Protest and Gratitude

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I’ve realised what this book is (!)

This book is my protest and activism. My expression of gratitude, joy and creativity. some good friends helped me put the nail on the head of what it is I’ve been doing and I thank them for it!

(I’ve at times billed myself as a failed environmentalist and activist – a bit defeatist. It aint over til it’s over and every drop in the ocean…)

The crowd fund ends mid November 2013… If you can, please pre order a book! I need your help!

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Trees, – the great lungs of the world. The largest single offering from out of the Earth. We take them for granted. We appreciate them if we take notice. We explore them as children; our bodies remembering the primal experience. Physical. It’s why hands were invented. (?) Rooted and reaching. Seasonally evolving. It’s magic, what comes out of a tiny seed. The ancient, solid weather beaten bark clad trunk supporting all the fractal mass above. Supporting the weight of an artist and his co-climber/s.

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The tree, – what a simple genius idea, living in two worlds, clutching the packed ground with its feet and toes to be able to spread its arms into the CO2 it craves. Tunnelling up and down to consume our leftovers. Negotiating the darkness and light. Imperceptible growth. Steady. Adaptable. Each one of these curious life forms are unique providers for us and home to millions.

Symbols of sustainability. You recycle, drive less, sign an online petition, eat less meat and plant trees; the typical actions of someone trying to do something to stop the madness against the planet.

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We’re basically screwed, unless we the conscious rise up higher than we think we’re able soon and push our seed heads through the bullshit, –  over haul our collective actions. We all need to do more than our bit until the biosphere is fixed or baked. If the shit is going to hit the fan then it will and there’s not a lot we can do about it anyway. But if there’s a chance to turn it around we have to take it. Right?

I feel the pressure of how badly we’re ballsing this world up, and the audacity to give fixing it a whirl.

I’m an artist / writer / filmmaker who set about climbing a tree every day as a personal challenge. Climbing trees is more fun with good company, and pretty quickly I realised I’d planted the seeds for a book. Allow me to introduce myself: Henrik G Dahle, 36. 5,9. Blonde.

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It’s possibly whimsical and frivolous to frame the ideas of a disgruntled / joyful radical within the childlike activity of climbing trees for a year but it is what it is; a sprawling smorgasbord of thoughts and ideas along with images of 365 beautiful trees. I think it’s important to keep play in the equation of world change. It’s disarming. Changing the shit out of our destructive systems should be fun.

The book is the story of a creative walk about, with the company of more than 80 inspiring people. It will contain frivolous memories of tree climbing, and will try and challenge us / me to act. To bother. To fight and keep climbing until we win, (or lose).

As the project went on I discovered a deeper connection with… well everything actually. It became a family tree project. This is in large part why I wanted to crowd fund to make it possible; a collaboratively enabled conclusion to the thing. I’m a romantic.

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In this vein I’m asking for artists / illustrators / children to draw a tree for the book. Collaboration is how we’ll dig and build our way out of this fine mess we’re in. I’m not an island and neither are you or the strange guy down the street. As with the ideas of my co-climbers – they have given dimension to the project I couldn’t hope to discover on my own. How many dimensions can I fit into ‘The Art of Climbing Trees’? A brilliant example of this added value is a tree drawn by ‘alternative / independent’ midwife Virginia Valli. It’s what a placenta looks like. A placenta looks like a tree and her placenta tree will be going in the book. I’m not asking for conceptually interesting trees from everyone – an oblong with a blob on top by your five year old niece can be a welcome dimension too.

placenta tree2

I wish I could afford to give books away to all contributors but I’m only able to offer a discount. Full details of drawing trees for the book can be found here.

This book is just a beginning; my first public offering of a kind of activism. The year of research and play has inspired me to think big, global and definitive (if that doesn’t sound too grandiose). First though I need to finish this Adventure and Manifesto as a thank you to everyone who gave me their wisdom and humour up trees, put me up in 10 countries around Europe, and waited patiently while I did my daily climb. I threw all my money, time and energy out of the trees to make something unusual and useful so I owe it to myself to complete it as well. It’s being born.

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If you’d also like to be a part of the project with a drawn tree or / and by pre ordering the book to help get it printed then I will be ridiculously grateful. The crowd funding continues until mid November 2013. Please watch the crowd funding film for more details and the spectacle of moving pictures.

Thank yoU! Thank yU, thank U.

Henrik (the grateful protestor)

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