“Our ability to face challenges together is what is going to give us the resilience and the capabilities to get through the hard times, which are coming.” Becky Burchell

E150 – Becky Burchell on The Arts, Storytelling and Climate Culture

Resilient Communities Of Hope

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About this interview:

How do we inspire and live the change?

“Our ability to face challenges together is what is going to give us the resilience and the capabilities to get through the hard times, which are coming.” Becky Burchell

In this episode Amisha talks to Becky Burchell, a Futures Producer. Becky’s practice is Hopism :: sharing stories of hope to inspire change. Her work is at the intersection of the arts, environmentalism and social justice. In 2019, she launched CHANGE Festival to elevate people, ideas and narratives that celebrate bold new ways of living, where humanity and the natural world are both able to thrive. Becky has created a play ‘The World We Made’ and a short film series ‘Rise Up’ in response to the environmental and climate crisis.

They talk about how we can live better in community and how creating projects together creates a culture that invites inclusion.Becky tells us about the democratised community of Chettle, a Heritage Village in Dorset, UK, where she lives with her family. In Chettle, the houses and land have been owned outright for generations; no interest being paid to banks and all savings passed down to the people that live there. This breaks all norms and has flourished a hopeful village, where living in community is possible. Together they plant trees reinstating local orchards, they are creating a community food hub taking over the village shop adding a cafe, and they are building a mixed agro ecological farm, all community owned. She shares how ‘all that we are’ fka ‘The Future Is Beautiful’ podcast has influenced her personal work and what they are doing in the village making elements of conversations real and tangible.

Becky reveals that thinking about climate change fundamentally guided the direction of her work, and in search for answers and community to imagine a better future, she created CHANGE Festival. She believes that the Arts has a pivotal role to play in helping us understand and navigate the vivid and complex changes we are facing due to climate change. We learn that sharing hopeful and inspirational stories offers ways to build resilience and hopeful community cultures that can face challenges during uncertain times.

What inspired me to do Change Festival was this idea that if I told stories it would galvanise people into action.” Becky Burchell

Becky Burchell is a Futures Producer, working at the intersection of the arts, communities and the environment. She is currently co-creating a new, community owned food hub in her village in Dorset, to include an agroecological mixed farm, new premises for their much loved village shop and a new cafe. Becky is also the founder of CHANGE Festival a multi-arts event that invites audiences to imagine a better future. Previously arts curator for two of the UKs most successful festivals, Bestival and Camp Bestival, Becky came up with the idea for CHANGE Festival after she had her daughter in 2015. She launched the first iteration in October 2019, at Warwick Arts Centre in Coventry. More than 1,000 people attended over 20 events, including sell-out theatre show, The World We Made, which Becky envisioned and produced, based on environmentalist Jonathon Porritt’s book of the same name.

During COVID, Becky produced five short, fictional films called ‘Rise Up’ with the same creative team that made ‘The World We Made’, which were launched in partnership with charity Reboot the Future and aimed to inspire hope in young people.

CHANGE Festival took place for the second time in November 2021, as part of Coventry’s City of Culture celebrations and the line up included musician Cosmo Sheldrake, peace pilgrim Satish Kumar, Orchestra for the Earth and cabaret artists The Cocoa Butterclub, as well as discussions, workshops, family performances and theatre shows.

Becky says that creating CHANGE Festival was like doing a PHD in the future. To curate the festival, she took a deep dive into the question – how can we imagine better? And her discoveries have led her to where she finds herself now, working creatively within her community and with the land, weaving in all the joy and possibility that her festival revealed to her.

To connect or work with Becky, contact her

To connect or work with Amisha, visit amisha.co.uk

artwork: unknown

CHANGE Festival

CHANGE Festival . YouTube

Chettle community  . YouTube

Castleman hotel & restaurant

Chettle Village Store . Facebook

Rachel Carson . Book ‘Silent Spring’

Nevergreen . Play

Beth Flintoff . playwright

Sophie Austin . director

Camp Bestival

E99 all that we are .  Lyla June on Indigenous Food Systems, Sacred Knowledge And Compassion // Paradigms Embedded In Our Languages Of Beauty

E22 all that we are . Helena Norberg-Hodge on Corporate Control, Systemic Change and Localism // Escaping the jaws of hungry giants

E109 all that we are . Jonathon Porritt on Authentic Hope, Staying Grounded and Intergenerational Justice // A Call To Action – A Hope In Hell

Jonathon Porritt book . ‘The World We Made’

Artist Peter Rush

Naomi Klein

Black Mirror . TV series

Don’t Look Up . movie

Alan Rusbridger . The Guardian editor

E42 all that we are . Polly Higgins on Ecocide Law, Living Your Purpose and Earth Protection // Eradicating Ecocide by an Earth Lawyer

We The Wonderful theatre company

Alan Lane . Artistic Director

Extinction Rebellion

School Strike for Climate . Greta Thunberg

Amisha’s Ghadiali book ‘Intuition’

Reboot The Future book . ‘Imaginal Cells Visions of Transformation’

Helena Norberg Hodge book . ‘Local is Our Future’

RISE UP . CHANGE Festival videos with Amisha Ghadiali as host

CHANGE Festival highlights

1 . ‘Rise Up To Reimagine’ . speakers Tom Ross Williams, Lorna Rees, Izzy McLeod and Cindy Forde

2. ‘Rise Up to Reconnect’ . speakers Kim Polman, Alan Lane, Benedict Macdonald and Hannah Fitchett

3. ‘Rise Up To Reclaim’ . speakers Indra Adnan, Sam Lee, Anita Okunde and Radical Geographer Paul

4. ‘Rise Up To Reawaken’ . speakers were Tamsin Omond, Chris Salisbury and Zoe Palmer

From Me to We Find out more about our latest learning journey, and join us on May 2nd – here.

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