TLP 29 – Seed Swap – 5th March

The Llanidloes Seeds Swap event will take place on 5th March, 10am – 1pm at the Resource Centre on Great Oak Street. Poster lovingly designed by The Loop Project below…

There will be lots of exciting varieties of seeds available. Please bring along any spare seeds you have to contribute. Click here for more information on Llanidloes Seed Swap.

On the same day at the same venue there will also be the launch event of “Fruit Trees For All” – a new Llanidloes based project ran by The Llanidloes Allotment Action Group and funded by Environment Wales. The project aims to establish a community orchard throughout the town and will be offering fruit and nut trees for sale at £4 each – half normal price.

It’s going to be a great day. Hope to see you there!

More on Loop Project Presents #1

Thanks everyone who came to the first Loop Project Presents last Sunday evening. There was a good turnout and a thought-provoking discussion after the documentary. We’re looking forward to the next one – more details coming soon.

As we mentioned, we only showed the first part of the documentary on Sunday, to watch the next 3 parts try looking on Google Video. Here is a link to part 2. It’s not difficult to find the rest.

Once you’ve worked through that documentary, why not give another of Adam Curtis’ documentaries a watch? The Power of Nightmares looks at how politicians have used our fears to increase power and control over society. It looks at the development of the American neo-Conservative movement through over the course of the last few decades. “The Trap” looks at the concept of freedom and specifically “”how a simplistic model of human beings as self-seeking, almost robotic, creatures led to today’s idea of freedom.” (Thanks wikipedia)

Both perfect for family viewing over the Christmas period!

Curtis also has a blog on the BBC website which he uses to observe and discuss footage he has found in the archives. It’s a really interesting mix of stuff that he posts up so would recommend subscribing to it. I quite enjoyed this 1970s documentary about the hell’s angels and their mini-break on a canal barge!

The Century of the Self – Happiness Machines

We thought long and hard about what to do for the opening event for “The Loop Project Presents”. Our main aim with these nights is to bring people together to talk about the way we live and how this effects the world we live in. We wanted to ask questions.  What motivates our behaviour? Why do we value what we value? What are the alternatives, and how do we realise them?

Adam Curtis’ award winning documentary seems to answer these questions more directly and with more persuasive force than anything else I’ve seen. What’s more it comes at it from a surprising angle.

Adam Curtis introduces the first episode,

“This series is about how those in power have used Freud’s theories to try and control the dangerous crowd in an age of mass democracy.”

So, you may ask, how does Freud relate to the environmental problems we face? Through the documentary we come to learn how since the 1920s public relations and politicians have used Freud’s theories to “engineer consent” and how our desires (to consume) have been created.

Curtis cites Paul Mazur, a Wall Street banker working for Lehman Brothers in the 1930s:

“We must shift America from a needs- to a desires-culture. People must be trained to desire, to want new things, even before the old have been entirely consumed. […] Man’s desires must overshadow his needs.”

In order for any real change to be made in the world we need to understand the root cause of our consumeristic values as only through understanding can we bring these values into question and have any chance of changing the way we live.

We invite you to join us to watch the first episode of this brilliant documentary series.

After the film there will be discussion and drinks. Please bring something to share.

“The Century of the Self – Happiness Machines”

Sunday 12th December 7.30pm Dol Llys Hall.

Loop Project Presents

The Loop Project are planning a series of events which will include talks, debates, workshops and documentary showings. We hope this will develop into a regular feature in Llanidloes’ calendar – a chance to meet people, share knowledge, challenge assumptions and discuss ideas.

We are currently looking for people who would be interested in taking part – either by giving talks, attending events or by getting involved in promotions so we can reach a larger audience.

At this point I suppose I should let you know about what you would be letting yourself in for…

“Sustainability” – Of What?

We started from the perspective of concerned environmentalists, worried about sustainability and despairing at the lack of any convincing action either from businesses, government or individuals. Eventually we realised that environmental catastrophes unfolding are but a symptom of a much larger problem and that current attempts to “solve” environmental “problems” are ultimately flawed as they seek not radical change, but instead to sustain our current individualistic lifestyles of consumerism, materialism, the unending pursuit of growth – the very things that are in the fact root causes of the environmental problems.

A New Morality

The Loop Project hopes to call into question these values and believes that only by doing this can real change be made and the way opened to a new morality that recognises our place in the world, as part of the ecosystem, not rulers of it. To have any real effect the environmental movement needs to give up on it’s mission of “sustainability” (of current lifestyles) and move towards a radically different set of values, that while they may not line the pockets those currently in power, will enrich our lives.

We hope to bring forward new ideas, to challenge assumptions and to give real practical advice on how to live a life more in harmony with each other and the world we are part of.

We know this is not an easy task to take on and don’t expect to change the world overnight, but for change to happen it needs to start somewhere. Albeit in our own small part of the world, we are opening the door and invite you to walk through. Who knows where this may lead?

Loop Project Presents… will take place at Dol Llys Hall. We invite people to come to the events after which there will be open discussion and drinks (bring something to share). Keep an eye on the website or sign up to be kept up to date with the program of events.

If you would like to give a talk or have suggestions of films to show please contact us, we would love to hear from you.

TLP 20 – Make a seed packet

Here’s a handy little set of instructions for you on how to make a seed packet so you can pack up all the lovely little seeds you’ve saved and distribute them safely to all your friends.

Download a pdf version of the instructions here.

TLP 19 – Andy’s Bread

We are now selling bread at Great Oak Foods on a Friday afternoon.

All the bread is handmade using organic ingredients and baked locally in Llanidloes.

Soon we hope to offer an ordering service and in the near future a Community Supported Bakery with a subscription service.

Email bread@theloopproject.co.uk us if you are interested in ordering bread or to join the mailing list to find out what bread will be available that week.  Price list and details below.

TLP 18 – Marmaduke Dando

The Loop Project had the pleasure of being introduced to the music of Marmaduke Dando at the first festival of The Dark Mountain Project, “Uncivilisation”.

From Marmaduke’s website,

Marmaduke Dando is a singer of morose ballads and frisky drunken jigs, often extracting references to early Scott Walker, Brel and Weill. Bred from genuine pirate ancestry in a southern port, now based in London. He writes about all the horrors and beauties of the modern world, and barks them back at it with his dear band on the cold and regimented performance stages of London. His songs have been set to films, played in the Houses of Parliament, and used as an aid for aspiring Casanovas.

Shortly after the event we were asked to produce a poster to promote the launch of his debut album, Heathcliffian Surly. Here’s the poster,

TLP 16 – A WWOOFers Tale

A proud moment for The Loop Project as we have an article published in Issue 43 of The Idler, Back to the Land

The article tells the tale of our WWOOFing experiences over the previous 2 years. I wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise, so I’ll just say buy the book here.

In case you don’t already know it here’s a bit about the Idler from their website,

The Idler is a bi-annual, book-shaped magazine that campaigns against the work ethic.

It was founded in 1993 by Tom Hodgkinson and his friend Gavin Pretor-Pinney.

The title comes from a series of essays by Dr Johnson, published in 1758-9 in the Gentleman’s Magazine.

The intention of the magazine is to return dignity to the art of loafing, to make idling into something to aspire towards rather than reject.

As well as providing a radical and thought-provoking read, the Idler is also very funny.

Editor Tom Hodgkinson has written two books which develop this attitude to life. The first, How To Be Idle, has been published in 20 countries and has so far become a best-seller in the UK, Italy and Germany.

His second book How To Be Free takes an anarchic approach to the everyday barriers that come between us and our dreams.

Our article tells the story of what happened to us when we broke down those every day barriers that had stood between us and our dreams.

Issue 43 of the Idler features a major interview with David Hockney about the historical shifts in control of images. There are essays on the land and politics by Simon Fairlie, Paul Kingsnorth, Harry Mount and many more. Tom Hodgkinson has written the introduction where he writes on Roman farming guides. There are fine illustrations from Stanley Donwood, Alice Smith, Clifford Harper and more. The book has been lovingly typeset by Christian Brett.

TLP 15 – Great Oak Poster

A poster created for Great Oak Foods in Llanidloes.

Great Oak Foods is a unique organic vegetable shop in mid-Wales. Great Oak Foods aim to promote local and organic food. They stock vegetables from small scale local organic producers alongside a range of quality organic fruit, veg, wines, cheeses, bread and more.

The poster was created to help the shop to promote awareness of their local buying policy. The changeable panel at the bottom has space to write in what’s on offer from the local area that week.