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Everyday Life as a Knot of Flows: Conversations Along the River Don

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In partnership with Don Catchment Rivers Trust, Dark Matter Labs & The River Dôn Project

Sheffield sits at the meeting point of five rivers, the Loxley, Rivelin, Porter, and Sheaf, which flow into the River Don. In the day-to-day bustle of city life, their role is sometimes taken for granted, but the river sits at the heart of multiple interlinked systems.

In this in-person experience of the river, Don Catchment Rivers Trust (DCRT) will engage with members of the public to help us understand our relationship with the River Don ecosystem through experiencing the river in person. DCRT will be our guides in uncovering the various relationships and agents that are part of the River Don, and help us reconceive the river as not a bounded object, but networks of interactions.

Don Catchment Rivers Trust

Don Catchment Rivers Trust has been established to help protect and restore the rivers in the River Don catchment area, this includes not just the River Don but also the River Dearne, River Rother and other rivers such as the Sheaf, Went, Ea Beck and many others.

Our rivers are a valuable asset which tell the story of our culture and heritage. They are important for people, wildlife and the local economy, and form an integral part of our landscape.

The River Dôn Project

The River Dôn Project aims to explore the potential of the River Don in obtaining legal personhood status. In challenging the current legal model of ownership, we would create the conditions for new legal, economic and democratic frameworks for the Rights of Nature in South Yorkshire.

By attaining enhanced rights for the River Don, we want to change the way we interact with and value the river - socially, economically, politically and environmentally.

Dark Matter Labs

Dark Matter Labs: In a context of climate breakdown and technological disruption, Dark Matter Labs focuses on accelerating societal transition towards collective care, shared agency, long-termism and interconnectedness. Our daily work ranges from policy and regulation to finance and data, from governance and democratic participation to organisational culture and identity.

We organise our work around what this transition needs, and the things we want to see in the world. To keep that transparent, we undertake open work in collaborative partnerships to provoke alternative visions of the future, designing how they might look in practice, and experimenting in context to reveal how they could work and enable the necessary change.

This event is part of the series of 5 events around the theme of beyond property and ownership. The other 4 events are Verbs not Nouns - The Role of Language in Scaffolding Alternative Worldviews and Futures, Who Owns the Land? A New Theory of Rights & Responsibilities, Everyday Life as a Knot of Flows - Collective Mapping for River Don Entanglement, Who Owns The River Don? Exploring Rights of Nature, Self-Ownership & Reciprocal Stewardship. You are encouraged to participate in them all but it's ok if not. Each event will recap the previous ones and some parts will be documented.

Part of our 2023 festival strand


How can we respond to the climate crisis and biosphere collapse?