Eucapocalypts Now

I collaborated with Aaron Kirby to create a suite of poems broadly aligned with The Dark Mountain Project.

This is the project in Aaron’s words: ‘Eucapocolypts Now’ starts from the premise that we need to be prepared for a future in which human life is no longer the center of the world. The capacity of the world to fulfill our material desires is being rapidly depleted, particularly in Australia, and we are concerned to think through a particularly Australian response – a wave of eucalypt breaking over our cities and towns; tarmac cracks and blisters and the mallee begins its long march back over abandoned farmland. How are we to process this? Will we go mad? Or can we develop new myths and philosophies which complement the sour taste of sap?

Depending on our ideological position, we can find it strangely easy to think about a total collapse of current systems into a worldwide wasteland or some sort of Richard-Branson-like progression to life in deep space. While it is relatively simple to imagine everything rapidly falling apart, or a tech-infused continuation of our consumer lives, it remains difficult to imagine a more nuanced future in which society, sometimes happily and sometimes painfully, gradually grinds through what remains of Earth’s resources until it peters out.

Yet this slow and non-simultaneous set of personal collapses is what we most likely face as a society. In Eucapocalypts Now, we try to situate ourselves to imagine a future in which there is “No apocalypse and no bases on Mars. No industrial collapse followed by a return to hunter gathering, and no Singularity either. Just a gradual, messy, winding-down of everything we once believed we were entitled to.” (Kingsnorth, The Dark Mountain Project).

Why now? Because it is already too late.

Eucapocalypts Now showed at Crack theatre festival as a part of This Is Not Art, Newcastle, October 2014, and has received support from the Setting the Stages initiative thanks to Crack theatre and the Australia Council for the Arts. It also showed as part of the You Are Here festival in Canberra, March 2015.

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