ISSUE TWO | AUTUMN.WINTER 2010/11 | £1.00
from the editor Welcome to the second issue of scene, Dartington’s twice-yearly magazine which looks to give you a snapshot of the work we’re creating, the programmes we’re developing, the people we’re working with and the debates we’re engaged in. In this issue we have a special focus on equality and we are delighted to have contributions from Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee and Equality Trust Director Richard Wilkinson.
Scene \’sēn\ (noun) 1. One of the subdivisions of a play. 2. A stage setting. 3. A place of an occurrence or action. 4. A sphere of activity. EDITOR | Becky Pratchett firstname.lastname@example.org +44 1803 847016 DESIGN & ART DIRECTION | Believe in www.believein.co.uk +44 1392 453000 ILLUSTRATIONS | © Bobbi Fulcher-Smith email@example.com SPECIAL THANKS | To Nick Comer-Calder, Katrina Hurford and all Dartington staff who helped with this edition – your contribution was essential. Thanks also to our outside contributors. PRINT | Kingfisher Print & Design www.kingfisherprint.co.uk Printed on Cyclus Offset – FSC certified 100% recycled. Ink used is from sustainable and renewable sources. PHOTOGRAPHY | Alice Carfrae, Pete Griffiths, Natalie Castorina, Noel Harvey, Azul Thorne, Slug image p11: Banana Slug from Inner Wild, Scotland www.innerwild.etsy.com LEGAL | The views expressed in scene magazine are not necessarily those held by The Dartington Hall Trust or its Trustees. Reproduction in whole or in part without formal written permission is prohibited and all artwork and texts remain copyright of the artists, authors and The Dartington Hall Trust. Illustrations by Bobbi Fulcher-Smith remain solely copyright of the artist. The Dartington Hall Trust is registered in England as a company limited by guarantee and a charity. Company No. 1485560 Charity No. 279756 Vat No. 402 1968 75 Registered office: The Elmhirst Centre, Dartington, Totnes, Devon. TQ9 6EL Tel: 01803 847002 Fax: 01803 847007
We know that many of you want to engage more with Dartington so we are making some improvements in how we communicate. If you want to find out more about Dartington’s work in the arts, social justice and sustainability, please sign up for our new e-newsletter, a monthly round-up of news and events at www.dartington.org. Watch out for a new look on our website www.dartington.org, including our new blog, and don’t forget that you can follow us on Twitter or join our Facebook group. We welcome feedback and contributions so please get in touch.
send contributions and letters to: The Editor scene Magazine The Dartington Hall Trust The Elmhirst Centre Dartington Hall Totnes, Devon TQ9 6EL email: firstname.lastname@example.org Letters may be edited
By its very nature Dartington must constantly change and adapt.
opportunity Inspired by the vision and values of our founders Dorothy and Leonard Elmhirst, Dartington is a place of experiment, education and enterprise where the arts, social justice and sustainability come together. In 1967 Dorothy Elmhirst told those gathered at the annual Foundation Day event:
At the heart of our plans are three big initiatives to complement our existing programmes:
“The thing that always strikes me as a kind of miracle is the way in which Dartington has met the challenge of change and at the same time retained its essential identity. That seems to me very remarkable.”
In the arts, Space will transform Lower Close, Hexagon and Gym into a new rehearsal and performance space for creative companies and practitioners, strengthening Dartington’s reputation as a place where new work is created.
By its very nature Dartington must constantly change and adapt. In 2010 we find ourselves embarking on a new phase of our evolution. The College of Arts has moved to Falmouth, which is sad for us all. We shall miss the contribution the college has made to Dartington and wish all the staff and students well on the journey they now take. The relocation of the College presents a huge opportunity to reinvigorate the estate and its buildings and to reassert Dartington’s relevance in 2010.
In sustainability, the growth of Schumacher College will see it move to Higher Close at the heart of the estate (see page 20) with a new eco-campus and an expanded programme of practical courses to help people lead more sustainable lives. In social justice, the Abundant Life project, a new form of community for older people, will reinvigorate the Foxhole site. The support of the local community and our friends and partners regionally and nationally is absolutely vital to the success of our plans. Over the summer, we began a series of Community Conversation events giving people a chance to ask questions about the future of Dartington. We have collated the top questions and answers from these events on our website www.dartington.org and will hold the events quarterly from now on.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
As I write this, Dartington International Summer School is in full swing, bringing spaces from the Great Hall to the studios to the courtyard alive with music. Summer School is a key feature of our arts programme and I would like to reassure participants and audiences alike that despite the move of the College of Arts, this remarkable event will continue to take place at Dartington well into the future. I would also like to reassure all our supporters that we will continue to work hard at what we do best – creating positive change through our charitable programmes in the arts, social justice and sustainability. Although Dartington’s future involves raising significant funds and making difficult decisions, we are optimistic about the future and we are so much stronger with your support.
If you have questions about the future plans for Dartington, please visit www.dartington.org or come along to a community conversation event – check the website for details. ISSUE TWO | AUTUMN.WINTER 2010/11
contents 001 change brings
Dartington CEO Vaughan Lindsay on a time of change.
Become a Dartington member.
Everyone’s favourite poet Matt Harvey on everyone’s least favourite garden resident.
Recent happenings at Dartington.
004 space and time
014 fairness is at the heart
to practice, reflect and create
Director of Arts David Francis on the shape of the arts programme.
An operatic treat at Summer School 2010.
006 move on up Artists take time out to learn, reflect and hone skills.
008 new on the scene MA student Lucy Andrews on her moving installation Hearing Dartington Hall.
009 from the collection One item from Dartington’s art collection.
DARTINGTON SCENE ISSUE TWO | AUTUMN.WINTER 2010/11
of our vision
Director of Social Justice Celia Atherton on fairness in the Big Society.
015 tell us about yourself
Social entrepreneur/DJ Mitch Knight.
016 Britons living in bubbles
uardian columnist Polly Toynbee G on equality.
018 why equality is
better for everyone
Richard Wilkinson, Co-Director of The Equality Trust, on his much-quoted book, The Spirit Level.
this issue’s featured artist
Dartington is all about developing new ideas and supporting new talent. With this in mind, each issue of scene showcases an artist with connections to Dartington. We are delighted to have Bobbi Fulcher-Smith as our featured artist in this, our second issue.
SUSTAINABILITY 020 a time of change,
celebration and reflection
Charlie McConnell on the future of Schumacher College.
reating a fresh c vision for the estate
The Dartington Land Use Review
John Channon sets out the plan.
021 what could a new
025 delicious butter
Is now the time for a radical rethink of our economic system?
From Gaia’s Kitchen cook Julia Ponsonby.
022 permaculture –
economy look like?
much more than an agricultural system
Rhamis Kent talks of his experiences in Detroit.
Useful numbers and email addresses.
Bobbi was born in Los Angeles, California. After graduating from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, she spent her early career as a freelance professional working in visual art and graphics. In the early 90s Bobbi relocated to Salcombe in Devon to be with her musician husband, and since then she has worked as a painter. Bobbi is inspired by intimate compositions of everyday items, the shimmering light and colour combinations found in local scenes and the spaces in between where people arrive and depart, leaving their mark or receding into history. Bobbi has exhibited her work in California and the UK, including Gallery 5 and Coves Quay in Salcombe, The Bowie Gallery in Totnes, Eyestorm Modern in Exeter, Hope Cove Gallery in Hope Cove, Harbour House in Kingsbridge, Gallery Tresco in Cornwall and Plymouth’s Sherwell Centre. Thanks to Annie Bowie at Artspaces Contemporary Art Gallery, Totnes www.artspaces.co.uk email@example.com 003
space and time to practice, reflect and create David Francis DIRECTOR OF ARTS
Dartington has always been a place where artists can come and develop their work. With the launch of Space, our new initiative providing studios, technical resources and a place for creative ideas, this will become a significant focus of the Arts programme. Over recent months, we have hosted two amazing residency projects that set the scene for this. Young British singer/songwriter and composer Ayanna Witter-Johnson was resident at Dartington in June 2010 with Fraser Fifield (pipes and whistles) and Robert Mitchell (piano), all mentored by saxophonist and composer Jason Yarde. The live audience that experienced the results of this amazing collaboration was captivated: one audience member wrote: “I felt privileged to witness the results of what must have been a really rewarding residence for the group. This was recognizably British jazz – multicultural, imaginative and world-class. I hope Dartington can keep getting artists of the stature of Ayanna and co. to play”. Ayanna will now be taking the work she developed at Dartington on tour.
Between the Telegraph Ways with Words Festival and Dartington International Summer School, we also hosted Move On Up (see pages 6-7 for more information), a weeklong residency project for British musicians from the African & Caribbean music scene. In some ways Move On Up mirrors the work going on in the Devon School for Social Entrepreneurs (see page 15), providing inspiration and skills to this group so that they can take their careers to the next level. Both Ayanna’s residency and Move On Up were partnerships between Dartington and Serious – international producers with a major commitment to the professional development of the artists working in their sector. Both residencies were generously supported with funding from Arts Council England. These projects signal how Dartington can play an essential role in the professional development of artists and how Space will work. Increasingly Space will host residencies, projects and activities, which, whilst giving leading artists the
space and time to practice, reflect and create, will include events that are open to the public and in which the public can participate. November 2010 brings the Richard Alston Dance Company in residence, with opportunities for people to take part in practical activities – please email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more. In June 2010 we launched Home – a oneday world and folk music festival. Over 700 people enjoyed a full day of acoustic music from all over the world in a whole range of spaces including the Great Hall, courtyard and gardens. Following a great response from festival attendees (thanks to everyone who gave us feedback), Home will be back next year. To receive advance notice when tickets go on sale, email email@example.com. I believe strongly that art is about taking part, creating, experiencing and learning, as well as presenting and showing, and this will continue to guide all that we do in the arts at Dartington.
DARTINGTON SCENE ARTS
capturing the spirit
Dartington International Summer School’s Artistic Director Gavin Henderson is moving on after 26 years at the helm. A highlight at Summer School 2010 was an opera bringing composer Benjamin Britten and 13-year-old local singer Sebastian Beamish back to Dartington.
Sebastian Beamish spent the first two years of his life on the Dartington Estate before his family moved a few miles down the road to Harbertonford. In August 2010, he was back at Dartington to play a leading role in the Summer School’s production of Benjamin Britten’s chamber opera The Turn of the Screw. Sebastian, a pupil at Exeter Cathedral School, played Miles, a young child haunted by his past, in Benjamin Britten’s chilling opera based on the story by Henry James. Directed by Richard Williams and conducted by Nicholas Jenkins, the opera was atmospherically staged in the old Dartington Church Graveyard which Benjamin Britten, a regular visitor to Dartington, would (hopefully) have relished. Sebastian said “It’s been an amazing experience singing at Dartington and working alongside professional musicians – it is something I will remember forever. Summer School brings together people from all over the world to make music so to be chosen for this role when I’m from here was brilliant.” Celebrated composer Benjamin Britten visited Dartington many times. Gavin Henderson, Artistic Director of Summer School, explained “The genesis for Britten’s ideas around creating a chamber opera readily transportable to a variety of locations began with the Barn Theatre at Dartington and with the support of the Elmhirsts.
Perhaps this typifies one of the great facets of Dartington, and is certainly true of the Summer School, as a meeting ground – a circumstance in which ideas can be hatched, but then come to full fruition elsewhere. The churchyard and its isolated, and rather spooky, tower has always made me think of The Turn of the Screw: it is a staging that I have longed to make.” In fact Britten’s close friend and collaborator John Piper – the designer on the original production of The Turn of the Screw - had painted the church tower when he visited Dartington in 1943. Piper’s wife Myfanwy suggested to Britten an adaptation of The Turn of the Screw and subsequently wrote the haunting libretto. Everyone at Dartington would like to thank Gavin Henderson for the enormous contribution he has made to the arts at Dartington in his 26 years as Artistic Director of the Summer School. Every year over 2000 participants come to Summer School and we stage over 100 concerts. Musicians of all ages and abilities take part in a wide range of music courses over the five weeks. Summer School 2011, led by incoming artistic director John Woolrich, will begin in July 2011. If you’d like to support a bursary for a young musician, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
www.dartington.org/summer-school ISSUE TWO | AUTUMN.WINTER 2010/11
DARTINGTON SCENE ARTS
At midday on Saturday 24 July 2010, 11 exhausted yet energised artists left the inspiring surroundings of Dartington to head home to the East Midlands, London and the South East. This was the first cohort of Move On Up, a bespoke professional development programme for artists working in Black British music, produced by Serious as part of Black Routes and funded by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.
The artists were selected from a longlist of 40 nominated by members of the Black Routes network, alongside producers, promoters, DJs and other industry professionals. Each of the artists was interviewed in advance about their careers and the skills they need to develop to achieve their aspirations. This informed the programme for a week jam-packed with practical workshops and seminars, with speakers and panel members from across the music industry. The week started with an illustrated talk – A History of Black Music – from journalist Kevin Le Gendre and ended with the artists making a Dragons’ Den style pitch for financial support for projects they developed together at Dartington. In between there was a host of advice, information and inspiration from key industry figures such as Lorna Clarke (Network Manager for BBC Radio 2 and 6 Music) and Mervyn Lyn (Vice President, Strategic Partnerships for Sony Music UK). Feedback from the participants was very positive: they valued the opportunity to take time out in stimulating surroundings to reflect on their careers and the choices before them, to meet a great range of speakers and facilitators and to encounter ten other artists to share and work with in the week and possibly in the future. Asked what they had found most valuable abut the week, artists’ responses included:
“The real support. The friendship. The time to think, reflect and be honest.” “The contact, the understanding and the generosity of the panellists – their willingness to share their experience.” “It has totally changed the way I look at myself and the industry, which will affect the way I work.” Katrina Duncan, Associate Director, Development & Learning at Serious told scene: “Dartington was the ideal venue for Move On Up, providing an atmosphere of relaxation, reflection and stimulation. David Francis and his team made us very welcome, ensuring we had everything we required so that the artists could really focus on the programme and the opportunities presented in the week”. The artists taking part in Move On Up were: Andy Baron (vocalist, Brighton) Baby J (producer, Derby) Beyonder (spoken word/multimedia artist, London) Charles Stuart (vocalist, London) Jah Marnyah (vocalist, Leicester) Muntu Valdo (vocalist/guitarist, London) Randolph Matthews (vocalist/percussionist/ guitarist, London) Rahma Ali (vocalist, West Sussex) Tor Cesay (rapper, London) Zara McFarlane (vocalist, Essex) Zena Edwards (vocalist/performance poet, London)
I t has totally changed the way I look at myself and the industry, which will affect the way I work.
Move On Up is part of Black Routes and is produced by Serious delivered in collaboration with Dartington and Theatre Royal Stratford East and funded by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. Black Routes is committed to touring the best of African and Caribbean music to audiences across the UK, from some of the biggest names in black music, through unique collaborations, to emerging artists championing new hybrid genres. www.blackroutes.org.uk www.serious.org.uk ISSUE TWO | AUTUMN.WINTER 2010/11
new on the scene Lucy Andrews
hearing Dartington Hall
Dartington College of Arts student Lucy Andrews created Hearing Dartington Hall for her Ecology & Art MA. Comprising two stylised oak figures overlooking the Tiltyard in the gardens, the installation featured audio recordings of Dartington Founders Leonard and Dorothy Elmhirst. The combination of location, materials, visual art and audio material proved extraordinarily engaging. After 12 years in architecture, Lucy became frustrated with the profession’s inability to engage people in issues around sustainability, and the arts seemed a better route. LA: I knew that the college was leaving and thought this was a chance to do something. I like archives so asked if there was any audio material and was led to a box of audio tapes in the basement. As soon as I heard the Elmhirsts talking it was magic: what they were saying had so much relevance to today. They talk about the “challenge of change” and how to continue doing things in the Dartington way through times of change, which I thought was a very positive message. So I began to look for ways of putting this material out into the countryside.
DARTINGTON SCENE ARTS
The idea of the figures comes from a theme of the Art & Ecology course: that people today rush all the time... they don’t stop, don’t dwell… don’t have a moment to take things in. So the idea was to create something that encourages people to stop... that offers them a little opportunity to see things slightly differently. They are figures because I wanted people to sit with them, and they are oak because I wanted people to lean on them and touch them. And the figures are out there, being worn and weathered and eaten by the insects, so they are a part of life in the gardens. I think it is important to choose materials that honour the sense of place. I wanted to use Dartington oak to reinforce the sense of continuity, and the wood the estate gave me was essentially waste that couldn’t be used for anything else. The feedback has been absolutely amazing – there have been people who don’t know anything about Dartington, so when they listen they are discovering it for the first time. And then there are people who knew the Elmhirsts – I’ve had people holding my hand with tears streaming down their face, really emotional to hear those voices again... and they have brought their children to hear them.
Hearing Dartington Hall will be coming back to the gardens in Summer 2011. www.lucyandrews.co.uk
“I often think that people, who have come recently to Dartington, will take the present day Dartington too easily for granted. Not realising that it is the result of a long, long struggle, often against very adverse conditions, against the scepticism, the hostility, the misrepresentation that any pioneer enterprise will always meet. But for us it was not always this difficult uphill fight, there were times of great exhilaration and there was something else, there was a quality of a dynamic life, that was here from the very start.” Dorothy Elmhirst’s speech at the 25th Foundation Day festivities on 10 June 1967 from the Dartington Hall Trust Archive.
from the collection Stoneware rectangular slab built bottle, Tenmoku glaze, Mashiko Pottery, Japan 1950 Shoji Hamada The Dartington Hall Trust Collection DHT.499 Shoji Hamada studied ceramics at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. He met Bernard Leach, who was also studying pottery in Japan, in 1918 and together they travelled in 1920 to St Ives, where he played a major role in the establishment of Leach’s St Ives pottery. In 1921 he and Leach visited the artists’ colony at Ditchling in East Sussex, which was an offshoot of the Arts and Crafts
Movement. There he met Eric Gill and David Jones, both of whom are also represented in The Dartington Hall Trust Collection. Hamada returned to Japan to set up a pottery at Mashiko, turning the town into a worldfamous centre of pottery, and he became a leader of the Mingei, the Japanese folk crafts movement. In 1929 he encouraged Leach to move from St Ives and set up a pottery
at Dartington, in response to the Elmhirsts’ invitation. In 1952 Hamada attended the International Conference of Craftsmen in Pottery and Textiles at Dartington. Leach paid tribute to him at the conference, describing him as outstanding in his achievement. He was designated a ‘Living National Treasure’ by the Japanese government. He died at Mashiko in 1978. ISSUE TWO | AUTUMN.WINTER 2010/11
“ There are so many reasons [I support Dartington]... the magic of the Great Hall and the gardens which must be saved for future generations... the arts being taken seriously but not an ego trip... and then there are the commercial activities guided by a sense of integrity with profits being directed to charitable purposes...” Richard Creed
support our vision Dartington is a pioneering charity – a place of experiment, education and enterprise where the arts, social justice and sustainability come together. At the heart of the Dartington Experiment, begun by our founders Dorothy and Leonard Elmhirst, is a commitment to finding innovative solutions to the pressing problems of our time. That commitment is part of the Dartington heritage – and a vision that we want to continue. In the next five years, we have ambitious plans to expand our programmes including launching a new creative arts centre, Space, expanding the work of Schumacher College to include courses in green skilling, an Open Learning programme, and a new Eco-Centre. We also plan to transform the Foxhole Centre into a new model for living in older age called the Abundant Life Project. We’ll be upgrading our existing buildings on the estate, building new accommodation, and improving our grounds and footpaths. However, this requires a significant investment in our programmes and estate.
We’d like to invite you to be part of this exciting time of change and innovation at Dartington by supporting our work. Here’s how you can be part of Dartington’s future:
Your gift will help us:
— Volunteer – for details see www.dartington.org/volunteer
— Educate business and communities in how to live more sustainably
— Make a donation online at www.dartington.org/donate
— Train social workers for at risk families and vulnerable children
— Text a donation to us – text ‘support’ to 87070 to make a £3.00 donation*
— Create an innovative community that will become a model for living in older age
— Become a Dartington member Dartington membership starts at just £35 per year and brings a range of benefits including: — Invitations to members only events — Discount on film tickets at the Barn Cinema, as well as special dinner and film packages throughout the year — Special offers at The Shops at Dartington, White Hart Bar and Restaurant, and accommodation, for members only
— Develop green skills programmes for young people
— Develop a centre for new work in music, arts, performance and digital media We are indebted to our supporters and members without whom we would not be able to continue our work – thank you all. If you would like to become a member, please complete the membership form in the centre of this magazine or visit www.dartington.org/membership
— Receive scene magazine twice annually — Members’ newsletters — Invitation to the annual Summer Tea Dance for members only
* Donations based on two texts costing £1.50 each. Text donors must be aged 16+ and have permission of the bill payer. Full terms and conditions are available at www.dartington.org/supportus
DARTINGTON SCENE ARTS SOCIAL JUSTICE SUSTAINABILITY
Everyone’s favourite poet, Matt Harvey, on everyone’s least favourite garden resident Totnes’s own Matt Harvey is a phenomenon. Poet, performer, enemy of all that’s difficult and upsetting, Matt performs up and down the country in arts centres, small theatres and village halls. He’s also found at festivals and in conferences and colleges. This year he was appointed Championships Poet 2010 at Wimbledon in collaboration with The Poetry Trust. His new book Where Earwigs Dare is published by Green Books in October 2010. Matt will be in residence at Dartington as part of the Ship Writes programme in Spring 2011. www.mattharvey.co.uk
slug duel with a non-dualist low-born land mollusc high-impact intruder easy oozer, slime exuder free-loader, sprout-spoiler meandering marauder disrespecter of my broad beans’ border you’ve a one-track mind in a one-track body
diligent pillager soft-horned invisigoth slow silver scribbler paradoxically busy sloth tithe-taker, hole-maker indiscriminate direct debitor bold-as-brass brassica editor you’re a squishetty spoilsport a glistening drag the liquorice allsort nobody wants to find in the bag it’s time that you were brought to book you’re not as tasty as you look listen chum, you are disposable look at my thumb, it is opposable unwelcome invertebrate this might just hurt a bit I pluck you and chuck you into distant dew-drenched greenery isn’t that mean of me? slug, when all is said and done you can hide but you can’t run
ISSUE TWO | AUTUMN.WINTER 2010/11
captured: recent happenings at Dartington
If you have photographs of Dartington that you would like us to consider for scene please email them to email@example.com Please do not send hard copies of photographs. 012
DARTINGTON SCENE ARTS SOCIAL JUSTICE SUSTAINABILITY
CLOCKWISE L-R FROM TOP LEFT Amy Sacko performs at Home festival, June 2010 © Pete Griffiths
Xinga Samba bring the courtyard alive at Home © Pete Griffiths
Willi Soukop’s bronze Donkey on a sunny summer day © Natalie Castorina
The artists taking part in the Move On Up residency take time out © Alice Carfrae
An eerie staging of The Turn of the Screw at Dartington International Summer School © Alice Carfrae
Dartington’s wonderful volunteers enjoy a “thank you” cream tea © Natalie Castorina
Autumn fruit at Schumacher College © Azul Thome
I thought that my voyage had come to its end At the last limit of my power, That the path before me was closed, That provisions were exhausted And the time come to take shelter in a silent obscurity. But I ﬁnd that thy will knows no end in me. And when old worlds die out on the tongue, New melodies break forth from the heart; And where the old tracks are lost, New country is revealed with its wonders.
Rabindranath Tagore Tagore’s life and work will be celebrated throughout 2011 at Dartington. For more information on Tagore 150 visit www.dartington.org/tagore150 ISSUE TWO | AUTUMN.WINTER 2010/11
fairness is at the heart of our vision How many times have you heard a small child’s complaint ‘It’s not fair!’ met with the adult response ‘Life’s not fair.’? Both statements are arguably true – but is the latter the way life ought to be? Have we spent the last few decades accepting life’s unfairness when we should have been championing fairness? Fairness is at the heart of the vision for our Social Justice programme at Dartington. Getting to grips with what fairness would look like in practice, and why it is important to individuals and society, is one of the greatest challenges we all face.
Why does fairness matter? It matters because it speaks to our innate sense of justice – we know life won’t always work out the way we would like, that others’ lives are different to our own – but deep inside us all we want to believe that there is fairness in decisions that are made and actions taken. This sense of fairness is inevitably in the spotlight during tough financial times. Reflecting on the current round of cuts, economists have demonstrated that the poorest families will lose more than a fifth of their income while the richest (those earning more than £49,700) will lose less than 4%. This alone does not seem fair. Howard Reed, the director of Landman Economics who is behind this analysis, said: “A lot of public spending is ‘pro-poor’, with poorer households receiving a greater value of services to meet their extra welfare needs. Because of this, cuts in public spending tend to hit the poorest hardest.”
Celia Atherton OBE DIRECTOR OF SOCIAL JUSTICE
But is fairness only about income, tax and public spending or is it also about opportunity? The emerging ideas about the Big Society have something to offer here, and not always from the most expected quarter. As Steve Reed, the leader of Lambeth Council says in his introduction to their Co-operative Council: “The first challenge relates to the type of relationship we need to create between citizen and public services. Increasingly communities and the state are recognising that the public sector cannot do it all, and that citizens need to be part of the solution to the challenges our increasingly complex and diverse communities face.” Perhaps there really is an opportunity here to forge a fairer society – harnessing the resources (finance, skills and networks) of more advantaged communities to make the Big Society more than just an idea in disadvantaged communities.
We will discuss these ideas at our Dartington Dinner Debate on 23 November 2010 – please do come and join us – for further information and to book visit www.dartington.org/social-justice 014
DARTINGTON SCENE SOCIAL JUSTICE
tell us about yourself... Social Entrepreneur / DJ – Mitch Knight
Mitch Knight runs Pumpitlouder DJ workshops for young people. He is part of the first cohort of the Devon School for Social Entrepreneurs based at Dartington.
What gets you out of bed in the morning? MK: My missus, music, work I’m doing...
Who’s your hero? MK: Norman Cook the DJ – his work is inspiring – very different from other DJs. I like to do things differently too.
What were you like at school? MK: Bit of a troublemaker... I went to Torquay Boys’ Grammar but always felt I was bottom of the class... felt I was struggling. I came out with a real lack of confidence – probably similar to the lads I’m working with now.
What would you like to change in your life? MK: I am very happy with my life at the moment – but I want to build the business so I could do with some more work.
What would you change about Britain today? MK: I’d like to see more understanding for young people – things are getting better but I work with a lot of youngsters from troubled backgrounds and I’d like to see more understanding and respect for them. Even within some of the organisations I worked with they just don’t quite get it about being young.
How did Pumpitlouder start? MK: I was very ill about 2 years ago and had to stop working. I starting thinking about all the years I’d spent DJing and how much music meant to me and I decided I’d just got to change my life. And I’d always had this urge to work with young people and the two sort of collided. I started doing voluntary work with young people and then someone found out I did DJing and then it just started from there.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve had to deal with in this new venture? MK: The business side of it... I’ve come from a non-business background. Working with young people I find easy, but making the business grow, promoting it – that’s all new ground for me. And that’s where the Devon SSE comes in – they’re giving me all the tools I need to move forward.
What’s your vision for the next 5 years? MK: At the moment I’m focusing on the local area around here, and in 5 years I’d love to have Pumpitlouder companies all around the country.
What do the kids get out of it? MK: It’s not about churning out DJs and producers – it’s about giving the kids a chance to regain some of the confidence that’s been knocked out of them by their environment and the education system.
What do you most enjoy? MK: Having a young guy come in from a very difficult background, no interest in anything and then after just 7 weeks see him go out and get a job. And also seeing the teachers’ surprise when this happens – that’s the best bit. Now recruiting for its second year of students, Devon SSE supports pioneering individuals to make a difference in their communities – for more information visit www.sse.org.uk and click on ‘Devon’. Visit www.creative-choices.co.uk to watch a video of Mitch talking about his experience of Devon SSE. ISSUE TWO | AUTUMN.WINTER 2010/11
Polly Toynbee on
Britons living in
bubbles Polly Toynbee is a columnist for the Guardian. This is an extract of a speech Polly Toynbee gave at C4EO’s Excellence and Evidence - Making the Difference National Conference in June 2010 in Bath.
The Centre for Excellence and Outcomes for Children and Young People’s Services [C4EO] is a consortium funded by the government to support improvement across the children’s sector by sharing knowledge of what works. Research in Practice is a founding partner of the consortium, and leads the Centre’s work on capacity building. As part of this, RiP designs and leads the delivery of a wide range of conferences and training events hosted by C4EO.
DARTINGTON SCENE SOCIAL JUSTICE
“My last book Unjust Rewards focused on the huge incomes of the UK’s top earners. We assembled focus groups of top bankers and city lawyers, people with incomes between £1 million and £10 million, to try and understand their attitudes towards their own enormous wealth and towards inequality and poverty. We gave them all a questionnaire to find out what they thought other people earned and where they thought they stood on the earnings spectrum. And interestingly, they were wildly wrong. We asked them what they thought the poverty threshold was and they set it at £22,000, which in 2009 was actually the median income level. It was more than twice as much as the poverty threshold for a couple. We asked them what they thought you would have to earn to get into the top 10% and they said £164,000, actually that was wildly wrong too: you only have to earn £40,000 to get into the top 10%, the 40% tax bracket. They found it almost impossible to believe that 90% of the population earns under £40,000 a year. “But everyone we know...” they said, and that’s the trouble: we all live in our own bubbles. We know somebody a bit richer, somebody a bit poorer and everybody tends to assume they’re middling. Even the poor think they’re more middling than they are because they too know someone a bit richer and someone a bit poorer.
So one of the problems in getting the public to think about inequality is that everybody’s ignorant about the actual distribution of wealth. This really rich group of people we talked to put themselves in the top 10% but actually they’re in the top 0.1% and quite a lot of them are off the graph altogether. And yet they all felt themselves to be quite ordinary and it was very hard to persuade them otherwise. As the group began to discuss poverty, they fell into a Daily Mail image of what they thought it was to be poor – that they were useless, lacking in ambition, it was their own fault for not trying hard enough, they were bringing up their children badly. They believe that people at the top must have got there by merit, so when we said, “Well, you realise that a majority of people who are technically poor are actually in work, in jobs that we value, being hospital cleaners or teaching assistants or healthcare assistants, jobs we need them to do?” they were not convinced. They could only have a model of the poor which was of the 2% most dysfunctional, they couldn’t really imagine a state of poverty of people doing important jobs. It was a very good reminder of how very hard it is to persuade people to change their mind, to persuade people who are very privileged that they really are and that they do inhabit a bubble.
In my previous book Hard Work I looked at life amongst the working poor. I went to live in a council estate and I took jobs over several months at the minimum wage – hospital porter, cleaner, dinner lady, nursery assistant, care assistant – to see how you can survive on the minimum wage when you count in travel to work costs. I had done this 30 years before, when I started out in journalism, so I went back to work in the same hospital I’d worked in 30 years before. I took my 30 year old payslip to the Institute for Fiscal Studies and asked them to calculate how it related to my payslip today in the same grade of work in the same hospital. I was paid £36 a week less in real terms now than 30 years ago. And that’s what growing inequality means – the people at the bottom have been pegged down, while the people at the top have seen their incomes increase greatly, and people in the middle have hardly moved at all. I think it’s very depressing that we have had a history of social progress leading up to the 1970s and after that we took off in the opposite direction. My great fear is that if we stay in a deep recession we’re going to see another ratcheting up of inequality. It isn’t necessary – it is a choice that we can all make.”
www.c4eo.org.uk www.rip.org.uk ISSUE TWO | AUTUMN.WINTER 2010/11
In the last issue of scene Bob Holman referenced Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett’s remarkable work The Spirit Level. Here scene catches up with co-author Richard Wilkinson to find out about some of the key ideas behind the book.
why equality is better for everyone Professor Richard Wilkinson is Co-director of The Equality Trust and Co-author of The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone – a book in the media spotlight since its publication in 2009 and frequently name-checked by politicians, journalists and social commentators.
The Equality Pledge, which has been signed by 75 MPs and many other leading figures contains the sentence: I am committed to making the UK a more equal society as the most effective means of building a better society. You can sign the Pledge and read more about The Equality Trust at www.equalitytrust.org.uk
DARTINGTON SCENE SOCIAL JUSTICE
“Put simply what research shows is not only that being at the bottom of the social ladder is stressful, but that increased inequality – widening the gap between rich and poor – makes social relations more stressful all the way up the social hierarchy. There are three key points that need to be understood: 1. The effects of inequality are powerful and extend to almost all of the problems that tend to become more common lower down the social hierarchy. Hence, more unequal societies suffer worse physical and mental health, have lower levels of child wellbeing, suffer more violence, more drug problems, higher teenage birth rates and bigger prison populations. These health and social problems are anything from twice to ten times as common in societies where there is more inequality – as in the UK and US. 2. Greater equality benefits everyone. Although the poor benefit the most, even better off people in more equal societies – such as Japan or in Scandinavia – are likely to live a little longer and are less likely to become victims of violence.
3. Increased consumption no longer improves the quality of life in rich countries. Further improvements in the quality of life depend on improving the quality of social relations – and that depends primarily on narrowing income differences between rich and poor. Inequality in the UK has become much more pronounced since the late 1970s. The story is much the same in the USA, which now has almost the lowest life expectancy of any developed economy. By contrast, since the end of World War II, Japan has become markedly more equal and now has the best health in the world. It is possible to bring about change. The government’s recent decision to limit public sector pay differentials to 1:20 is perhaps a start. So too is the debate about whether the cuts are fair. But we need a sustained social movement to make a real difference and that needs to be linked to responding to climate change. Sustainability and greater equality fit together.” The theme of The Spirit Level will underpin the first Festival of Social Justice, taking place at Dartington from 23 – 25 September 2011.
The Dartington Land Use Review
creating a fresh vision for the estate:
In October 2014, the 742 acres of Dartington land currently used as a dairy farm by tenant farmer Ian Forbes will revert back to the estate, presenting an opportunity for a major rethink. Through a Land Use Review, we are developing a fresh strategy to reconnect Dartington’s land use to the principles and activities of our three charitable programmes – the arts, social justice and sustainability. The review is led by John Channon, Conservation and Woodlands Manager. John explains: Five guiding principles underpin the review:
5. The process should be used as an opportunity to engage the local community, Dartington staff, key stakeholders and potential partners. The review has five phases: 1. review and mapping, 2. future scenarios and engagement, 3. expert enquiry and consultation, 4. recommendations, and finally 5. implementation. Phase 1 is now complete, giving us a base map and analysis of the opportunities and constraints facing the estate.
3. Any plan should be informed by the current and past land uses.
Phase 2 is underway. To help develop a range of possible scenarios, we are talking to major land users, charities and organisations with innovative land use enterprises. Engagement is a critical part of Phase 2, and we will be holding meetings with the local community, stakeholders and Dartington staff. The outcome from Phase 2 will be a range of ambitious and viable scenarios.
4. Any new approach needs to be economically, socially and environmentally sustainable.
In Phase 3 we will shortlist the stronger ideas and involve expert advisers to help shape what could be possible. At this stage we
1. Future land uses should support Dartington’s primary purpose and programmes. 2. The integrity and beauty of the estate must be retained.
will look at how the options balance issues such as: maintaining the estate as a place of beauty; food production; energy requirements; rural employment; sustainable and affordable housing; enhancing biodiversity; maintenance and management costs. At the end of Phase 3, we will have a set of tightly defined propositions for detailed consideration and which we can consult on in the same way as in phase 2. Phase 4 will generate a final recommendation for future land use of the estate, for approval by Dartington’s Trustees. The fifth and final stage will be developing a detailed plan for implementation of the new strategy – we expect the main implementation to start in 2014. We will of course monitor and evaluate the success of the new initiatives. Further information about the Land Use Review will be posted on www.dartington.org. If you would like to get involved in the consultation process, please register your interest by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
ISSUE TWO | AUTUMN.WINTER 2010/11
a time of change, celebration and reflection
Schumacher in 2011 2011 is a time both to celebrate and to reflect. Three significant anniversaries will fall in this year. It is the 20th anniversary of the opening of Schumacher College. It is also the centenary of the birth of E.F. Schumacher, the author of Small is Beautiful, whose work was an inspiration in the founding of the College. And of course it is the 150th anniversary of the birth of Rabindranath Tagore, a remarkable figure whose ideas have shaped Dartington since the Elmhirsts’ time and Schumacher College throughout its 20 year history in particular. The last 20 years has seen thousands of people from around the world study at Schumacher College and the calibre of our students – business leaders, policymakers, academics – has meant that our influence has spread globally. Schumacher College is at the forefront of new thinking and action on climate change, biodiversity and
DIRECTOR, SCHUMACHER COLLEGE
sustainable living. We are ever mindful of the major economic and environmental issues facing our world and remain encouraged by our friends and supporters that now, more than ever, our College can play a leadership role in addressing these issues. We now want to offer a wider range of courses with more options to participate either on site or through open learning. We plan to expand our postgraduate courses to complement our MSc in Holistic Science and short course programme. We have appointed our first Open Learning Manager, who is identifying new ways for our students to access teaching and learning support in tandem with our emerging Schumacher Worldwide programme. We will also be developing more courses offering practical skills in areas such as food production and farming, and on renewable energy and eco-housing.
Since 1991 the Old Postern has been a wonderful and deeply loved home for Schumacher College. However, it is both in need of costly renovation and too small to allow us to expand and offer a range of new programmes. So in 2011, we are moving to Higher Close, a building at the heart of the Dartington estate. We know how important it is to retain the essence of the Schumacher experience in our new home: while we can’t replace the Old Postern, we can make our new home a special place to learn together and we welcome the support and involvement of past and future partners and participants in making this happen. We are commissioning architects to design an inspirational new reception and teaching facility on the new site to integrate with the refurbishment of the existing building.
For more information and to see architects drawings visit www.schumachercollege.org.uk or contact us at email@example.com Tagore’s life and work will be celebrated throughout 2011 at Dartington. www.dartington.org/tagore150
DARTINGTON SCENE SUSTAINABILITY
How can we turn the triple crunch of climate change, financial crisis and oil depletion into an opportunity for a radical rethinking of our economic system? Katrina Hurford spoke to Julie Richardson, Head of Economics at Schumacher College.
What could a new economy look like? In today’s economic system, competition and perpetual growth are the measures of success. Although we urgently need to readdress our global approach to economics, we do not need to start from scratch. Since the 1970s, key thinkers and practitioners have been developing alternative approaches that once were dismissed as marginal but now are fast moving centre stage.
that growth does not measure quality of life and excludes crucial parts of the economy where exchanges are not monetary or measurable. Herman Daly, co-founder of Ecological Economics, also highlighted an underlying issue when he wrote that he would accept the possibility of infinite economical growth when his colleagues could demonstrate that Earth could grow at a comparable rate.
As Andrew Simms recently wrote in the New Economics Foundation (nef) and Schumacher College publication Growth isn’t possible, for decades it has been career suicide for economists or politicians to question continuous economic growth. Yet economists have been issuing warnings regarding the limits of our economic system for decades. Simon Kuznets, one of the chief architects of the concept of GDP, wrote in 1934 that, “the welfare of a nation can scarcely be inferred from a measure of national income.” He was clear
E.F. Schumacher was one of these foresighted pioneers who in 1973 laid out a new approach to economics that put values and compassion, people and planet at the centre of our economic system. To this day, Schumacher is known as the father of new economics and his work has inspired a generation of environmental and social activists. With the urgency of climate change, now is the time to scale up this thinking, practice and learn from what works and what doesn’t, re-writing economic theory from the bottom up.
Economic growth has long been attributed to improvements in our quality of life, as access to food, housing, health care and other key services have become mainstream in the Developed World. But this is achieved at huge environmental and social costs especially for poorer populations. In their book, The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone, Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett demonstrate that once a society reaches a threshold of economic wealth, our well-being can actually decrease despite – or because of – extra income (read more on p.18 of this issue of scene). To explore What could a new economy look like? Schumacher College is running the short course To Buy or Not to Buy? Consumption, Growth and Prosperity in October 2010. A Masters programme in new economics will launch in September 2011, the year that marks the 100th anniversary of E.F. Schumacher’ birth.
If you would like to find out more about the forthcoming Masters, or to feed into the programme design process, visit the Schumacher College website: www.schumachercollege.org.uk ISSUE TWO | AUTUMN.WINTER 2010/11
The first recorded modern practice of permaculture as a systematic method was by Austrian farmer Sepp Holzer in the 1960s. In the 1970s the method was scientifically developed by Australians Bill Mollison and David Holmgren. The term is described by Bill Mollison as derived from permanent agriculture and permanent culture. The intention behind permaculture is that by training individuals in core design principles, those individuals can design their own environments and build increasingly selfsufficient human settlements that reduce societyâ€™s reliance on industrial systems of production and distribution.
permaculture â€“ much more than an agricultural system
Rhamis Kent 022
DARTINGTON SCENE SUSTAINABILITY
In July 2010, permaculture designer and teacher Rhamis Kent came to Schumacher College to talk about the role of permaculture in post-industrial cities like Detroit. Here’s what he told us: The failure of industry and the consequent collapse of employment, tax revenues and infrastructure in cities like Detroit demonstrate the weakness of our current, industrially-based economic model. Detroit is easily portrayed as a crumbling city full of crime and homeless people but the truth is that amongst the overwhelmingly black poor and unemployed there are many people looking for new ways to live. Permaculture can be part of the solution. Permaculture is the creation of eco-systems that have the diversity, stability and resilience of natural systems. Central to permaculture is the harmonious integration of landscape and people, providing for food, energy, shelter and other material and non-material needs in a sustainable way.
Permaculture is not simply an agricultural system. The ideas behind it are rooted in the civil rights and anti-war movements of the 1960s. So at its heart is the desire to address social and economic problems as well as food production. Anyone trying to introduce permaculture needs to understand the nature of the social problems being addressed – this is truly essential in places like Detroit. What we see in the dereliction of America’s old industrial centres is the total failure of ill-conceived economic planning and governance. Business fails, the money goes away, the entire thing falls apart – and nature comes back to take over. Permaculture offers us a chance to harness that natural energy – not to control or change it like industrial agriculture, but to harness it.
The ideas at the heart of permaculture are relevant everywhere. And there is a further risk that permaculture be seen as a middle-class utopian lifestyle choice – when that happens the people it could most help will walk away from it. But let’s be clear here – the ideas at the heart of permaculture are relevant everywhere – but to be introduced successfully they need to be based in an awareness of specific social contexts.
That said, the whole notion of going back to agriculture is not unproblematic. Think about it: a large proportion of the poor and homeless in Detroit are Afro-American – for many of them the idea of working on the land looks like a step back to their history of slavery and sharecropping. To overcome this response needs a thoughtful approach.
You can read more on Rhamis Kent’s work here: http://permaculture.org.au/author/ Rhamis%20Kent
ISSUE TWO | AUTUMN.WINTER 2010/11
Locally sourced food
Dartington Hall Beyond Convention
Dartington Hall provides a uniquely tranquil venue for conferences and business meetings. w 12 first class meeting rooms, holding from 6 to 180 delegates w 51 well-appointed bedrooms within Grade 1 listed buildings w multimedia facilities & internet connections in all meeting rooms w conference support team w choice of 8hr or 24hr residential packages to suit your needs w outdoor adventure activities and corporate team building
Experience the unique blend of contemporary dining and historic tradition at the recently refurbished and restored White Hart bar & restaurant. The tantalising seasonal menu is prepared from the finest produce sourced from the high quality food available on our doorstep. The bar is open from: 10am - 11pm Mon to Sat 10am - 10:30pm Sunday Food is served every day: 12 - 2.30pm and 6 - 9pm To reserve a table telephone
Call our dedicated team on
E:firstname.lastname@example.org www.dartingtonhall.com Dartington Accommodation & Catering Services Ltd
Dartington Hall, Totnes, S Devon, TQ9 6EL email@example.com www.dartingtonhall.com Dartington Accommodation & Catering Services Ltd
Totnes Bookshop At the Heart of the Community
A friendly local independent bookshop with a wide range of childrenâ€™s books, green books and great offers for everyone, plus a box office for tickets to Dartington films & events. Open Web Email Tel.
Mon-Sat 9am-5.30pm & Sun 10am-5pm dartington.org/bookshop Find us on Facebook firstname.lastname@example.org 01803 863273
Time to explore... OPENING TIMES Mon/Tue/Wed/Fri/Sat 9.30-5.30 Thu 9.30-5.30 (9.30-7.30 High Season and Christmas) Sun 10.00-5.00
Plenty of free parking
01803 847 500 www.dartington.org/shops The Cider Press Centre, Dartington TQ9 6TQ
DARTINGTON SCENE ARTS SOCIAL JUSTICE SUSTAINABILITY
Dartington directory Main Switchboard Tel: +441803 847000 Archive and Collection Tel: +441803 864114 email@example.com Arts Administration Tel: +441803 847074 firstname.lastname@example.org
butter biscuits by Gaia’s Kitchen author and Schumacher College cook Julia Ponsonby Small Batch 160g (6 oz/1 level cup + 3 level tbsp) plain flour 25g (1 oz/3 tbsp) rice flour or gluten-free flour 85g (3 oz/½ cup) caster sugar ¼ tsp fine salt 140g (5 oz/1¼ sticks) butter 1 egg yolk ½ tsp vanilla essence
Large Batch 640g (1½ lb/5 level cups) 100g ( 4 oz) 340g (12 oz/2 cups) 1 tsp 560g (1 lb 4oz) 1 egg + 1 yolk 2 tsp
Variation extras: (For chocolate butter biscuits, substitute 2 tbsp (small)/½ cup (large) of the plain flour with the same amount of cocoa powder and add some chocolate chips if you like – about 50g in the small batch and 200g in the large) 1. Begin by rubbing the butter into the dry ingredients until a bread-crumb consistency is obtained. At this point add the egg and vanilla essence. Mix then knead the dough gently until a soft round, malleable lump is formed. 2. Roll out the dough on a clean, lightly floured surface - taking only half (or one-eighth) of the mass at a time. Roll lightly, don’t squash the dough down or it will stick; turn it over while it’s still about an inch thick, roll in different directions to keep the dough even. Aim to make the dough about ½ cm (¼”) thick – or perhaps a little less. Then cut the cookies with your cutter, which you can also use to drag your cookies to one side. If they are sticking to your work surface, lift them out with a palette knife or spatula. If your cutter begins to stick, dip it in flour.
Line up the cookies on a baking tray lined with baking parchment or greased. Keep them about 1cm (½” apart) to allow for expansion. If you want to shape the cookies using the log method, simply roll the dough into 5cm/2” thick ‘logs’. (I often roll the logs in sesame seeds for decorative effect). Wrap in grease proof paper and chill in the fridge for half an hour or longer. Once the mixture has stiffened it can be sliced carefully into ½cm (¼”) thick disks using a breadknife, and arranged on baking parchment ready for baking. These dough-logs can be frozen – but remember, if they become too cold and solid they will need to stand at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before they are easy to slice without cracking. This method is much less labour intensive than forming or cutting individual cookies – though less fun for children. 3. Bake for about 15-20 minutes at 180°c (350°f, gas mark 4) until golden brown at the edges. Allow to cool on the baking tray for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack.
© Gaia’s Seasons, Julia Ponsonby
Barn Cinema Box-office:+441803 847070 email@example.com Booking Rooms Tel: +441803 847100 firstname.lastname@example.org Craft Education Tel: +441803 847000 Devon SSE Tel: +441803 847066 email@example.com (DISS) Summer School Tel: +441803 847080 firstname.lastname@example.org Fundraising Tel: +441803 847008 email@example.com Gardens Tel: +441803 862367 firstname.lastname@example.org Press Office Tel: +441803 847026 email@example.com Research in Practice Tel: +441803 867692 firstname.lastname@example.org Research in Practice for Adults Tel: +441803 869753 email@example.com Schumacher College Tel: +441803 865934 firstname.lastname@example.org The Shops at Dartington Tel: +441803 847500 email@example.com Totnes Bookshop Tel: +441803 863273 firstname.lastname@example.org Trust Administration Tel: +441803 847000 email@example.com White Hart Bar/Restaurant Tel: +441803 847111