Queer Ecologies at Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park
is an artist residency exploring how we live, grow, love, make kin and
ecologies we are a part of. We’re telling new stories about nature and
powering interspecies collaborations, and honouring the inherently qu
found throughout nature.
From June—September 2021 we are offering gatherings around a cam
mances, and—for the finale—a Microbe Disco where you can dance w
of the Cemetery Park’s ecosystem!
People of all genders and sexual orientations are welcome, with a par
trans, sick, disabled and Queer, Trans, Intersex, Black folks, and peo
All events are ticketed - some are free, and some on a sliding scale with
To book, please go to: http://tiny.cc/queerecologies
stand in allyship with the
our connection to it, emeer
patterns and relations
pfire, workshops, perforith
the smallest members
cular welcome for queer,
ple of colour (QTIBPOC)
free tickets available.
Photo Image by Hari Byles
Full Moon Fires
7-9pm, free but ticketed
Thursday 24th June, Saturday 24th July. Sunday 22nd August,
Tuesday 21st September
The final fire includes a soap-making workshop from 6-7pm
Throughout summer we are hosting monthly full moon fire
gatherings to share what we’re working on, hear from our
collaborators and connect with visitors to the Cemetery Park.
This will be a facilitated, informal and open space to gaze at
the moon, share stories, ponderings, and queer ecological encounters.
Meet at the Soanes Centre at 7pm to walk to the fire together.
Bring cosy clothes, kindling, blankets, etc! This is an alcohol-free
Photo by Nicol Vizioli
Ceramics from the Future
Saturday 4 th July, 1-5pm, free but ticketed
Join writer Linden K McMahon and ceramicist Nissa Nishikawa
for a workshop combining poetry, pottery, and speculative fiction.
Create clay pots inscribed with messages from the future - imagining
the people who we will become ancestors to, and what
they might want to say to us. We’ll guide you through writing
and ceramics activities to imagine better futures together! The
pots will become part of The Clay in Us, an immersive storytelling
walk and installation. Everyone who attends the workshop will
get a free ticket to the performance, and will be able to take
their pot home after the final show. Meet at the Soanes Centre.
Please wear clothes you don’t mind getting clay on!
Ecologies of Care—skill share, zine making &
Saturday 17 th July, 1-4pm, free but ticketed
From social care; to litter picking; repairing; cleaning; maintaining;
forming mutual aid networks, care webs and triangles;
improving access, making medicines, attending to
needs, building personal resilience and challenging injustice...
care can be so many things.
What does care mean to you? What have you learnt about
care lately that you would like to share with others? How can
care for land and people be integrated, better supported and
resourced in Tower Hamlets and beyond? What are the
different forms care can take in your experience? And would
you like to make a zine* about it?
This exploratory workshop is open to all humans and nonhumans
who experience the giving and receiving of care. It is
a space to connect with others, learn, build local networks,
Photo by Hari Byles
share strategies, look through a microscope, imagine and
craft future care ecologies together. If you would like to collaborate
further on making this happen please get in touch as
there is some budget to support this.
Following this workshop there will be an opportunity to get
involved in some local archive digging, to learn together
about the histories of care in and around Tower Hamlets
Cemetery Park. There will also be a chance to collaborate on
co-creating an offering / monument / or tool installed in the
park, to honour caretakers of the past, present and future.
We recognise that it can be almost impossible for those giving
and receiving care in a full or part-time capacity to attend
events like this. If this is you, but you are still keen to join,
please do write to email@example.com or call
07941696070 and we can explore options for creating a
zoom link, making a recording or covering costs.
*A zine is a DIY publication which looks like a small homemade
magazine. It can be a good way to share and circulate ideas,
strategies, and writings.
Ama Josephine Budge
Saturday 31st July, 1-4pm
£5 (free tickets available)
This is a 3-hour workshop for Black writers, wannabe-writers,
nerds, and dreamers to collective speculate on Blackness and
Black Queer Ecologies together. Absolute beginners and
those with an established writing practice are welcome. The
session will begin with a reading by speculative writer Ama
Josephine Budge. We’ll then be drawing on the ecologies and
possibilities Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park to think through
the ways in which Blackness and ecology connect and queer
one another opening up new ways of dreaming and manifesting
interspecies futures. The session will be gently paced
and structured towards care and rejuvenation. You will be
offered some speculative pre-reading to begin thinking
through queer ecologies ahead of the session and to inspire
gentle conversations, dreaming and writing. For this workshop
Black is defined as those of African, Afro-Latinx and
Caribbean descent. LGBTQIA+ Black folks are especially welcome.
Image by Linden K McMah-
Six days until Dawn. Six Earth days, that
The sky had started to lighten. Infinitesimally.
Living on Aborellum gave one a new
sense of time. Of ages. Of slowing down.
Duas who finished up their twenty-five
year residency and decided to return to
earth, rather than one of the easy-living
gestation planets, often struggled with the
pace. Their internal ecologies somehow irreversibly
altered: attuned not to other humans,
but to the trees. But for Thea, isolation
from her own species was one of the
reasons she’d applied for the job.
turday 7th August, 3-4pm
ckets £5-£15, with some free tickets
An uncanny story of interspecies codependence,
sensuality and isolation in the
wake of climate catastrophe. This is a reading
from Ama Josephine Budge’s new novella, with
installations, soundscapes, and an arboreal silks
They looked at pollen, and carbon
isotopes, and volcanic ash,
and they were stumped. They
told me that from their investigation,
it wasn’t from the present,
but it didn’t seem to be
from the past, either.
I wasn’t – I don’t know, I wasn’t
surprised, and I didn’t have
trouble believing them. The
others found it harder to believe,
and that was kind of OK.
I’ve had to learn how to believe
– people tell me I don’t exist all
The Clay in Us
Saturday 7th August & Sunday 22nd August,
£5-£15, with some free tickets available
Mysterious poems have started appearing on halfburied
pots, and Willow is convinced they’re from
the future… What are they trying to tell us? And
what will Willow do about it? Discover messages
from descendants, ancestors, and ecologies in this
immersive storytelling walk and installation celebrating
queer human and non-human kin, written
and performed by Linden K McMahon.
aturday 4 th September, 7-11pm
ickets £5-£15, with some free tickets available
in/visible disco, begins at the centre of a hot
ecting microscope videos from the Cemetery
’s soils and waters, we invite audiences to meet your comon
species and dance with microbes - coming together in
entanglements of pleasure, care, and curiosity, finding new
hms, languages and moves! This evening will include a sidisco,
costume-making, performances, DJs, and a chill out
e with short film screenings.
All events are outside, and ticketed to make sure we don’t
get too crowded and can maintain social distancing. We
want to create a space in which it’s ok to remind each other
about social distancing, so please don’t take offence if someone
asks for a bit more space. Hand sanitiser will be available
and face masks needed for accessing toilets and other indoor
Please don’t attend if you or a member of your household or
support bubble have symptoms of Covid-19, and follow government
guidance on travelling to the Cemetery Park—please
avoid public transport if possible.
Further Covid safety information is included when you book
your tickets—please read through it carefully.
Photo by Hari Byles
Other Access Info
Workshops will have the option of an outside covered area in
wet weather. Toilets are not always available onsite; you can
find the nearest accessible toilet at www.lockdownloo.com/.
We will also provide a toilet map to all attendees on the day.
All events are reached by compacted crushed concrete or
earth paths, with some events taking place on grass alongside
a path. Walking distances from the road vary from 100-
500m, though if arranged in advance a vehicle could also
drive onto the site. There will be a range of different seating
options available - including rugs, cushions, logs, benches
with backs, or chairs with arm rests. Let us know if you have
any other specific seating requirements which you’d like us
BSL interpretation is available and will be automatically provided
for performances. We are also able to book interpreters
for workshops and gatherings—please let us know at least
two weeks in advance if you would like to request this.
We can also provide interpreters for other languages for any
event—please let us know two weeks in advance if you
would like this.
We aim to make our events as accessible as possible, and are
learning constantly how to do this better. If you would like to
let us know about any specific requirements or access needs
that you would like us to meet, or offer feedback on our accessibility
arrangements, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Safer Spaces Policy
We call it a "safer" space in order to acknowledge that
we've been conditioned under white-supremacist, heteronormative,
capitalist patriarchy which means we can
all bring oppression with us into the room/landscape.
However, by working towards these aims we can establish
shared values and practices as well as a commitment
to accountability models that allow us to openly
work with conflict, oppression, and silencing.
In this space, we will call out and interrupt systems of
oppression and hate speech including racist behaviour,
homophobia, transphobia, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism,
ableism, colourism, bodyshaming/fat-phobia and
classism. We ask you all to commit to doing this as well,
to working towards this safer space together - a space
we are all responsible for maintaining and improving.
We trust you to know what you need, and invite you to
share your needs with others or to ask us for support in
working that out.
We expect you to be aware of your intersecting privileges
and the ways in which your conditioning might
silence, speak-for or make spaces feel less safe for others.
We ask you not to speak on behalf of, or over, life
experiences that are not your own. Please be mindful of
this when you make contributions to collective discussions.
We practice close, attentive listening and compassionate
correction (for example with pronouns etc.)
We acknowledge that what we bring to an event /
workshop / gathering is only a small part of who we
each are. We therefore don't assume life experience or
We ask that you are accountable for your own wellbeing.
This means asking for help if you are struggling, and
asking for the protocols you need to feel safe. If for any
reason, you are unable to ask for/articulate these, we
invite you to check in with the facilitators at an appropriate
moment. We are here for you and really want to
know what you think and how you're doing!
We ask for trigger warnings during discussions before
sharing any potentially traumatic or violent content that
may have a negative impact on someone with similar or
different life experiences to you. This means waiting a
few moments after the trigger warning to give time for
people to step away from the conversation.
As a species working to — following the sentiments of
adrienne maree brown — re-earn our right to live on/
with this planet, we work not to be extractive or to express
entitlement over the time, value and emotions of
other life we share space with, be they human or nonhuman.
Finally we are actively working toward a world which is
not without suffering, but which has eradicated systemic
suffering; that is, systems of power that mean certain
groups always suffer more than others. This means we
dare to dream big, complexly, pleasurably and together
as we work to manifest those speculative possibilities as
About Tower Hamlets
Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park offers everyone a breathing
space in the heart of East London. This 31-acre nature
reserve is London’s most central urban woodland
and one of its ‘Magnificent Seven’ cemeteries. It’s a people’s
park, a sanctuary for wildlife, a place for remembrance
and a site for community events, field studies and
forest schools. Always changing with the seasons and
rooted in the unique heritage of the East End, it’s a place
full of history, discovery and possibilities for all.
The Friends of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park (FoTHCP)
is an award-winning local charity working to protect, preserve
and care for the Cemetery Park. Our passionate
staff and volunteers share their energy, expert
knowledge and vision to shape the future of the park for
everyone’s benefit. Find out more at https://fothcp.org/
We particularly want to thank Ken, Claire, Michelle, Suzanna,
Dim, Terry and the rest of the team at Tower Hamlets
Cemetery Park—for their support, enthusiasm, and willingness
to embrace our weird ideas!
Thank you to those that supported and read through our
Arts Council application: Justin Hunt at the Arts Council,
Ben and the LADA team, Vicki Amedume at UPSWING, and
Thank you to the collaborators and teachers who make up
our creative ecosystem: Nissa Nishikawa; Sin Wai Kin;
Auclair; Bimpe Alliu; Ceramics Studio Co-op; Anna at
Louche Magazine; Ben, Lois, Joseph and Finn at LADA,; former
THCP artist in residence Louise Hildreth; the many
caretakers of THCP; Halima at Tower Hamlets Local History
And to our interspecies collaborators, who teach us about
interdependence, symbiosis and so much more: Mama
Plane, lichen, the worms, mushrooms, Potkin, Merlin, Bearyl,
Chloe, sparrows, cleavers, rotifers, compost piles.
This project would not have been possible without public
funding from the Arts Council National Lottery Project
Photo by Nissa Nishikawa
Queer Ecologies: What’s On
Thurs 24th June Full Moon Fire Gathering
Sun 4th July
Ceramics from the Future:
poetry and ceramics
Sat 17th July
Ecologies of Care: skill
share, zine making & collaborations
Sat 24th July Full Moon Fire Gathering
Sat 31st July
Science Fiction as Black
Queer Joy Ecologies
Sat 7th Aug
Sun 22nd Aug
Dawn in Arborellum
The Clay in Us
The Clay in Us
Full Moon Fire
Sat 4th Sept
Tues 21st Sept
The Microbe Disco!
Full Moon Fire
To book, go to: tiny.cc/queerecologies