2025 ✿ Storylines

IAAC Yon Hokyung “Yong (dragon)-to-be” Vase, 2020 top

Many words are walked in the world. Many worlds are made.

Many worlds make us. There are words and worlds that are lies and injustices. There are words and worlds that are truthful and true.

In the world of the powerful there is room only for the big and their helpers. In the world we want, everybody fits. The world we want is a world in which many worlds fit. […] Softly and gently we speak.

 ‘Fourth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle’ (1996) Zapatista National Liberation Army (Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional, EZLN)

Garland is a series of journeys. After the initial journey around the creative spaces of the wider world (2015-2020), we have explored the bridges we make that connect hierarchies, such as the estuary that brings salt and fresh water together (2021-2022),  the non-visual senses and spaces where we come together (2023).

Garland is a platform of stories. The articles reflect experiences grounded in life that resonate with broader themes, such as stewardship. Everyone can have a story.  So far, we’ve been able to publish 1623 articles by 789 writers from 77 countries.  Besides promotion through newsletters and social channels, these stories are also discoverable in the Garden of Stories, organised according to common threads across different issues.

As a publication of the wider world, Garland fosters stories beyond the trans-Atlantic North. An important concept emerging from the South is the pluriverse. The pluriverse is a dynamic of diversity that allows for different systems that are in relation with each other through dialogue and exchange. An important component of this is the concept of buen vivir (sumak kawsay), “to live well”, which is enshrined in the constitutions of Bolivia and Ecuador and involves rights for non-human beings.

The South Project (2004-2009) was one attempt to develop a conversation between the cultures of the South. This showed great potential in the shared goal of developing a plural identity for cultures that have experienced the process of European colonisation. Different stories emerged, such as the “flightless bird”, that reflected a common experience.

The pluriverse risks being an abstract concept, meaningful only in opposition. To give it flesh, the idea for 2025 is to develop a series of issues based on shared stories. These stories connect us not only with each other, but also with ancestors and the non-human world. While books might contain recipes, stories are best brought to life in our creative practices, especially in objects that populate our everyday world.

The story themes will be broad so they function as a common thread without collapsing into a singular archetype.

The task this year is to develop the common threads.

We are seeing interest from:

  • Potential partners for hosting related exhibitions or commissioning local writers
  • Proposals for the particular storylines that might link different cultures, such as water-spirits
  • Handmade objects that tell a shared story

You can contact us here.