This publication has been produced by Arnolfini in collaboration with Black2Nature’s young people.
Black2Nature was set up in 2016 by Dr Mya-Rose Craig AKA Birdgirl. As a charity, they organise free nature camps for visible minority ethnic young people— and most recently, a Women’s group, from all ethnicities and backgrounds. The camps deliver a wide range of activities such as birding, pond dipping, camp cooking and nature photography. They also provide discussions about the environment and topics like the various impacts of climate change to encourage and support young people to form basic connections with nature.
A team of three creative women of colour from Arnolfini were invited to join a weekend nature camp in the Mendips to meet, engage with, and explore creativity with a group of sixteen young people from Black2Nature’s community. Together we explored the question ‘How does it feel to be in nature?’ through etching and cyanotype workshops led by Kiara Corales, Jade Harding and Indiana Lawrence.
Helena, Chair of Black2Nature, shared with us some of the tender experiences from the retreats where it is often the simple gestures of understanding that can help to build connections with nature:
“On one camp we had a boy who was pointing up at the sky saying: ‘what’s that, what’s that?’— and it was Jupiter. He had no idea you could see the planets at night, so we set up some telescopes for him and his friends to have a look. It was amazing. We need to engage with them on their terms so we need to find ways to make nature relevant to them— I think that’s the key.”