Alan Dearling was lucky enough to enjoy a wonderfully mis-spent youth in the 1960s, travelling to the early rock and pop festivals and experiencing the delights of early Pink Floyd, the Beatles, Hendrix, the Doors, Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band and Jefferson Airplane. But he’s even more interested in what he’s listening to and seeing live now!
Early in his life, he contributed a few drawings and words for the UK’s underground press in International Times, and more later in Melody Maker and became a respected writer and active festival/gig organiser. He has written and published a large number of books about creative work with young people and social policy. Over the years, Alan has worked at a number of universities including Brunel, Cardiff and Queensland University of Technology. Alan is also proud to be involved with his friends and colleagues supporting the Futurological Free Cultural Spaces Symposia. His books on youth cultures, alternative lifestyles, eco-protest, festivals and new Travellers include: A time to travel?; No Boundaries; Alternative Australia – celebrating cultural diversity; Another kind of Space; Battle of the Beanfield; Youth Africa Music Experience and Travelling Daze. www.enablerpublications.co.uk
Sam Wilkinson is a ‘new traveller’ or nomad. Since 2010 her and her partner have lived a nomadic life on the road in the UK and on the continent. She became aware of new travellers in 1990 as the rave scene exploded and some friends took to living in vehicles travelling from party to rave to festival in the summer and staying on sites in the winter. She was always interested in the scene and kept in touch with it as it developed and then came crashing down as a result of the CJA (criminal justice act) in 1995. She is a keen environmentalist and has spent time on some protest sites trying to protect ancient forests being destroyed. She encourages the use of renewable energy, growing and eating organic food and living more in harmony with each other and nature. www.samsimillia.co.uk and www.positive-evolution.org.uk
Sobey Wing is of Visayan, Spanish, French and Chinese descent living on Unceded Coast Salish Territory known as Vancouver BC. He is a long time member of what is being called the Transformational Festival culture as a former Earthdance organizer and dance collective member with Tribal Harmonix. He currently is a founding member of Full Moon Medicine in the Lower Mainland BC and goes as dj SobeyOne. In recent years he has been on a path related to renewing rites of passage in society and decolonization. He is a board member with Youth Passageways organization which supports the initiation of youth into adulthood globally. Another organization he is a Director on the board is with Kathara Indigenous Pilipino Arts Collective Society. He is affiliated with Evolver Spore Network and holds a role as Cross-Cultural consultant and is host to newly released Decolonize Consciousness webinars on Evolver Learning Labs. He is also the regional Evolver Sporeganizer for Vancouver. Sobey is also an international speaker on rites of passage who spoke at the Boom Festival in 2014 and facilitated the fishbowl council during the close of the 4th Futurological Symposisum of Free Cultural Spaces at the Liminal Village. sobeyone.tumblr.com
Vanessa Wright spent the 1990’s working and travelling with various London based free party sound-systems around the UK, Europe and Australia. She also gained a degree in this time focusing her research on the 1960’s squatting movement and search for cultural space across Europe. Since then she has spent time living in Southern Spain and eventually settled in Brighton, UK. Whilst retaining links and interests with the travelling and festival scene and also developing an interest in the Permaculture movement, Vanessa has also established herself as a software analyst and has worked on the development of many websites and online information systems.
In New York City, Alan W. Moore worked with the artists’ groups Colab and helped start the cultural center ABC No Rio. He worked as a critic for Artforum and the East Village Eye, and made video art and installations from the mid-1970s into the 1980s. In 1986 he started the MWF Video Club artists’ distribution project (ended 2000), the basis for the New Museum’s 2013 show XFR STN. In the early 1990s he went back to school in art history (CUNY PhD, 2000). He has written on artists’ groups, cultural districts and cultural economies. He wrote Art Gangs: Protest and Counterculture in New York City (Autonomedia 2011). He penned chapters for Julie Ault,ed., Alternative Art NY; Blake Stimson & Gregory Sholette, eds., Collectivism after Modernism; and Clayton Patterson et al. eds., Resistance: A Political History of the Lower East Side. He runs the “House Magic” project on self-organized occupied social centers (5 zines, ’09-’13). In 2013 he received a Warhol Foundation Artswriter grant to write a book on art and occupations; it is drafted as “Occupation Culture.” He lives in Madrid.
Mookx Hanley is a well-known and loved musician and writer based in the New South Wales Rainbow Community in Australia. His songs include ‘Marijuana Australiana’ and ‘Mangoes in the Moonlight’. He co-piloted the ‘Alternative Australia: celebrating cultural diversity’ book with Alan Dearling. Mookx has also been a committed ‘keeper of the spirit’ at protests like Terania, Franklin River and Kakadu Park. Mookx tells us: “Jabiluka anti-uranium rally was a heady drug! Make no mistake! Surrendered and focussed on saving the forest or whatever, some part of the individual ego moves over to allow the collective to take some greater role…and magic happens as a result.” www.mookx.com
Margaret Greenfields started out life as London born child of socialist, politically active parents of mixed European ancestry. After deciding that she wasn’t going to do the ‘expected thing’ and head to university at 18 she took to festivals and was ‘on the road’ for some years in the late 70s-mid 80s, undertaking a range of jobs from fruit and vegetable picking, working in festival cafes, to busking, interspersed with odd periods in London jobs, working in community centres, wholefood shops and a squat-socialist/anarchist bookshop in Islington.
She very soon fell in a great bunch of people at Festival Welfare Services (see Alan Dearling and friends’ ‘Travelling Daze’ (2013) book), and began working/living with a team of like-minded practical, creative somewhat anarchic types spending about 10 months of every year at mainly free festivals providing basic medical/festival type community care, liaison with police over evictions, dealt with everything from lost kids to drugs overdoses and with the FWS team worked through the aftermath of the Stonehenge evictions and related events providing practical support to people who had lost everything or were highly traumatised. She also acted as a para-legal supporting the lawyers on those cases. Out of Festival Welfare Services (and involving many of the same people) grew the Travellers Aid Trust, Festival Eye and other off-shoots some of which Margaret is still involved in loosely.
As a result of the Free Festival/Stonehenge experiences and feeling that she had gained a better understanding of legal processes and what it meant to travel than most of the lawyers working on associated eviction/Beanfield cases Margaret eventually went to SOAS (in the late 80s) and ultimately became a community lawyer, heavily involved in gender issues, community housing/co-op and squatting circles in North London and eventually a policy specialist in similar fields. She still works closely with Gypsies, Travellers (and now Roma communities) on accommodation, site and health issues as well as being involved with refugee and asylum seeking projects.
Margaret is mainly involved in the academic scene now, after jumping ship to run a ‘diversity institute’ (IDRICS) but has a large and varied network of friends, colleagues, contacts as well as keeping in touch with the ‘usual suspects’ involved in music, arts, politicised LGBT activities etc. She is an active member of a renowned left-wing synagogue with a very arts-and politically focused membership whose out lesbian Marxist Rabbi could be found during the London occupy movement holding Friday night services on the steps of St. Paul’s Cathedral. Margaret believes profoundly in the principles of Paolo Freire and Gramsci and is committed to the notion that ‘knowledge is power’ and that knowledge and skills for policy, research and political action are best concentrated in the hands of those most at risk of being affected by the misuse of power. bucks.ac.uk/whoswho/profile/margaret_greenfields
Doel is situated in the port of Antwerp and originally a small town on a former peninsula. It must be clear: though there is a cigarette-vending machine and three kinds of hospitality-industry-opportunities (the Windmill, Doel 5 and the society of the port of Doel ‘de Spuikom’) to stay in Doel is not possible in a self-sufficient way; so if you come there, take enough for your livelyhood. Except a public toilet and a flowing water, you will find a cosy meeting of the local resistance, every Sunday afternoon, in the old schoolbuilding (de Doolen, Engelsesteenweg 8).
The center of the village is ‘our’ square, with three totempoles on it, across from the former Police Station. Though camping is officially not allowed, if done with care and a little bit out of sight no one will bother. The place is not a big squat; entering the dozens of empty houses is strictly forbidden and not appreciated by the local residents. But in the future it will be possible to get a house there. We are working on a place for artist in residence.
See the Web of Hubs listing for Freeport D¤EL
Wolfgang Sterneck connects ‘Music, Mind and Politics’ practically in the sense of cultural projects and critical social activism, but also theoretically in several publications, teachings and research.
He is co-organizer of numerous projects and events like the Cybertribe-Visions (Online Archives), the Gathering of the Tribes (International Festival), KomistA (Label and Publishing) and Reclaim the Streets (Socio-cultural Activism).
In addition, Wolfgang has published several articles, photo-reports and books on rhythm and change, drugs and sexuality, realities and visions, … and on “free cultural spaces in the cracks of the systems” …
More info: www.sterneck.net