The Kandos School of Cultural Adaptation is putting on Groundswell over the weekend 6 – 9 September at Bingara in the New England region of NSW.

Across rural NSW, people are adapting to our changing environment and climate. They are regenerating landscapes, reshaping the food system, and using ingenious methods – old and new – to harness natural resources and protect vulnerable ecosystems.

Since early 2018, the nine artists of the AFS Project have been engaging with this world of creativity and resourcefulness that exists beyond the horizon of the city. Their collaborations bridge different perspectives on agriculture, soil, Aboriginal country, carbon, solar energy and wild foods. Groundswell invites the public to engage with the artists, collaborators and some incredible speakers who will expand on the ideas explored in the projects. The program will feature talks, walks, food, film, demonstrations, performances and installations. A ‘forum in the field’, it will occupy several acres of land at The Living Classroom, a site for land-based learning on Bingara’s reclaimed town commons. Bingara is in the New England region of NSW.

You can experience the value of the long drive to Bingara by reading Laura’s blog:

As she says: Bingara is 7 hours drive from Sydney – it’s a long way to travel to attend a festival. In the last few years I’ve done it 8 or 10 times. And it is indeed an epic drive. But it teaches you much about the state of the country and the puzzle of our times…  So why is KSCA staging Groundswell in a place like Bingara, so far away from many people familiar with what we do live? There are many reasons, but here’s just one. The land I’ve just described might be private land… but it sort of isn’t. Many people are making the argument that the forests, watercourses and the soil itself should be seen as belonging to all of us, and that we all have a duty of care to regenerate them. The exciting thing is that there are lots of people doing it already, with a lot of brain work. They’re bloody amazing. Hence Groundswell. So load up some podcasts, pack your tent and get out of the city.PROGRAM

  • Keynote: Charles Massy (farmer, educator, author of Call of the Reed Warbler)

  • Erika Watson and Hayden Druce (Epicurean Harvest farmers)

  • Rachel Lawrence (agroecologist and aspiring potter)

  • Sarah Burrows & Anita Taylor (founders of Red 8 Produce, a mobile ethical abattoir start-up)

  • Tim Cavagnaro (soil ecologist, University of Adelaide)

  • Ian Milliss (KSCA artist and Cultural Adaptation muse)

  • Allan Yeomans (inventor)

  • Ananth Gopal (actor and Director of Polykala, facilitator of individual, community, organisational adaptation)

  • Sharon Windsor (entrepreneur, founder of Indigiearth)

  • David Hardwick (agroecology educator, partner Soil Land Food)

  • Lee Fieldhouse and Kirsty Hughes (Island Biologicals, vermiculture innovators – yes, worms!)

  • Bjorn Sturmberg (solar scientist, ANU and renewable energy entrepreneur)

  • New England Landcare (coordinated by Sara Schmude)

  • Glenn Morris (organic farmer, climate change activist)

  • And… Adam Blakester as MC! (sustainability facilitator, founder Starfish Initiatives)

To register for this event go to:

Groundswell is being staged in conjunction with:

Pulse of the Earth: a Festival of Regeneration!

This is a gold coin entry event with music, theatre, food, stalls and other festivities hosted by the Bingara community. The festival will open on Friday 6th September, with a performance by the fabulous folk-rock band Things of Stone and Wood. On Saturday evening 7th September we’re excited to announce that there will be an outdoor screening of the film 2040 (the future as it could look!!) and creator Damon Gameau will be in conversation on the stage.

There will be free camping at the Showgrounds, which neighbours the festival location. There are great amenities and powered sites there. Also the majestic Gwydir River runs through the town and has amazing camping (also free), but you need to be self-contained. Information about Bingara, getting there, the river, accommodation options can be found here.

We will post updates here on speakers, program and logistics in the coming months!

An artist, a farmer & a scientist walk into a bar… is an initiative of the art collective KSCA (Kandos School of Cultural Adaptation), and builds upon KSCA’s successful 2016 event Futurelands2. It is being staged in partnership with Cementa Inc., The Living Classroom, Starfish Initiatives and Arts North West, and is supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW.