“We have broken the great conversation. We are talking only to ourselves. We are not talking to the rivers, we are not listening to the wind and stars.”
– Thomas Berry
Deforestation, nitrogen deposition, forest fires, drought, heavy rainfall, storms, disease, and acidification – the forest is under pressure worldwide. More forest is needed to combat further climate change and increase biodiversity. By 2030, 3 billion trees need to be planted in Europe. In the Netherlands, 3 million, an increase of 10%. This growth in forests is a positive development, but if the relationship between humans and the forest does not change, are more trees the correct answer to all the climate problems threatening the forest?
At this time, when common Western conceptions of nature are being questioned, Elmo Vermijs’ multi-year research project StagingWood asks the question: what does it mean to be in dialogue with the non-human environment in general and forest on Terschelling in particular? And what does a nature-inclusive and socially equal relationship between humans and forests look like?
Based on the four stages of the life cycle -germination, growth, decay, and dying- Vermijs, with a changing coalition, among others foresters, scientists, lawyers, activists, artists, writers, and a local sawmill, searches for nature-inclusive and socially just ways of dealing with the forest. Each year, one stage in the forest life cycle takes center stage.
StagingWood consists of many different elements: interdisciplinary research, experiments with circular production processes, spatial installations, public programs, and seminars, publications, and an online platform, but each form of expression serves the same purpose: combating the effects of climate change on the forest of Terschelling and elsewhere.