The Commons

The Commons

Explore stories, ideas and experiences on enclosures, commoning and ecologies. Use the filters to browse by theme and type of content.

Season: Strange Natures

Future Natures

Comic: Future Natures

Future Natures

Introductory comic from Future Natures about modern crises and the radical potential of commoning.

Zine: ‘Strange Natures’

Future Natures

A zine of art and essays on the theme of ‘Strange Natures’.

Podcast: Land, democracy, identity

Future Natures

What is land for?

Future Natures

What happened to the global land grab?

Future Natures

Ian Scoones discusses the aftermath and legacies of the ‘global land grab’ ahead of a major international conference on the topic.

Strange Natures: Black Water Crossing

Future Natures

An excerpt from a comic that explores a fantastical journey to a strange island in the Andaman sea.

Strange Natures: The pale glade

Future Natures

Photo story: Xolobeni – A Commoning Success Story

Hali Healy

Strange Natures: Singing bullfrogs of Sanjay Van

Future Natures

A story about a strange encounter with singing frogs in a South Delhi forest, and the possibility of communication between species.

Strange Natures: BRICKS

Future Natures

A short experimental film by Ceri Nicholls about the strangeness of human-centred worlds, isolation and nature.

Strange Natures: The Value of a Voice

Future Natures

A short story from the deep ocean by Sara Stoudt.

Strange Natures: Volatile ecologies and shifting islands

Future Natures

Photo story by Sampurna Das about the shifting river islands of eastern India.

Strange Natures: Zine – ‘Strange Realism’

Future Natures

A zine by Francis Gene-Rowe about poetry, the self, time, stories and nature.

Strange Natures: The haunted floodplains of San Felipe

Future Natures

A series of artworks by Jorge Losoya visualise how a community is haunted by past and future floods.

Weird seas of the climate crisis – birds as eerie revelation

Future Natures

Closely observing strange patterns in bird behaviour, Andrew Whitehouse finds hints of the unsettled climate.

Strange Natures: Scarification

Future Natures

A short story by Michael Reeks, responding to the theme of Strange Natures.

MINERIA: An animation about mining, energy and justice

Future Natures

Strange Natures: Compost

Future Natures

A short series of drawings by Marion Bessol in response to the theme of ‘Strange Natures’.

Strange Natures: Podcast – Folk horror and English commons

Future Natures

Andy Thatcher discusses how he uses film to appreciate English commons, and the uses of folk horror, the ‘weird’ and the ‘eerie’ in exploring contested histories.

Strange Natures: Podcast – Forgotten places and the field of memory

Future Natures

Strange Natures: PLOT – A film by JT Roane

Future Natures

Strange Natures: Common Place

Future Natures

Common Place, a film by Andy Thatcher, is a hauntological exploration of access and climate crisis at a common in Devon. Common Place was filmed as part of a series of explorations around the Pebblebed Heaths National Nature Reserve in East Devon. Andy writes: I spent the month around the solstice 2023 filming in the […]

Strange Natures: Clouties – a ghost story

Future Natures

Short film by Andy Thatcher set in Grovely Wood, a registered common and former Norman hunting forest in southern England.

Podcast: Mining and Resistance in Covas do Barroso

Future Natures

Future Natures podcast episode about resistance to lithium mining in Portugal.

Comic: Map, Territory, Story

Amber Huff

The second comic from Future Natures explores the abuses of maps and the myth of the so-called ‘tragedy’ of the commons.

Climate uncertainty and the arts

Future Natures

Jo Walton discusses how art, games and other creativity can help to open up alternative futures.

Comic: People Power – Smart Local Energy Systems

Future Natures

A comic about how to involve people in energy systems at a local level, inspired by commons-based approaches.

More than a pub: the story of The Bevy

Future Natures

How a pub in Brighton became a centre of social life, learning and mutual support for a community.

Online archive: East London Big Flame

Nathan Oxley

Explore an online archive of documents from political activism in London in the 1970s and 1980s.

Recommended podcast: Changing Currents

Nathan Oxley

This podcast from Arts Catalyst brings together artists, growers, community groups and researchers working on different initiatives in South Yorkshire.

To think, feel and see otherwise: a report and a mini-zine from POLLEN23

Nathan Oxley

Some reflections and a mini-zine from the conference of the Political Ecology Network (POLLEN) in June 2023.

Photo story: Views of Mpox in Nigeria

Future Natures

Based on research in Nigeria, this story explores how mpox is felt and understood by different people – including those with symptoms, the wider community and healthcare workers.

Comic: Mpox in Nigeria – lessons from diverse experiences

Future Natures

Comic that explores the varied experience of mpox in Nigeria, with suggested lessons for healthcare elsewhere in the world.

My body as food, my food as neighbour

Future Natures

Mapping community gardens in the UK

Nathan Oxley

The organisation Sustain provides a map of community gardens around the UK, and organises a weekend of action where gardens invite people in to take part.

Naming, unnaming and commons

Nathan Oxley

Names can be used to hurt and heal. What can ‘unnaming’ do for people’s relationships to the other creatures around them?

A Portuguese village on the front line of the ‘energy transition’

Future Natures

Comic: Seeing Conflict at the Margins

Jeremy Lind

Film ‘Finite’ documents community resistance against mines

Nathan Oxley

A powerful documentary about people coming together to take action against new mining developments in Germany and the UK.

Podcast; Seeding the commons in Argentina

Anoushka Zoob Carter

Podcast episode with Almendra Cremaschi of Bioleft, a seed commoning initiative based in Argentina.

Unsettling enclosures

Anoushka Zoob Carter

Anoushka Zoob Carter asks what the unsettling of enclosures looks like on the land in three different contexts.

Video: JT Roane on ‘Dark Agoras’ in Philadelphia

Future Natures

How could land in England be reformed for the commons?

Future Natures

Elise Wach explores the proposals from various social movements for changing how England’s rural spaces are governed.

Podcast: Food that’s not for sale

Anoushka Zoob Carter

A conversation with Sam Bliss on the practices that can decommodify food and ‘re-common’ the food system.

Video: Crisis, development & ecologies of the new commons

Future Natures

Watch a discussion about commoning and responses to crisis, drawing on examples from Argentina and the UK.

Podcast: Commoning in a Palestinian refugee camp

Anoushka Zoob Carter

Geothermal meets pastoral livelihoods in Kenya

Jeremy Lind

Masters in Commons Administration: new taster course in 2023

Future Natures

Encountering the commons in The Pluriverse of Eco-social Justice

Anoushka Zoob Carter

The history of enclosure in Portugal can be found in the art world and forest worlds. Connecting the two are ongoing struggles to recommon these spaces…

How to make a mini-zine

Nathan Oxley

This handy guide provides a quick and easy way to make your own mini-zine.

Call for aid: Cooperation Jackson and the city’s urgent water crisis

Future Natures

As their city confronts a severe water crisis due to infrastructural collapse, Cooperation Jackson has issued an urgent fundraising appeal for their autonomous relief effort.

Hopping over the fence

Nathan Oxley

How mass trespassers in England are venturing on to fenced-off lands to reconnect with lost commons.

Radical Epistemologies and Future Natures – video recordings

Future Natures

Explore an open access online workshop entitled ‘Radical Epistemologies and Future Natures’, including video talks and a discussion forum.

Cultivating the garden of your mind

Anoushka Zoob Carter

Podcast episode with Ron Finley about enclosure in cities and the struggle to build an urban food commons against food poverty.

Bioleft: open seeds

Future Natures

Trespass, Commons and the Right to Roam

Anoushka Zoob Carter

Treating food as commons, not commodities

Anoushka Zoob Carter

Jose Luis Vivero Pol explores new ways of democratising the governance of food systems and how (re)commoning food in society requires challenging dominant norms that value food as a commodity.

Course: Pathways to Sustainability

Nathan Oxley

Free online course that introduces critical ideas about sustainability, including access to and use of ‘nature’ and ‘natural resources’.

Seeing Pastoralism

Nathan Oxley

An online exhibition about pastoralists and their relationship to commons, as they face many different uncertainties.

On the Promise of the Commons

Anoushka Zoob Carter

In this podcast episode, Vandana Shiva tells the story of historical struggle against colonialism and neoliberal capitalism that involves the commodification of seeds. She explains how re-commoning of seeds is a defence of a shared ecological and human diversity.

Comic: The Killing Famine

Future Natures

Comic about colonisation, mining and conservation in Madagascar, drawing on the history of enclosures of common grazing lands and forests.

Comic: Weird Ecologies

Future Natures

‘Sedentist’ bias and the pastoral commons

Future Natures