Persian Paradise Peace Garden or The Covid Peace Garden of reflection: as a living garden I sense the purpose is really to connect those suffering at present from isolation to those who are ill and separated and those working night and day to help heal. So we need the whole gamut of reasons to be meditative, peaceful and sharing. Since lockdown people have circulated names for the former 'Christchurch Gardens' (they do not belong to the Church since 1886. Many from the 2010 World March for Peace, supported by Kofi Annan, Bob Geldof, Jimmy Carter, Silo of the Andes, have been hankering after a Uk humanist Garden of Reflection, foreseeing that crises are social, ecological and economic and are here and only growing. Ten years on, 2020 they are manifesting.) One suggestion (for online reflection) is to take photos and digitally change 'War' Memorial to 'Covid War', in honour of the dead. Surely since the War we have not experienced the grotesquely destructive collapse or wanton betrayal of so many talented lives. We accept all names, as we are a Republic of Eden, here, far from Iraq where some claim it once stood. Number One Eden, like the Jerusalem Chapel, Westminster, it embodies whatever distant place brought near we want. This is relevant as we all are enabled by illness to change habits; we should welcome that 'sickness must grow worse' to heal us. Futher gardens may appear with wild flowers, even on Arding and Hobbs roof, if all goes... Next time you are thinking of going to the Gym, instead come here and help plant dozens of bulbs, wild flowers, grasses, lavenders, herbs as we can be the change in the world..enhancing the concept that exercise should bring us close to nature. An Iranian Freedom fighter has joined us...and I keep wondering if I should add a water feature or make it formal, into a Persian Paradise Garden. A mother of a two and four year old has said she has started an online course, three hour episodes, as gardening is supposed to be healing. So she will breastfeeding can join in. She also brings buckets of water, with the elder son keen to show he's part of us. A Welshman who was crying that he didn't want to live..is now a key gardening hand, overwhelmed by the fun. He brings everyone who wants a Guinness in the evening. He has been to Wales too, as his council flat has been without electricity for three months, as during lockdown, as his health is somewhat threatened he can't have an electrician. I aid him by using my card to update his travel pass. It is so simple. It is all adjustment. There are people helping build the herbal, medicinal garden, at the Memorial Peace Garden, SW11 in Battersea, who a few weeks ago were taking drugs or 'alcs' drinking. By improving the scents and offering food Pret have kindly donated, they have united in asking if they might know "what we are planting?" Few at all come to drink. Some even try bringing plants. Just yesterday..two Irish brothers enthused that their granny has a few spare bulbs, a bay tree also was donated by Philippe a half French man which he has had in a pot "since I fell in love with a woman" and she appears cheerily to help dig a metre deep hole, with her antique business young friend from across the river. An exotic man has been smoking shisha, since lockdown and keeps burning and spreading his sweet lemon and orange scents, good smells, perhaps to remove the remaining lingering smells of years of drunks, wetting themselves at 3am? The irish brother offer other flowers they should like to donate...If we are changing at present and we take charge of these changes and enact a neighbourliness for our plant world, in all public gardens, adding meadows too, the ecological biodiversity and insect habitats would be improved overnight...A few books have started a library under a tree and birds are fed daily with proper seeds and water. There is talk of covering the shelves of books being exchanged to make a Book Tree for winter. Buchbaum BioGardening:
Enhance your garden and table, replanting pots, maintaining a biodiverse environment for bees and other pollinators. Last fortnight I have rebuilt, with social distancing the garden at Katherine Low Settlement. Also worked throughout lockdown on Memorial Garden, SW11. Kambala's largest local Housing Association requiring extended suggestions to drought tolerant improvement to the community gardens. All are interlinked. Cooking for lockdown is around KLS and supplies Kambala whose residents come to relax at Chistchurch Memorial. Rather than sit on exercise machines creating CO2 i have encouraged gardening, as more directed and purposeful. As a gardener we show autistic children who to water, and tell differences between sunflowers, tomotoes, carrots, sage and thyme, by touching, sniffing, smelling.
Important Dates: International Day of Forests 21 March, a day on which Conservation of Trees and woodland is especially accented. Forest is a five year old at school, who is born the same time, and as such his parents must have had it in mind. Will we all be better conservationists as a result of watching horrid fires, in South America and Australia?
Earth Day April 22 suggests one billion are involved in activities for the planet. Who are they governed by? That is a big population of mind. With a virus that is as mysterious as the pangolin, the most trafficked wretched creature on Earth i couldn't help wondering like millions of others, if the Earth is not responding to our climate chaos, a warning. The Writing is on the Wall/ a biblical reference to a tiny hand above Belshazzar that writes on his wall, as he drinks and recklessly disregards his fellow humans. The Temple of Jerusalem is said to have been sacked by him, which is why the hand appears: it is the only time in the scriptures a hand of 'god/ God/ the Divine' is recorded as visible, as far as I can establish. Is this in a way an analogous statement to the Prime Minister and his Health Secretary falling seriously ill? To Brazil's neofascist Bolsanaro catching it also? We point fingers as a matter of course..at those less wealthy, as if it shows our superiority as established fact, as if granted from a divine authority? None of this is justifiable, in the latest plague. Earth 1 Humanity 0 seems to be the score. Economies based in greed are collapsing and none are running back to save them, except the exceptionally greedy, in power who want to shake hands, as soon as possible, passing on disease further....Earth Day had come as a warning a month into lockdown, with public gardens suffering a drought. It doesn't rain withour pouring, or conversely it doesn't storm climate warnings without desert storms. If sand dunes appeared none would be surprised.
Somehow I couldn't help knocking on a few doors, on 22nd April, Earth Day, reminding myself and them of how we are uncomfortable as it is on Earth/ Focussed on people whose front gardens show green fingers, such as a French speaker, with Irish husband, and a mother of two small children, one breastfeeding no doubt, we found common ground. When we say common ground we are using an expression referencing Earth, ground, soil, or soil as inseperable from us. Silent Spring the book that kicked off the environmental movement, by Rachel Carson, might be best associated with awareness that the smell of gas and pollution isn't prosperity. These Forest and Earth days could have been any time of year, but they began to echo in our heads, as though a conspiracy of ordinary people, who value nature more than business and boomtowns.
International Nurses Day followed on May 12th: the day of Flo Nightingale's birth. As if we are all in a conspiritorial episode of a scifi series all the dates that relate to our reckless inability to share, as a world, to value the healing and regard those who sacrifice most...etc, are all occurring as though a Nature Spirit has taken over the Press Office of World governments.
When it comes to it people who live in the country they tend to be more peaceable, growing herbs, vegetables and hence Rupert, an author reminiscent of Walter Scott, in talent, is growing, herbs and or harvesting berries wherever he can.
An eyeopening experience is the way community has come together, like the herd which knows which way the wind blows, where trees shelter, like the mumurations above and whispering of butterflies' wings, all know which way to go. Like I heard about life in East Berlin, when the Wall still stopped travel. There resources were shared, vegetables, potatoes and apples, pears, grapes, berries, all shared without any need for encouragement. A lot of sharing, resourcefulness and better attitudes, far from central government are reduced from globetrotting, to essential activities, like caring for the Environment. None could have foreseen a more radical movement as if accelerated by itself. We have been running gardening workshops; teaching environmentalism with Sha, wildlife manageress; learning how to maintain a meadow without wasting water, above all. We visited those who were constrained to stay indoors and nurture their gardens and give them food and shopping. We gave an injured pensioner essential support, we are constructing a bird bath, feeding the birds, with heathy bird seeds, which has a feeling of intervening in the polluted life of the mind that has ruled. International Day of Forests 21st March felt really relevant as forests burned in Brazil and Australia and then Earth Day 26th April inspired us. It was a call from the planet to leave us in lockdown as these significant days came: Forests need our intervention, not only in South America or Australia.
The young watch and question more than they would at school. There are those who engage in nature and I believe that with transport and travel reduced a stillness has been enabled, forced on us, we have crashed into better Self..there are many who do not wish to return to what we had. On 26th April World Earth Day, I have engaged neighbours in talking about how we are changing, and 'the birds are looking at us, like we might be beings not intent on..." Let's stay positive. We are good if we want to be. Katherine Low Settlement even asked me to do their garden that had faded under lockdown which I loved doing. I met all the volunteers there and in Fulham I dug a garden that was immensely overgrown for Penelope, an ailing actress, who had had no visitors since lockdown, but we wore masks and were able to dig enough up to use the back gate after half an hour.
Even Captain Tom included my picture on his Instagram. I met neighbours so much more appealing than I dreamt. I did some watering for a neighbour shielding, I even walked down Patience Road to nurture plants that owners thanked me for when back.
I recently... contacted Grant Smith who like me has a passion for the dawn chorus. Staging a revolution with birds. Since school days he has been with Paula Baraitser, now Doctor, who is part of a revolution of insights into selfcare and time saving online healthcare. She sees digitisation makes it possible for us to even test for illness without going out. If we are now in a hostile environment (what or who is the hostile one?) the most marketed creature, pangolin? We require NHS, (led by careworkers, many migrants, who as Mabud Chaudury stated on Facebook 'have human rights' to protect themselves. Brave as he would die a week later of Covid19) So many of those recently foamed at by Signor Feigning Britishness Foraqui now clap, hold a hand up to the NHS, or pint is there a slight flicker of self-deprecation and self-doubt now shining out? The more difficult times makes us cheerful, is how Stan Baldwin stated it.
Along with Grant I remember Ben Whittam-S was at school, also, who I know as quite otherwordly, talking about life, wondering what time present is without a love of a combined future. So we live in times where we all try out new roles, parts, film is the lazy way, you can be doing it with family, friends, neighbours.. listening to experimental jazz. Rupert Ferguson made kids wonder what they were doing listening to music made by druggies and so he is an Honorary Winner of London Peace Prize. Also he won a literary award. If we all doubt enough what we are unwittingly becoming we might be able to dream. Instead of accepting life in its mad dash we seize a chance to better the world. Volunteers at Kambala and Katherine Low Settlement lead the vanguard. All charities have replaced stars of stage and screen, and I ain't ever going back. Michelle provides amazing treats to the worthy and I would love to take a leaf out of her book too! Planet Organic offer their leftovers and she works at the same time! Grant worked as a performer in the Young VIC and TOURED. WHAT CREATIVE PEOPLE. I HOPE THEY WILL WRITE. CHARLES' work has been distribution of food to homeless and alcohol and drug dependents at therapeutic Cabul Rd. herb garden, developing. J Dunbar helped him on a homeless project, a man who lives in a flat he rents since decades where he appears out of step with formal culture, all kinds of experiments in art surround his workshop, where Mariane Faithful came and still comes perhaps, Yoko and she met through him.... The homeless man who sleeps in the Memorial Garden at times is by some standards discontent, but then I think of the empty stage where economy has halted is like absurdist theatre. In the East we worked with homeless and found Kantor and in Paris peter brook, also favouring simplicity. I am gently growing aware of a neighbour has been working backstage with him, since he directed her in Mahabharata, the indian epic he worked into a six hour film, which she with irish husband performed in. The work he has put on as director is filled with africans, all nations, like a portal to a secret garden of diversity, maybe that is what Camus would have written about, A Huis Clox. Our peace garden, war memorial of sw11, has grown to be that portal to neighbours in lockdown. We did not notice that. Maybe the homeless and birds who live for the day sniffed its roses long ago in paradise gardens. They represent freed culture, like in East Berlin where none paid rent, even after the Wall fell. The sharing we all participate in now is like the Sixties withouth the nonsense.. classes are free maybe the skies are no limit at all...is it possible a universal wage might help? We are told countries are billions in debt, apparentky that means though that we are more imaginative and are more and more sharing without money. The more difficult times are the more cheerful we become, Baldwin said. or someone like him. So maybe that is why we share cheerfulness so much more joyfully, challenges aid. / Some time back Chris Johnston from Fluxx became a friend and his Citizen Theatre is missed by all.
Charlie Wiseman started at Edinburgh Festival with awards for theatre company that toured Dublin, Paris, London, Berlin. There he worked with the old celebrated Volksbuhne/ People's Stage, starting an Ensemble of street vulnerable, former circus workers that toured worldwide. He wrote for the Guardian newspaper on culture while at the Berliner Ensemble he made contacts with Young Vic, aided Heiner Muller, and translated correspondence for Edward Bond. Among awards was a Progress Prize from Berlin Academy of Arts. Charlie has also campaigned..protested against abuse of Refugees at Yarlswood Refugee Detention Centre, where guards often abused, blackmail or raped migrants. Gemini News Agency led to international journalism (including Aga Khan's third world news agency). He returned to work with Jude Kelly, Sue Emmas at Young Vic, Catherine Arton, of 'Be Heard' film shown at Bafta which he assisted on, edited by Lucy V Hay. Also Bettina Jonic, who had a residency The Little Garden at Royal Albert Hall. There he worked, produced, introduced her songs and read from his own work; Lucy Popescu at Brighton Fringe, with an Irene Mensah award, as well as at West Yorkshire Playhouse, invited by Jude Kelly and invited to Windsor Festival/ further directing/writing at Battersea Arts/ Young Vic/ Riverside Studios on 'Jungle of Dreams', his own play about the longing at Berliner Ensemble for a great director, like Brecht to return..if only as a ghost. His work performed in Hyde Park has been compared to Sam Beckett by Greenpeace.
Also contributed to Players International, Guardian, also as editor of Uta Lemper diaries. (Positive reviews received and support from Bob Geldof, Bitter Mirror's Bettina whose work is hailed by Bob Dylan.) He has supported many Amnesty International Campaigns and been written up by Greenpeace. He researched culturally for the Evening Standard, as well as winning Millenium Fellowship, for constant contributions to plight of the homeless, teaching acting, writing, theatre skills, short film on self-expression. He distributes food to Grenfell affected, young offenders institutions, mentally vulnerable in community, numbering up to date about million meals. At Brighton Fringe he also read from Popescu's Good Tourist, charting ethical questions about travel, 'Another Sky' and 'A Country to Call Home', all of which Michael Palin and others support. Link continues to Berlin homeless plays, with support from many Arts and lcoal Council grants, Wolf Biermann's closest Wally Schmitt and endowed by the Academy of Arts/ Stories also published, winning top ranked on Shortbread Short Stories, also in NY and New England. Grassmarket work, applauded by Ewan McGregor as unique. Refugee protest to Calais, as well as Brighton and Edinburgh's Portobello Beach. Worked also financed from Sabrina Guinness at Youth Cable TV, Ken Branagh "the work deserves every respect" and Susan Sarandon. 'Owltime' Reviewed by Edinburgh Festival: "ought to be part of the Offician Festival and taught on school syllabus", and "privilege to be" with Brighton Fringe. 'Charlie has a unique gift for bringing the best out of people and inspires wonderful work.' Henrietta Garnett of Bloomsbury donated to campaigns for London work with Chelsea Theatre. Short film, Big Sister / Bafta performed short. Other work funded by Arts Council and supported by Susan Sarandon. Ken Campbell's assistant director on twenty-four hour by the same, 'The Warp' 2001.
Wiseman also enjoys writing as part of Wingelion Collective in USA, under Trudi Lee Richards direction, friend and biographer of Mario Luis Cobos. Further performance pieces Hyde Park, and Berlin World March attended by more visitors than all Edinburgh Festival performances.
Ongoing work with Chelsea Theatre with free space to rehearse plays.
Also teaches, ongoing mentoring Ladbroke Grove young, YCTV and support from Vanessa Redgrave, Henrietta Garnett, Kate Smurthwaite who records voice with Tim West OBE.
Noble Peace folk giving charity for free, at Heart Foundation and in community. Also Tony Robinson, Sylvia and Jon Swinden and Rafa de la Rubia for World Without Wars and World Marchers. The Beginning of the End of Nuclear Weapons is a documentary Tony made about Nobel winner too, ICAN 2017 How can we wake London to take responsbility for nuclear?
Wiseman is also a Food Waste Hero work with Pret A Manger too.
Kew: volunteers can transcribe 19C seeds..plants online Tutorial
Children of Ymir!
Your deeds echo down the ages,
In the poetry of the Skalds!
Rupert wears no om on his neck, swears at false prophets,
flows the Fleet River's fleeting nonsense
Away instead of damming flotsam and jetsam,
A gentle sage's rage.
Beware "enemy in unguarded thoughts about self." Biases we maintain may relate to our past. So we can change by not feeling 'bad' as this stops one dealing with past: living in the present, awareness of this moment in time allows one to forget, forgive and move forward. Social science and psychology are what we see of the past and so enable the present as we are meditative beings. Find the watergow within (Scots for rainbow) "How old are you?" I asked. "I haven't counted the rings and my head, said a tree, Count them for me!"
Recent work supported by Official Brighton Festival, 'a privilege' (Broadway Baby), and continued contact with Berlin, People's Stage. Big Issue support. Pret support us in feeding also, workshops with Grenfell affected; child and infant African Arabs forced to be migrants...mostly vegetarains. Over 7000 meals/ month. Awarded Alexandra Kremakova provided music in Brighton/Edinburgh
In July, Morpheus Under Ground performed the preview of new play Little Sisters. The play addresses issues of displacement and homelessness through the eyes of two young women trapped within the confines of a reality TV show house. Audiences remarked on the dignity, grace and beauty of the characters in the play and the darker aspects resonated and drew comments such as "The more I think about this play the more scary some of the ideas become. The idea that you can be voted out onto the street by people you have never seen is a concept that is truly Orwellian"
Peter Jonas, winner of the 2013 London Peace Prize, contemplates the inner workings of society and its harmful influence on individuals, going back to his roots in Cape Town, where he was already helping street kids, by encouraging them to make murals in the ugly landscapes they had til then inhabited. His artistic work, since arriving in London continues to explore identity, as a half South African, with Dutch ancestors too. He has protested as an individual with a foot in both camps. His work also explores how the mechanical world and that of nature collide, with memorable images of South African traditional dress, to his Gandhi portrait or Cliff Richard who autographed the work.
As the eldest granddaughter of Sir Larry Olivier, artist, Isis Olivier, grew up with a sober view of celebrity. 'He was the same in life as when on film'. This attitude has helped her to develop, first as an aid worker in the Sudan, later as an artist who, as a feminist, has shaped her own platform and views.
David Low creator of infamous Colonel Blimp is most keenly remembered as a plump bald-headed figure with a walrus moustache, decked out in a plethora of decorations from ancient wars, spouting platitudinous and preposterous commentary on the politics of the day, such as: “Gad Sir, Churchill made an irrevocable decision to be guided by circumstances with a firm hand”. Low insisted that his Blimp was genuine and that he had overheard him in a Turkish bath, dressed in the altogether, pronouncing that what Japan did was no concern of Britain’s.
Children of Damascus, a poem by Rupert Ferguson, written in response to the chemical attack on Ghouta
An excerpt Charlie Wiseman's autobiographical story of working, in theatre with disadvantaged. Wiseman has spent much of his life travelling the world working, first with www.grassmarketproject.org on innovative projects, involving real people often from the street, to portray what is going on below the surface of society, later on his own intiative.
'Charlie's work for the Grassmarket Project enabled it to develop around Europe and further, first by being at the centre of the wheel when it involved People's Stage, Berlin. There he used his language skill to find a staggering £50,000 budget for the most enlightened play in their history, involving homeless from the streets where Liza Minelli's Cabaret is set.'Our work has run parallet, innovating and changing forms' Jeremy Weller, Artistic Director Grassmarket Project
This award was set up by Charles Wiseman in 2011 in response to the London riots. As Charlie says he set up the award "to bring to people’s attention the individuals whose work is making changes in their community, whose work is about building neighbourliness, understanding and positive activities. Positive action is the only way to heal and bring about “Peace”.
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