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.

Photo story: Xolobeni – A Commoning Success Story

Hali Healy

Photo story about the struggle by people in Xolobeni to protect and develop their commons against extractive interests.

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

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

Climate change is leading to changing demand for minerals for renewable energy storage, with impacts for people and land in Latin America.

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

A podcast episode with researcher Cansu Sönmez about the impacts of large infrastructure projects and how people respond to them.

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

More than a pub: the story of The Bevy

Future Natures

Online archive: East London Big Flame

Nathan Oxley

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

Comic: Mpox in Nigeria – lessons from diverse experiences

Future Natures

My body as food, my food as neighbour

Future Natures

Starting from the ecologies and relationships involved in foraging, Elaina Weber discusses how you might see your food as community, and yourself as ‘future food’.

Mapping community gardens in the UK

Nathan Oxley

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

Covas de Barroso is facing the threat of an open-cast lithium mine, with just 10 days to respond to a public consultation.

Comic: Seeing Conflict at the Margins

Jeremy Lind

Film ‘Finite’ documents community resistance against mines

Nathan Oxley

Seeding the commons in Argentina

Anoushka Zoob Carter

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

Full video of JT Roane’s talk about Black urban placemaking in twentieth-century Philadelphia.

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.

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.

Commoning in refugee camps: In conversation with Yafa el Masri

Anoushka Zoob Carter

In this audio interview, Future Natures sits down with Yafa El Masri to discuss commoning and the commons in refugee camps.

Geothermal meets pastoral livelihoods in Kenya

Jeremy Lind

The expansion of geothermal power in Kenya has impacted the Maasai and other residents, creating new divisions and tensions.

Masters in Commons Administration: new taster course in 2023

Future Natures

Details of a three-day taster course on the commons, to be held in January 2023 in North-West England.

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

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

Cultivating the garden of your mind

Anoushka Zoob Carter

Bioleft: open seeds

Future Natures

Bioleft is a community that builds an open seed exchange and breeding network.

Trespass, Commons and the Right to Roam

Anoushka Zoob Carter

In this podcast episode, Nick Hayes challenges the inequalities of land ownership and property rights and discusses the Right to Roam movement in the UK.

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

Comic: The Killing Famine

Future Natures

Comic: Weird Ecologies

Future Natures

‘Sedentist’ bias and the pastoral commons

Future Natures

Pastoralists are often marginalised from common land and resources, even by policies that claim to help them. Policies are based on a bias towards fixed, formalised land ownership.