: creative writing and geocaching at Montem Primary school in Slough

(Let us shadow side by side)


This piece, which includes fragments of language assembled by myself and by three participants on the pulp-paper-poem project at Southwark Day Centre for Asylum Seekers, is a journey into this sense of longing for another place which can be witnessed in the Portuguese word of no precise translation in English, saudade.  An eternal optimist and believer in the possibility of new things and of life sprouting out of the ruins, of shedding old skins, I found myself –  in the process of joining together a list of about thirty found words into various combinations – creating this collage of haunting words that calls out for us to ‘shadow side by side’, to have the courage to look back and within in the process of growing new roots. This is possibly more challenging and painful for adults, than for children as adults have left more (time) behind, and adults find it easier to slip into saudade as a means of expressing things left behind them.  The vibrancy of colours and varied textures in the doodles and designs that accompany the text (each original has been cut into 6 small squares) speaks of an ease to play and experiment and to make marks on paper. The overall effect of the snippets of text and fragments of colour is one of looking into a window, or at a Polaroid snapshot, each mark is part of a bigger story that is so difficult to tell.


The travel came to travelling

I dream about a book

I travel in the country

I dream home

I look in the mirror at the house

The mission of time

The chill came to life

I dance with wings

My dreams refuse to budge

The truth of the end

The backwards battle is beginning

My brother’s bizarre book

The burnt and buried century

The chill of childhood country dancing

The end of dreams and emotions

Exploding and falling and flying

The gap where my home is

I hope that my house has legs

The lonely life of the mirror

The mission of nature refuses of budge

Let us shadow side by side

The stairway temples of time

The tragedy of the toy soldier

Travelling and trembling

The fingers of uncomfortable truth

Wings wings wings wings

wings wings wings and fly

I’m dreaming about travelling to another country

Dancing in life comes in time

My fingers are lonely for my country



The aim of the Pulp-Paper-Poem project, running at SDCAS between October 2006 and March 2007 with writer and artist Ceri Buck, is to provide access to creative ways of working with words for clients and workers at the centre. 


“The project encompasses creative writing strategies and various visual art strategies, including papermaking.  On this project, we play with words; cutting, pasting, editing, selecting, making lists, pulling fragments into an order and working collaboratively.  The objective is to find ways to express ourselves, our many selves, to have a voice, to have many voices.  Our writing emerges from our experiences, our endless conversations with other people. We write in order to raise self-esteem, to communicate, to be part of a writing community. We expand our vocabulary and improve our English … learning a language can open up new worlds to us and within us.  We are learning how to make paper because it is a great way to get to know plants; banana skin, blackberry leaves, stinging nettles … and to recycle old envelopes. When we make paper, we work with our hands, and with our whole bodies, not just with the mind or part of ourselves.  We have made books out of our writing and the paper thereby self-publishing our work.”  Ceri Buck

  This project has been funded by the Arts Council