Descendants of Fungi: FOREST CHILDREN’S GROUP

Come join children’s group whose attempt is to transcend the boundaries between species.

23.07.2021 —25.07.2021
Orlické hory

Programme of the Group IV.: FOREST CHILDREN’S GROUP with a theme CROSSING BOUNDARIES BETWEEN SPECIES within the third annual symposium in forest and meadow lands between the villages of Hnátnice and Písečná in the Orlické Mountains, 23 – 25.7.2021.


Come and join us for group walks, storytelling, production of masks and costumes and the preparation of a joint event. The aim of the Forest Children’s Group for 2021 is to transcend the boundaries between species. Together we will attempt to understand the speech of animals, fungi and plants, examine their movement and gestures and mutual communication, we shall attempt to listen to their desires, worries and needs, and focus on those inhabitants of the forest that we don’t usually see with the naked eye. Since in the past we noticed that the forest speaks to us more intensively when we’re asleep, this year’s new feature will be a collection of dreams that you experience in the forest. Adult participants in the symposium are cordially invited to this collection of dreams.

The children’s forest group is preparing a programme for children, which is designed but not fixed in advance, and actively responds to the initiatives and needs of its participants. At the same time it enables parents to take part in the programme designated rather for adults.

In addition to the individual programmes, within the framework of the children’s group care will be provided by Žofia and Lujza. / Lujza Srnková is a graduate in painting and a lecturer on courses for children, youth and adults. She focuses on inter-generational connections and unconventional forms in education. Žofia Ščuroková is a student is audiovisual studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratisllava. She spends most of her free time in the nooks of second-hand books and records shops and as tutor at children’s summer camps.

>> Friday 23.7. <<
Creation of a common habitat. Presentation of the forest and familiarisation with its inhabitants. Storytelling about transformations into animals, plants and fungi before bedtime.
14:00-16:00 Creation of habitat of forest children’s group, where the first meeting shall take place. For those who arrive early and want to join in creating a comfortable habitat.
17:00 Presentation of the forest and familiarisation with its inhabitants and among ourselves.
Evening programme: Storytelling, bedtime reading. About talking plants, mushrooms and animals, transformations into other creatures and back again, animal and plant mythology and entities beyond categories.

>> Saturday 24.7. <<
The speech of animals, fungi and plants: attempts to transcend boundaries between species. First speech and movement experiment. Communal imagination. Storytelling before bedtime, collection of dreams.
9:30 Walk through the forest: Observation of the forest, collection of objects, movements and sounds.
10:00 Mary Čtvery: Join together and listen.
 How far can our listening abilities reach? What songs are sung in the forest? And what if our ears are unable to hear what’s most important? How can we silence ourselves in order to learn from the forest? / Marie Čtveráčková aka Mary C is a musician, curator and co-founder of Synth Library.
11:00 Hana Polanská (Turečková): The human body has all the models of developmental levels of our planet encoded within it. Various inorganic forms of nature, plants and animals are precursors of those models from which we learn and thereby rediscover a connection with this history through our own body. Thanks to nature and dwelling within it we can also re-examine various temporalities, rhythms and spaces, and thereby discover and take on other states of being and relations than those preferred by the dominant Western culture. / Hana Polanská (Turečková) is a dancer and choreographer. At present she focuses on somatic movement, analysis of movement and studies the influence of dance-movement therapy on the creation of growth factors in the brain in order to support brain plasticity in old age as prevention against neurodegenerative disorders.
14:30 Magdalena Šipka: Transformation Course. Let’s try to imagine that we’re someone else entirely, we might have branches, we might have scales. How will we live in the forest? / You may know Magdalena Šipka rather as a teleologist, poet or through her journalistic texts, but throughout her life she has worked primarily with children and youth. At present she is developing this profession mainly via a project focused on critical pedagogy, namely Futuropolis: School of Emancipation.
16:00 Nikola Brabcová: Preparation of paints from local plants and pigments. From seeds and roots in the soil to blossoms, which connect us with the world of insects. / Nikola Brabcová studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. Her most recent works deal with soil and natural materials. In addition to her own creative work, she contributes to the project Studio-prototype and Artyč
Evening programme: Storytelling, bedtime reading. Magdalena Šipka: Night trip. What language does nature speak in the dark, and what is concealed within it?

>> Sunday 25.7. <<
Attempt at transformation.
9:30 Becoming animals, fungi or plants. Speech and movement experiment. Production of costumes and masks.
14:30 Completion of costumes and masks. Becoming the forest. Communal and individual inhabiting of the forest. Transformation.
16:00 Return to original form. Or not. Departure for home.

Group realisation team: Eva Koťátková, Barbora Kleinhamplová, Petra Pučeková, Lujza Srnková, Žofia Ščuroková

Photodocumentation (c) Johana Pošová

This program is realized within the programe of summer symposium Descendants of Fungi supported by Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic, State Cultural Fund, Waterrain.