Different colours, different sizes, writing messages on them, different places, different times, different moods, dfferent reflections, drawing patterns on the paper, using waste paper, subverting 'violent' paper... Always contemplative, though, folding cranes: I always start by thinking of Sadako Sasaki and her story, which usually sparks some creative thinking about nuclear weapons, deterrence and how we live with it...
It's (almost) in the bag?
Start thinking where and how we can display - or better, deploy - maybe 3,000 peace cranes as an alternative to Trident replacement (I have some ideas). Post comments here or email or text me (see homepage) or whisper in my ear if it's - er - a sensitive idea.
(I know, how soon will I run out of crane puns/references, eh?) . So, on tour, I’ve been folding peace cranes down the length of France and down through Spain as far as, tonight, San Ramos – near the city of Murcia. I’m trying to do 10 cranes a day but I’m more concerned with the quality of the folding experience, its emotional feeling, than quantity. Lots of space for contemplation. Each crane takes about 5 minutes to fold: I’ve been thinking of seeing how quick it can be done, also whether I can do it in the dark… And each crane has a history and a geography, a time and place where it was ‘born’. I’m thinking of writing the date, time, place, and mood of folding each crane on a place on the paper so it appears on a wing when folded – haven’t done it yet mind! Each crane is bringing my thoughts and feelings closer to - not understanding but – appreciating a nuclear weapons past, present and future in different places and for different people across the world. Been thinking a lot too about our Mutually Assured Distraction gig in Brighton – watch this space some more. There’s something about the more we can create around Trident replacement – sing about it, joke about it, paint it – and not it, fold it… The more we may be able to counter it, work for some different way of being with other people, other nations, in the world. Get ready to pledge a bob or two to see our Nuclear Refrain book published by Punctum. Ad fold some peace cranes, think about Hiroshima, Nagasaki, about AWE Burghfield, Faslane Naval base, and alternative futures where people don’t die in huge numbers and other people don’t work to make weapons of mass destruction and a politics of distrust, bullying and fear.
I'm off to Spain for a few weeks but I have my stack of origami paper with me, so I'm expecting to come back with a veritable flock of cranes. Lotte and I have already explored a few ways to enhance the crane folding experience: we fold junk mail, we fold pictures of guns, bombs etc, we draw on our paper first, we fold pages from supplement magazines wantign us to buy clothes, kitchens, cars... We're have a lot of fun. Folding cranes while listening to the radio is perfect.
To raise a little bit of money and a deal more awareness for a project about Trident replacement, I’m going to fold one-thousand peace cranes. For someone with my limited patience and motor skills, this is going to be quite a challenge. Actually, it’s not just me, there are three – perhaps more – of us involved already. And you too can join the origami party: join the fold, so to speak. Hopefully, some people will sponsor us, others will fold cranes themselves, and still others will do both. And more. The project has a number of dimensions. First off, we’re going to publish a book about nuclear deterrence and mutually assured destruction, the philosophy and associated strategy behind the political decision to replace Trident. Stay with me, because this isn’t some dust dry academic tome, but neither is it the usual activist case against Trident: morally repugnant, ridiculously expensive, and strategically redundant. Well, to be honest, all that is there – it’s so glaringly obvious, how could it not be? But there’s more. Our book isn’t in any form you’d expect: it’s fictionalised account of a contemporary policy-maker’s travels in space and time; it’s an adventure; it’s amusing; it’s harrowing… We explore: the emotional aspects of deterrence, how it makes us feel; how UK defence policy is still shaped by nostalgia for empire-past; how the development of nuclear weapons and nuclear power are intimately linked, joined at the wallet; how deterrence constrains our democratic potential. Before the book is published we’re going to have a M.A.D. cabaret night in Brighton (we’re booking acts now, so do get in touch asap). We’re also going to do something special with the – hopefully – many thousands of cranes that we’ve all folded by Hiroshima and Nagasaki Day… Watch this space as details of dates, times, events and other spaces emerge so that you can get really (un) M.A.D. with us.
One way or another, I've been going MAD for years. Stay tuned and I'll fill you in
I am he as you are he as you are me, and we are all together
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