This November 2023, events and creative activities to imagine and build the future you want to see for Norwich and the planet.
This took place thanks to funding from Norwich Eco Hub, and £540 raised from an Aviva-supported crowdfunder.
Possitopia is better than Utopia because it’s a possible place we can really make, if we can imagine it, and it responds to the real challenges facing our planet. It’s also better than a Dystopia because it can be healthy, green, caring and safe.
This festival was part of the ongoing Possitopia Norwich programme run by Climate Museum UK. The activities were led by our associates and some of our partners, already working to help people act for a safe and healthy world, and it took place in a range of venues across Norwich throughout November.
Here are all the activities that happened
Launch of The Alternative Fashion School with We Wear the Trousers
The start of a regular Wednesday gathering, for a DIY Fashion Curriculum.
The Stage, St Augustine’s Street, Wednesday 1st November, 6.30 pm
The Green Gathering: Norfolk Green Care Network
A celebration of green care, this will feature a number of presentations, launches, awards and opportunities to discuss plans and developments.
Led by the Norfolk Green Care Network at the Norwich Quaker Meeting House.
Saturday 4th November, all day. Cost £6.
A photography and collage walkshop exploring the green and blue spaces of the River Wensum. Led by photographer Rachel Wright of Under Open Sky.
Sunday 5th November, 1.30 – 4.30
Starting within our ourselves to create a positive outlook that can be sustained we will be making our own affirmation cards, doing a guided meditation focused on being kind to ourselves and others and mindfully drawing ideas for a more positive future Norwich! Led by Rachel Hurst of More Mindful Connection.
Friday 10th November, 5.00 – 6.00 pm in the Vernon Castle room in The Forum
Mend with Friends with We Wear The Trousers
Mend with Friends: additional creative discussions of imagined futures where everyone mends. Free of charge
Saturday 11th November, 10.00: Norwich Millennium Library
Emergency Playdates: board games on climate & nature
Join Climate Museum UK on a game table at Slice and Dice, the vegan boardgames cafe. We’ll test out games that help us imagine greener futures for the planet, or that help us learn about climate and nature. Come to one, two or all three:
Tuesday 14th November, 5.30 – 8.30 pm Book here
Wednesday 22nd November, 6.00 – 9.00 pm Book here
Tuesday 28th November, 5.30 – 8.30 pm Book here
Free, (table paid for, £4.50 per person) but the cafe likes people to buy food and drink. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to help host future monthly games nights on climate & nature.
Positive Agents of Change: Artivism workshops
Art+science+activism drop-in workshops at Norwich Millenium Library led by Emma Skeet of SYSTA. Inviting Norfolk citizens to become Positive Agents of Change and to help work towards a sustainable, just and biodiverse rich County:
- Saturday 11th November, 10.00 am Making Flags for our Future
- Sunday 19th November 2.30 pm Making Planetary Partners cards
- Saturday 25th November 12.30 pm Testing out a new game ‘Tipping Points’
All ages and abilities welcome. FREE and drop-in.
Norwich, a City in an Orchard: Grow, Learn, Create
Join Edible East to explore sustainable food from trees at Mile Cross Library on Saturday 11th November, 12.00 – 2.00 pm
- Food from Trees in Norwich – Imagine. Printing and drawing for all ages, 12.00 – 2.00 with artists Tara Sampy & Jennie Pedley
- How to grow Food from Trees. Practical skills from Horticulturalist Nik Thomson, 12.30 -1.30
- Sustainable Food Norwich. News from Sabine Virani, 12 – 12.30
- Plus a chance to add to the map of food projects.
No Place Like Home? Screenings and exhibition
Exhibition open both days with screenings in the evenings organised by Norwich Eco Hub, Norfolk Global Neighbours and maNGOma. Films screened will be Race for the Future and The Ants and the Grasshopper. The event will explore the impact the climate crisis is having on our homes, from right here in Norfolk, to all around the globe. It will raise questions on what home means to us, and what it might mean to lose our home as a result of the climate crisis. Many people around the world are already having to flee their homes due to floods, drought and natural disasters. We’ve also seen a loss of homes here in Norfolk due to coastal erosion and fires caused by the heatwaves last year.
11th – 12th November. At The Picturehouse Cinema City. Email Alina Sandu for info on email@example.com
Solar Punk Fashion
What is ‘Solarpunk’ and how is it useful for reimagining fashion? Join We Wear The Trousers for this practical workshop in partnership with Possible Worlds.
Wednesday 15th November, 6.00pm, at The Space, St Augustine’s Street.
Launch of MP Watch for Norfolk
Imagine every MP telling the truth about climate and acting on the emergency. Groups of constituents are watching andengaging their MPs to make it happen. Norfolk Cluster of MP Watch have a launch event with speakers including national MP Watch founders Jessica Townsend and Tom Hardy.
Saturday 18th November, 3.30 -5.30 pm
Quaker Meeting House. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for info on future meetings.
Walking in the Shoes
These are walking-talking workshops that explore the past and future of Norwich from a planetary perspective. We walk in the shoes of radical and ordinary characters from the City’s past. We use the evidence from what we can see on our walk, and the inspirations of each character, to consider what changes we might make now to our lives and this place.
Led by Bridget McKenzie, who has set up Possitopia Norwich.
Sunday 19th November, 3.00-4.30pm Free of charge. (These were postponed to the Spring due to bad weather and the closure of the key site in the tour.)
How can we Take Happiness into the World of the Future?
Led by Teresa Belton, author of ‘Happier People Healthier Planet’, hosted by the Norwich Quakers Sustainability Group. This workshop will invite participants to explore, through a variety of activities, what they find valuable in life, and how such possibilities can be maintained in times of climate and ecological instability.
Tuesday 21st November, 7.30 – 9.30 pm at Quaker Meeting House, Upper Goat Lane, Norwich
Open to all, but limited to 20 participants. Free of charge. For info email@example.com
Quilting the Fashion Pluriverse with We Wear the Trousers
Other fashions are possible – if we can imagine them! Find out about the newest community sewing project led by We Wear the Trousers.
Wednesday 8th November and 22nd November, both 6.00 pm at The Stage, St Augustine’s Street
Active Hope and the Seventh Generation Experience
Step into the future and hold a conversation with your descendants to hear their advice and support! This workshop, inspired by the Active Hope model, is offered by the sUStain eco-anxiety project at Norfolk and Waveney Mind.
Wednesday 22nd November, 6.00 – 8.00 pm
Free of charge. The Feed, Rest Hub, Churchman House, 71 Bethel St
A Land Lost To The Sea?
We all know our coasts are threatened by climate change and sea level rise, but in the east of England the risk stretches far inland – into the heart of Norwich and Cambridge. To understand how the region will be transformed, conservation scientist and Norfolk resident Charlie Gardner walked for two weeks between Cambridge and Norwich, almost entirely on land that will soon be lost to the seas … unless we rapidly end the age of fossil fuels. Join us to hear Charlie’s thoughts on the varied risks we face in different parts of the region, and and his reflections on what he learnt as he walked the coasts speaking to residents. After Charlie’s presentation, we will be inviting participants to share their own experiences and expertise as we explore how to approach the threats from sea-level rise together.
Friday, 24 November, 7.30 – 8.30 pm. Chantry Hall, near Chantry Place.
Pulp for the People: paper-making workshop
‘Pulp for the People’ transforms post consumer-waste and foraged material, including paper scraps and flowers, into artworks and paper to use at home. This creative workshop expands the possibilities of traditional paper making, by building in sculptural elements, and provides a playful, tactile experience that celebrates the joy in reusing waste and DIY amateurism. DIY paper making is an act of radical consumerist resistance, and champions the bio-spiral economy – a sustainable feedback loop of waste refashioning. These skills, approaches and ideas, shared during the session through creative play, might inform someone’s artistic practice, shopping habits, or lifestyle choices, and lead to positive social action that helps our planet.
Friday 24th November 5.30 – 7.30 pm
Venue: Anteros Arts Centre. £5 per person. Email Alex Day on firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions.
Songs for the Earth: singing with Chloe
Joining together to sing in community songs devoted for our beautiful earth. Simple songs in harmonies, very quick to learn. Led by Chloe Yates.
Saturday 25th November, 10.00 -12.00. At The Garage Theatre
Suggested donation £1/ £7 / £10 Contact email@example.com for info on future sessions.
Writing the Future: Creative Writing Workshop
We will gather to envisage and write the future we would like to see. Imagination plays a crucial role in helping us address the climate and ecological emergency, as by imagining a greener, safer, stable future, we can start to take those steps, individually and in community, towards dreaming this into reality. Led by Rebecca Stonehill, of Norwich Writers Rebel.
Saturday 25th November, 3.00 pm, in the Heritage room of Norwich Millennium Library.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info
Open Your Eyes
Informed but informal, Checkout OPEN YOUR EYES, a fun mask-making activity with some home truths about the climate crisis. Led by artist Jacqui Jones.
Saturday 25th November, 1.30pm – 3.30pm in the 8+ area of Norwich Millennium Library.
Free, just drop in. Suitable for ages 8-80.
An eco lens on heritage: tours of Norwich museums
Led by Kathy Moore. Tours of Norwich museums and historic buildings, exploring heritage from an environmental and futures perspective. An eco lens helps us see the world from the perspective of nature, and being more aware of the trouble our climate and natural world are in. Come to one, two or all three.
- Sunday 12th November, join a guided visit to Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery, exploring the Natural History and other galleries with an eco lens.
- Saturday 18th November, join a guided visit to the Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell.
- Sunday 26th November, join a guided visit to the Strangers Hall.
- All 2.00 – 4.00 pm, free of charge, booking essential to gain free entry.
People Take Action: imagine your future making change
Do you feel concerned about changes to the environment locally and globally? Do you feel confused about what to do, with all the mixed messages about the environment, and so many pressures on our time?
The People Take Action approach offers 8 pathways for action you can take, stepping out from your comfort zone as much as you are able to. In this workshop, we will explore what is possible for us to do in response to these environmental risks and challenges, and will create collages to imagine our own journeys of action.
Monday 27th November, 5.00 – 7.30 pm, at MileXchange, 185 Drayton Road
Sewing a Garment by Hand LAUNCH
Do you want to learn how to make clothing by hand? Join We Wear The Trousers to discover why we celebrate this slow, gentle way of sewing, and how to join in!
Wednesday 29th November, 6.00pm at The Space, St Augustine’s Street
Art-inspired Climate Cafe at Sainsbury Centre for Visual Art
The Climate Café, facilitated by Norfolk and Waveney Mind, is a safe, supported and empathetic space where fears and uncertainties about our climate and ecological crises can be shared and expressed. The session will begin with an introduction to and discussion in the Sediment Spirit exhibition and a discussion in the gallery facilitated by the Sainsbury Centre. This will be followed by refreshment in the studio.
Thursday 30th November, 5.15 – 6.45 pm
Planting ceremony & panel talk
Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts. Planting ceremony for 7 oak trees from Beuys’ Acorns, by Ackroyd & Harvey. Followed by a discussion between Heather Ackroyd, Dan Harvey, Asher Minns and Bridget McKenzie about climate adaptation and the role of culture.
Thursday 30th November. 1.00 – 5.00 pm. Booking link & Festival affiliation TBC. POSTPONED.
Building resilience to climate change risks in Norwich and Norfolk
Discussion workshop led by Nick Brooks and Bridget McKenzie. The aim is to establish a network to work on community resilience in relation to specific climate change risks, building on existing activities in and around the city.
Friday 1st December, 4.30 – 6.30 pm
Vernon Castle Room, Millennium Library, Norwich. Free of charge. Email email@example.com to RSVP as the room has a capacity of 25.
Additional events with Possitopian themes
During November, there were some other events which could have been part of the Festival, including:
- Possitopian Parcel Parade by XR Norwich, on Saturday 25th November – inviting people in the streets to share how they would rather spend £274 million than on the Wensum Link Road. They had a giant Christmas parcel in the streets and invited people to post their ideas, and these were taken to the Council.
- Launch of Sustainable Food Norwich, on 21st November, at Blackfriars Hall. This was a creative day-long gathering of organisations involved in food insecurity, food justice and sustainability. The creative aspects were facilitated by Edible East, and the initiative is co-ordinated by Sabine Virani.
- Development of a possible Norwich Doughnut Group. On 13th November, Global Donut Day, we issued a call out locally for interest in a learning programme to explore degrowth, sustainable economics and climate resilience informed by Doughnut Economics.
- Norwich Theatre held a live screening with Q&A of Can I Live? This is a vital digital performance by Fehinti Balogun, and Complicite Theatre. Fehinti was there for a Q&A afterwards, and spoke about the importance of imagining the future and creativity in the face of the Earth crisis.