Reclaim the Hides Radical Birdwalk

12 June 2018

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Venue: Haggesrton Park. Meet outside Hackney City Farm

Organiser: Matthew See

Mathew See is a hopeless dreamer and not-much-better birder.

This outdoor TED Talk will follow the form of a guided bird walk around a park in East London. However, instead of identifying as many species as possible or hunting down an migrating rarity, the objective will be to explore the radical examples set by birds, and to reframe birdwatching as an act that, while not revolutionary in itself, is one worthy of anyone who wants to build a better world (or just turn their back on the one we have already messed up).

For all recorded history people have projected their hopes, fears and existential rubbish onto birds, and sought to crowbar out of them a profound understanding of the human world. As flawed and whimsical as this oulook might undoubtedly is, the premise of this walk/talk is that revolutionaries, radicals, utopians and truck-burners can do the same.

The precise content of the walk will be based (very) loosely on the wildlife we encounter, but it will more than likely include references to class war, the disestablishment of nation states, polyamory, Peter Kropotkin, Silver Mt Zion and direct action tactics. And as the walk/talk will be firmly participatory, I would welcome others’ contributions/interjections, too.

Knowledge of British breeding birds is not required. To be honest, I’d prefer you forget any you have as it will probably interfere with my own half-baked hypothesising.

And I have to admit the content is not what most would consider suitable for children.