Alongside partners, Invisible Flock is the recipient of the Wellcome Trust’s renowned Hub Award, to run the research group Land Body Ecologies. The grant provides a dynamic research space in the Wellcome Collection building at the heart of London, where people with different expertise can collaborate on projects exploring health, life and art.
Land Body Ecologies will undertake a two-year exploration that brings together a team of human rights activists, mental health researchers, scientists, and artists to research the phenomenon of solastalgia. A developing field in global health, solastalgia is defined as the emotional or existential distress caused by environmental change, or commonly described as “the feeling of homesickness while you are still at home.” Through the lens of solastalgia, the project aims to understand the lived experiences of land trauma across marginalised and indigenous communities.
The research is anchored within these communities and the project will bring to life a live network of hubs in Northern Finland, Kenya, Uganda, India, as well as the Uk. These hubs support the incorporation of local knowledge, perspectives, and lived experiences in the research, which is vital as the team aims to better understand the traumas endured when the lands and ecosystems suffer.
The Land Body Ecologies research group is the fourth collaborative residency group in Wellcome Collection’s Hub, which has run since 2014. The project started in October 2021.
LBE is composed of Dr Ayesha Ahmad, Dr Outi Autti, Samrawit Gougsa (Minority Rights Group International), Sheila Ghelani, Kaisa Kerätär (Waria), Invisible Flock , Quicksand, Action for Batwa Empowerment Group and Ogiek Peoples’ Development Project.
LBE Podcast – A six-episode podcast series sharing stories of Solastalgia from land-dependent and indigenous communities affected by environmental change.
Each episode of storytelling is paired with another side of the same story – a B-side where the landscape, then, speaks for itself. Sounds captured in the environment are turned into sound art, and musical expressions unearth from the land.
Communities featured are based in the Arctic, Kenya, Thailand, Uganda and India, and each episode will be available in English as well as in its respective local language.
Land Body Ecologies Podcast is created and produced by Invisible Flock.
Please see below for more detail and links to each podcast to date, we will update as they are released across the coming months.
The Free River – The story of Kemijoki, Finland’s longest river that cuts across the country’s northern region. As the first hydro dam was constructed on the river between 1945–1949, the damming of the river Kemi represented a death blow for a salmon-fishing culture that was centuries old, and changed forever the course and balance of this powerful thriving river and ecosystem.
Listen here: https://www.landbodyecologies.com/thefreeriver
Honey – In Honey, we explore the Mau Forest in the Rift Valley, Kenya, where the population of honeybees have declined in recent decades due to deforestation, forest encroachment and logging.
Listen here: https://www.landbodyecologies.com/honey
The End of This World journeys through Sápmi, from Jåhkåmåhkke to Vájsáluokta. Amid the sacred relationship between the Sámi people and the reindeer, a story of a reindeer corral carried out on top of a mountain features a journey of several losses: of beings, of entire landscapes, and of cultural practices.
Listen here: https://www.landbodyecologies.com/theendofthisworld
The Crying Place is recorded in Ban Nong Tao, Northern Thailand. It features a practice of rotational farming within the Pgak’yau (Karen) community, speaking about slowing down for the earth and taking accountability for our world.
Listen here: https://www.landbodyecologies.com/thecryingplace
LBE Blog – A space where we capture, share and document our work so far. Here you will find additional insights into the individuals and communities we’re working with, and reflections on various activities we collectively undertake.