• gileslane

Republic of Learning 8: Little Earths, Mythical Objects & Human Stories

Updated: Dec 8, 2021



Our next Republic of Learning event will be on Wednesday December 8th at 6pm London time. We will be hosting it online – using zoom.us. Facilitators: Dr Rachel Jacobs (artist, researcher) and Giles Lane (artist, researcher) in collaboration with Dr Aideen Foley (lecturer & researcher, Birkbeck University of London).


What do we love, care for and want to protect? How would we feel about the planet – the places and non-humans that we love – if we could hold them in our pocket?

In this workshop we will make our own Little Earths, stewardship objects that combine craft making, intimacy, scientific data and stories. A mythical object to keep in our pocket, have in our home or gift to others.


All Welcome, please book a free place via Eventbrite


Zoom Link


Theme : Little Earths, Mythical Objects & Human Stories

The Little Earths we make are based on the Russian nesting Babushka/Matryosjka dolls, worry beads and measurement cups. The Babushka doll is a folk object, nesting different sized dolls within each other to represent different layers of our selves. Worry beads act as a focus of prayer, meditation and mantras. Measurement cups are the most basic way we can measure materials to cook. Nested objects, whether inside each other or alongside each other, help us to see ourselves in relation to the world at different scales.

We will ask 8 questions. The first 4 questions will aid us to create the frame or structure of the Little Earth. These will respond to scientific data and observations at a global, national, local and then individual scale. The next 4 questions will help us explore how we might love, care and protect our Little Earth, responding to myth and folk tales. Leading us to each create a talisman for a more reciprocal future. Drawing on indigenous, folk, historic and scientific knowledge of climate, social and environmental change.


Through the act of making these objects we explore what we can gain from qualitative data (experience) as well as quantitative data (numbers) and how this can then be translated into acts of love, care and protection. Not seeking easy explanations (or judgements) but finding ways to pay attention, be present and share what our own senses and understanding of place, responsibility and change can bring.

For more about the concepts of Little Earths see: https://www.manifest-data.org/post/little-earths-stewardship-intimacy-and-community

Materials that will help you make your Little Earth:

  • paper and/or card, pens, pencils, scissors

  • 4 nested jars, pots, matchboxes, cardboard boxes or measurement cups or 4 different sized envelopes

  • any other craft or art materials you might have to hand (fabrics, string, newspaper, plasticine, paints etc…)


The workshop is free and will take place online on Zoom.