Resist Like Woods 

We invite you to the 2nd forest symposium.

31.07.2020 18:00 —02.08.2020 18:00
Forest and meadow plot between the villages of Hnátnice and Písečná, Orlické Mountains

We invite you to the WOODS for the second year of a meeting of representatives of forest, plant and interspecies communities; experts in forestry, soil management and landscape disciplines; curators; artists; activists; and all who do not fit into these frames. In addition to talking, observing and relaxing, our joint time will be filled with lectures, a forest cinema, reading, meditation, story sharing, cooking, performances, a concert and, this year, an exhibition. 

In today’s era of climatic, political, social, and medical instability, resistance has become one of the primary means for ameliorating and slowing down the destructive consequences of human activity. The fragility of the natural communities that we have disrupted is coming back to us in the form of species extinction, the breakdown of autoimmune and landscape systems, dehydration, erosion, pandemic, and more. The project Where are Europe’s last primary forests?, published in the journal Diversity and Distributions in 2018, studied how Europe’s primary forests are resisting the privatization and industrialization of our landscape. We have reached the point where only a fragment remains of Europe’s primary forests – and this fragment, although it is under protection, is nonetheless used for continued extraction and is the subject of economic interests. One blatant example of this in recent times is the last strip of the Białowieża National Park on the border of Poland and Belarus, which, paradoxically, was preserved thanks to the personal interests of the medieval Polish aristocracy, who retained it as a hunting ground. Nonetheless, even here, extraction has risen substantially over the past decade. Another example is the Romanian primary forest, which is disappearing despite the protests and petitions of the European public. In the Czech Republic, despite all logging plans, 18 primary forests have been preserved.

The resistance of forest communities can serve as an example of how the forest tries to cover the planet’s surface, occupy empty spaces, and protect the life-giving soil layer through its perseverance. It still has this ability despite advancing drought. Nevertheless, human activity is winning out in the massive deforestation of forest growth using heavy high-tech harvesters, whose movement in the forest also causes the draining of water from harvested areas and the erosion of dry exposed soil.

Michael Marder’s essay “Resist like a plant!” recognizes how civil expressions of disobedience and protests against the present market economy take on the form of vegetal cooperation and resistance. How movements like Occupy choose sedentary forms of protest – being in a location, sitting on the ground in a human chain formed by connecting limbs that evoke the occupation of a place, physically growing into it – rather than a desire for violent confrontation, a more animal model of resistance. Direct physical presence without any form of representation expresses, in the most physical form of presentation, the demand for a sustainable social order. Overall, the politics of the Occupy movement is a politics of space, not time, and it broadens its scope by replicating itself in many locations around the world. Occupy rejected the ideal of sovereign, decisive conduct directed by a rational, conscious, or subconscious individual or collective subject, instead cultivating a horizontally growing grassroots network that emerges in places where protest camps are built in the shadow of skyscrapers. These forms of resistance are borrowed by citizens from plant communities to build the foundations of a vegetal–human republic.

We look forward to meeting you in the WOODS.

Resist Like the Woods is prepared for you by Are | and the Institute of Anxiety in collaboration with Bubahof.


Friday 31 July

18:00 – Arrival and accommodation in tents in field or at Rubínek guest house

19:00 – Forest kitchen: dinner

20:00 – David Fesl and Sláva Sobotovičová: Country Life – A discourse on Anna Pammrová and Lana Del Rey / David Fesl and Sláva Sobotovičová are artists who since 2016 have been working together as an artistic couple. Their themes are reflections on communication within the framework of the artistic community and appropriated text.

22:00 – Forest cinema: The Future was Desert Part I, II (directed by Sophia Al Maria, 2016), Hollow Earth (directed by New Mineral Collective – Emilija Škarnulytė and Tanya Busse, 2013), Semente Exterminadora [Exterminator Seed] (directed by Pedro Neves Marques, 2017), Magino Village – A Tale (directed by Šinsuke Ogawa, 1986). Prepared by curators Tereza Porybná and Nicola Marzano. / Tereza Porybná is a cultural manager, curator and producer. Until 2019 she headed the Czech Centre in London. She is a member of both the Czech Psychedelic Society and the British Psychedelic Society, and has focused for several years on yoga and the study of states of consciousness. Nicola Marzano is an Italian film scholar and curator, who heads the ICA London film programme and is a co-founder of the Frames of Representation festival.

Saturday 1 August

9:00 – Forest kitchen: breakfast

10:00 – Exhibition opening: Jan Boháč & Jonáš Richter, Daniela and Linda Dostálková, David Fesl, Kristina Fingerland, Václav Girsa, Denisa Langrová, Marie Lukáčová, Vojtěch Novák, Olbram Pavlíček, Ruta Putramentaite, Anna Ročňová, Lucie Rosenfeldová, Sláva Sobotovičová, David Střeleček, Ondřej Vinš, Lenka Vítková, Martin Zet

11:00 – Arnošt Novák: We’re not conservationists of nature, we are nature defending itself. Nature, subjectivity and the politics of earthliness. / Arnošt Novák is an environmental sociologist and university teacher at the Faculty of Humanities, Charles University in Prague.

12:00 – Josef Ánanda Skuhrovec: Meditation / Josef Ánanda Skuhrovec is a teacher of yoga and meditation. His practice of spiritual science incorporates the teaching of yoga, tantra, Zen, Advaita, Jñāna, mysticism, Ayurveda, shamanism and others. In his seminars he places emphasis on personal experience, and his technique works with consciousness within the body, down to a deep cellular level.

13:00 – Forest kitchen: lunch

15:00 Milan Hron: What have we done to our forests to make them abandon us? And will they ever return? Things don’t happen by chance. What had to happen has finally happened. Will we do what’s necessary? / Milan Hron is a forest ranger with a close relationship to nature.

16:00 – Tomáš Uhnák: A Dark Justice. The forest supports a whole range of ecosystem services, and for the forestry communities and farmers it also safeguards important cultural and social aspects. Just as in agriculture, in forests also several trajectories are being developed, in which carbon neutrality, trade in carbon emissions, biodiversity and farmers’ rights are coming into conflict with the interests of various agencies. What form do these conflicts take, and is it possible to create symbiotic, inter-species relationships? / Tomáš Uhnák is a PhD student at the Czech University of Life Sciences, working at the Association of Local Foodstuffs Initiatives.

17:00 – Vít Havránek: Oulipo in Moss. A studio of linguistic games in a mossy corner of the forest, using the Atlas of Potential Literature from the French Oulipo group. / Vít Havránek is a curator and employee of the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague.

18:00 – Adéla Hrubá: The edible forest on the hill – permaculture in practice. The lecture shall focus on practical life experiences in the creation of a sustainable model of coexistence, both within the framework of the family and with a focus on overlaps and expansion into the local community, and their parallels with the functioning of natural systems. / Adéla Hrubá is a permaculture designer, lecturer and consultant. For almost 15 years she has been living and farming together with her family on a plot of land of approximately one hectare, which is within the network of Exemplary Permaculture Projects under the name Garden on the Hill. She initiated the establishment of the community Garden without a Fence in a pedestrianised area in Žamberk, and at present she is a member of the international team Children in Permaculture, whose aim is to integrate permaculture and the principles of sustainable life into schools.

19:30 – Forest kitchen: dinner

21:00 – Peter Sit: Boričky. Boričky is the name of a forest located at the foothills of the Small Carpathians, in the small community of Dechtice. In the 1970s my grandmother Emíla Sitová helped plant this pine forest. Boričky and its birds, wildlife, rodents, parasites, grass, flowers, trees, their roots, fungi, organisms, their coexistence, cycle, history, future and much more serves as a basis for reflection, a tool, a metaphor, but they are all independent and do not need me or anyone else. / A shifting between the positions of the artist, organiser, publisher, curator or editor is part of the artistic practice of Peter Sit, who together with the Extrasensory-Aesthetics Research Working Group is a finalist for this year’s Jindřich Chalupecký Award.

21:30 – Markéta Lisá: Evening of the Third Day / Markéta Lisá is a musician.

22:00 – Enchanted Lands: Island Spells. A musical set by post-ambient producer from Prague, inspired by the remote islands, dehumanised sculptures and fictional worlds of Tove Jansson. / The Prague-based Enchanted Lands debuted in 2017 with the album Feed Goals on the Prague cassette label Genot Centre, and is now following up with the recording Cryptic Island Eco-Sanctuary on the decentralised online label Quantum Natives. In her work, Enchanted lands depicts a world of plants, Aeolian harps and crystal pads. These sounds seemingly have no relation to existing reality, but are nevertheless alluring, referring to an imaginary world in which dreamlike experiences are a physical reality.

23:00 – BCAA system: LESATAJ. A musical narrative performance on the borderline of DJ-ing, a digital-instrumental live set and intimate ASMR fireside storytelling. Within a deconstructed medley of contemporary experimental electronics, interwoven with acoustic strings, fragile melodic lines intertwine with whispering and thundering tales of possible futures of small and large coexistences. Directly within the territory of WOODS and its immediate surroundings and atmosphere, an improvised audio speculation begins to unfold about its possible inhabitants and their uncertain fates on an arduous journey through the depths of time. / BCAA system is a multidisciplinary collective operating on the boundary of contemporary alternative music, art and theory. They are based in Prague, but endeavour to transgress all restrictive borders: “we are part of a global spirit, we belong anywhere, and anyone belongs to us. #kolektivita #komunita #non-genre #noborders”

00:00 – New Magic Media: What was planted has been taken back (DJ set). Processes of liberation, disinhibition, joy and regeneration. An erotic gesture of sound. Dance with fire to return energy back to the soil.

Sunday 2 August

9:00 – Forest kitchen: breakfast

9:30 – Tereza and Roman Štětina: On a camp in Vanč and the neighbouring forests. / Artists Tereza and Roman Štětina briefly present the past, present and their future plans for the utilisation of approximately 4 hectares of land in Vanč in the Vysočina region, bequeathed to Tereza and her sister Vendula by their family last year.

10:00 – Radek Pokorný: The forest beneath the veil of climate change. The development, state and possible future of the forest in our country. / Radek Pokorný is a senior lecturer in the field of forest cultivation and the head of the Department of Silviculture at the Faculty of Forestry and Wood Technology of Mendel University in Brno. At Mendel University he studied forest engineering, which he followed with a PhD. in the field of Applied and Landscape Ecology. At the Global Change Research Centre of the Czech Academy of Sciences he specialised in the ecophysiology of forest wood plants, phenology, production and allocation of biomass and the water balance of forest crops within the context of environmental change.

11.00 – Josef Ánanda Skuhrovec: breathing exercise and mettā bhāvanā meditation

12:00 – Denisa Tomášková: Climate, Society and Permaculture. A lecture about what permaculture entails and how it can help in shaping a positive vision of the future. / Denisa Tomášková is a permaculture lecturer and designer, who designs gardens and farms, and teaches at the Academy of Permaculture. She is also the mother of four children, and through her work she endeavours to present solutions for ecological cultivation of food, life in harmony with nature and a bright future for human life on Earth.

13:00 – Forest kitchen: lunch

14:00 – Filip Podolský: How do we understand the term geology, and how does it influence our landscape and lives? / Filip Podolský has previously worked in the field of economic geology in the search for minerals, and is currently employed as a geologist in Ústí nad Orlicí, where he focuses especially on the utilisation of geology, i.e. in the field of engineering geology in foundations of constructions (residential houses, reconstructions, industrial buildings, railways, roads), and in the field of hydrogeology in the search for sources of groundwater, conditions for liquidation of rainwater and treated waste water (home treatment plants).

15:00 – Mariana Serranová: Forevergreen. A selection of forest and environmental poetry, reading in the forest, the title refers to a poem by the Japanese poet Nanaa Sakaki (Break the Mirror collection, 1987). / Mariana Serranová is a curator.

CHILDREN’S FOREST GROUP Resist Like Woods (Programme for children)

Friday 31 July
18:00 – Dominik Lang, Martin Zet: First meeting of Children’s Forest Group for exhibition

Saturday 1 August
14:00 – Andrea Medunová: Production of forest rattles
16:00 – Marie Lukáčová: Paint mum and dad
18:00 – Eva Jiřička: Testing of senses

Sunday 2 August
11:00 – Lenka Vítková: Walk with white paper

WOODS – Community for Cultivation, Theory and Art
Forest and meadow plot between the villages of Hnátnice and Písečná, Orlické Mountains


Photo (c) Johana Pošová