The study of living organisms such as trees has been teaching us that life develops in networks composed of interconnected individuals.
Trees are a primary example: it has recently been brought to light that a forest is a vast network buzzing with information which insures the survival of the entire group, including organisms such as mushrooms, and therefore, the integrity of the entire ecosystem.
Currently humanity is faced with many challenges. Solutions to these problems are emerging through a renewed understanding of how life develops by forming interactive webs. The flow of energy and information which connects the many components of these webs, constitutes and replenishes our life support system. We humans are only one element in a vast and intricate network.
Humans have a special role to play as a part of this complex living system. We may declare ourselves entitled to endlessly exploit all the resources of the Earth, or we may see ourselves as responsible for the equilibrium of this system and take pride in our special function within it.
Pettorano sul Gizio with its surrounding mountains located in the Apennines
In 2020 while still working in Umbria, we discovered Rewilding Apennines, an organisation located in the Abruzzese mountains. Rewilding Apennines is part of the larger structure Rewilding Europe, which supports important conservation initiatives in several European countries.
While conducting research about the Apennines, we discovered that wolfs and bears still live there. Wanting to experience the presence of these animals, Antony decided to move to Pettorano sul Gizio. Not only does the borgo host one of the operational headquarters of Rewilding Apennines, but it is also located inside the Natural Reserve Monte Genzana Alto Gizio, and built along the clear waters of the Gizio river.
The Gizio river in front of one of the mulinos on the occasion of our Kosmic Soul event "Dedication to the Gizio"
In 2021 we initiated a collaboration with Rewilding Apennines and the “Comune di Pettorano sul Gizio" with a series of social and artistic actions.
Over the summer our artistic work included Kosmic Soul concerts, as well as the elaboration of our first production for the "Shadow Theatre”: “The Boy and the Bear”. The story was developed in close collaboration with Mario Cipollone, the team leader of Rewilding Apennines, who gave us factual insights into the life of the Marsican Brown Bear. Thus informed, Antony wrote a story respectful of scientific facts.
While we were developing these artistic forms, we were lead to contemplate the fact that the practice of rewilding, includes the rewilding of humans as much as that of animals. We came to ask ourselves these questions:
how can we learn from non-human life forms such as a bear;
How can we live in reciprocity, not only taking from our surroundings, but also giving back.
Il Ragazzo e l´Orso trailer
Shadow Theatre: The Boy and the Bear
The story tells the encounter of a boy and a bear, as the boy sets out to become a man.
Having lost his father, he must find a solution outside of the human community in order to initiate himself into manhood. Being soulful by nature, the boy is clever enough to discover his own path to fulfil this need… He choses to acquire the power of the Bear, which he perceives as a primal source of virility. His first attempts are focused on food, the material aspect… These attempts fail. In his next attempt, going to a bear’s den in order to hibernate, he takes a different much riskier path. He goes to a place where there is only darkness, where he confronts his deepest fears and discovers the source of his strength.
While Antony tells the story, Nadine animates shadows in our pop-up theatre. The images she created to illustrate the story are minimalistic. The shadow theatre speaks to us on an unconscious level. Nadine wears a tree costume and appears as shadow as she animates the scenes.
For the cut out objects, Nadine recycled cardboard and branches. The magic is created through the use of the cheapest material.
The Boy and the Bear - full English version
Il Ragazzo e l´Orso - full Italian version
Kosmic Soul Music
The Gizio river used to be the source of power for several active and prosperous mills, two of which have been put at our disposal for artistic purposes. The torrent like river runs through the “mulini” area creating a cool corridor both soothing and energising.
At the end of September we created a “Dedication to the Gizio“. Antony set up his instruments inside the ramiera (one of the mill buildings), while the speakers were placed both inside and outside. Between the ramiera and the garden, the Gizio flows. The audience could chose to listen to the music, inside or outside with or without the natural sound of the river.
Inside the “ramiera” we set up masks and sculptures which Nadine had created for the Saga of Blue Wolf during the previous years: the oak cork mask of Yggdrasil, the mask of Blue Wolf, and a newcomer, the Goddess of Truth in her Truth Booth.
Blue Wolf Trance performed by Antony, September 2021
Baptize me with Fire performed infront of the "Goddess of Truth"
She Is performed by Antony, September 2021