We were excited to hear of Collectief Walden’s idea to move their set by sailing boat ready for this year’s Inside Out Dorset. The company are based in Amsterdam and much of their work is about the environment and ecological crisis, so their values align with Activate’s in seeking opportunities to work in a more environmentally-friendly way.
According to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), unless action is taken, CO2 emissions from the shipping industry could rise from 4% to 17% of global emissions by 2050.
The experience was a learning curve for Collectief Walden as they’d never attempted shipping internationally before. Some of the paperwork proved tricky, even when working with the Dutch sustainable shipping company Kaap Kargo. And it was also costly.
The boat Ide Kin left Amsterdam on 21 June and arrived in Poole on 28 June. It is sail-powered, with a diesel back-up. The boat started life as a tugboat in East Germany in 1957, it was then renovated as a sailing charter ship in Poland in 1993. In 2022 Woodies At Berlin in Amsterdam transformed it into a sailing cargo vessel that can transport 60 tons of cargo.
Once in Poole, the set was then transported to a storage shed in Bere Regis, where it will stay until it is needed for Inside Out Dorset.
Jaël Kaat, Creative Producer for Collectief Walden says, “It started off as a great adventure and we are super happy that it arrived safe in Bere Regis. But lessons were learned in the sense that maybe transporting by sailing ship to harbours is just too expensive for small theatre companies. Mostly because boats and fees in harbours are designed for commercial goods and ships with lots of cargo / multiple containers (which means that you can split the bill for unloading the goods). Also, when you go over borders you come in different areas of regulations / restrictions. And of course Brexit also did not help in this case.”
Whilst there were some hurdles to overcome, transporting the set by wind propulsion technology rather than fossil fuels, has been a great success. The set arrived safely and using sail power rather than air freight or regular shipping cargo transport systems has drastically reduced the carbon footprint for this show. Ultimately, these small changes can have a big impact and Activate tries to work in a greener way in order to be part of the solution in protecting our planet.
Collective Walden is a group of artists and thinkers who feel the urgency of the ecological crisis. We are a philosopher, a biologist, a dramaturge and a scenographer. But the philosopher is also a graphic designer, the biologist is also a radio producer, the dramaturge is a political theorist and writer, and the scenographer is a mimer. We all perform: sometimes as lecture performers; sometimes as the operators of large-scale changes in the landscape; sometimes as a musician. We are never fictional characters, because we don’t make fiction. We make installations, performances and meeting spaces on the border of science, documentary and visual art. We use an interdisciplinary approach: images, poetry, lecture performances and music come together in collage-like performances and dynamic installations.
Collectief Walden’s performance of Songs for Shifting Soil will be at Bere Regis as part of Inside Out Dorset 2023 on Friday 22 – Sunday 24 September, 11.30am and 2.30pm.