Patriotism meets climate campaigning in ‘Our Green and Pleasant Land!’
Throughout April 2022, a small artist-researcher team held workshops with families in Miles Platting and Newton Heath Libraries and at Miles Platting St Cuthbert’s Church, Manchester UK, to create ‘Our Green and Pleasant Land’ – a contribution to Manchester’s St George’s Day Parade 2022, inspired by William Blake’s poem ‘Jerusalem’, and reinterpreting the legends of St George for our times. Over 70 family members made 63 flowers, 13 double-sided placards, 8 10-ft garlands, and 1 large walking banner – all of which will be reused in 2023. A core group of families wearing costumes by House of Haynes walked with us on the day, handing out packets of seeds to spectators. Approximately 2000 people lined the parade route.
WAtch our 6-minute documentary film of the project below.
Blog post on the final parade here.
St George is standing up for a “Green and Pleasant Retrofitted Land of Hope and Reduced Energy Bills!”
He carried a Fruit Kebab Jousting Lance and the Red Dragon will circulate around our banner and the fruit and veg cyclist population of the green and pleasant land.
In the weeks leading up to the Parade (11th – 23rd April) we had a series of making workshops:
In collaboration with the Libraries over half-term:
Monday 11th & Wednesday 13th – Newton Heath Library (M40 2JB)
Tuesday 12th & Thursday 14th – Miles Platting Library (M40 7ND)
Drop-in workshops, open to all:
2pm – 6pm, St Cuthbert’s Church (M40 7WF):
Legends of St. George around the world
George resurrected the dead, made trees sprout and made pillars bear flowers.
A woman brought George a piece of wood and he turned it green with fruit and veg growing from it.
Dragon caused panic (symbolising climate breakdown?) George slayed the dragon with a lance to stop it from eating the King’s sacrificed daughter. King gave George a reward, which he gave to the poor (symbolising climate justice?)
St. George is also known as the ‘green prophet’ (apparently because of the colour of his horse: grey horses are called green in Arabic).