Here is a journey we made with a name of the Friends of the Earth Finland, teaching FGITS-project (From Global Injustice to Sustainability). In Jyväskylä teaching foreign and Finnish University students when the project was made.
Seating a green table
Back in 1932 Kurt Jooss staged ballet Green Table as his artistic reflection and concern for the contemporary social issues and the problems. And I could not help but keep thinking about it during my work on the project From global injustice to sustainability for Friends of the earth Finland.
The Green Table is staged as a set of circumstances that produce the same result no matter where or when they are played out. Created in period between the wars it is showing lack of trust in political negotiations. In the opening scene a group of diplomats (the Gentlemen in Black) having a discussion around a table covered with a green cloth. They end up pulling guns from their pockets and shooting in the air, this symbolizing the declaration of war.
During 2013 Friends of the Earth staged workshop From global injustice to sustainability for the students at the University of Jyväskylä. We choose it as a place where we can reach people form different part of the Earth and give them (as well as to us) an opportunity to change there experience and discuss what they can do to improve global ecological and social situation. Workshop was leaded by Heli Parkkonen student of biology and myself Dubravka Subotic anthropologist and student of Unesco master studies.
What did we got
Myself- at a time I was in time of huge changes- coming from Serbia, move to Finland, caring pregnancy and at the end caring little boy to the workshops. Great life experience and opportunity to observe societies that are going through the process of change and adaptation to the new global economy.
At a table we had people from different parts of Europe, Asia and Africa and we could discuss how does process of transition from national to global economy affects societies all over the world. It want from talks about changes of local landscape by new fabrics and panels of multinational billboards, habitats with new range of plantations and families with trends of consumptions and migrations.
One story stranded up:
Power of The Gentlemen in Black
Ballet Green Table starts and ends with group of Gentlemen in Black discussing over the green table. As in 1932 this scene is strong and actual in new century- any Gentleman in black have power by his dress.
In our talks Gentlemen in black have been all those people who are coming with new international corporations and been given power of giving jobs to the people. Told by student from Africa this story have been recognized by the others: one who got a black suit also took a right to play with life of others by giving or not giving job and become a soft ground for corruption. Consequence- question: How much would you pay to get a job?
So- what to do?
Big question- but we came with small answer. Small individual actions on everyday base and consequences that our actions are producing. Kurt Jooss staged ballet Green Table in 1932- this half an hour dance piece was his loud voice against contemporary political and social situation- critical scream that is still echoing today from stages of ballet companies all over the world. So- think what can your 30 minute action be? Can it be deduction of your time to ecological society or action in your neighborhood or somewhere in the world; or walk to the local farm for organic food, turning off the light or just talking about global changes?
In my case- maybe it’s small but I choose to support local businesses and reduce refuse by using cotton diapers for my son.
Behave responsible- We did not inherited world from our ancestors- we borrowed it from our kids.
Dubravka Subotic, Heli Parkkonen