‘The Reasons’ in the Bevills Leam Catchment: Tradition and Innovation in Communities to Imagine Resilient Futures
Harvest Festival, Cathedral Square, Peterborough PE1 1XH
Time and date tbc
The traditional form of ‘La Rasgioni’ (The Reasons) will be re-imagined and framed as interactive performative event to allow the community to expose and address the conflicting perspectives, interests and priorities around drought and water scarcity in rural Cambridgeshire.
‘La Rasgioni’ takes the form of a mock court, presided over by a community elder with other community members playing the part of the jury. In turn, various stakeholders (including the NFU, the Great Fen Project, environmental organisations, angling groups, water companies, etc.) are invited to tell their stories and may be questioned for clarification by either the jury or the general public, who are gathered as the audience. After all the stories have been told, everyone (judge, jury, witnesses and general public) retire to enjoy a communal meal, before returning to the hall, where the jury delivers its verdict, for which the judge then provides an Azdakian interpretation, combining vernacular wisdom with a healthy disregard for traditional power structures to provide a resolution that unites, rather than divides the community.
The event is fundamentally a forum for public storytelling, which enables communities to solve disputes collectively and to imagine their future.