This post is the first on a blog which will contain a series of musings and also updates on our activities.
The project centres around the concept of “weathering” which has a growing history. The concept of “weathering” in the title Community Weathering Station centres thought on how different beings weather the world, across time and importantly, in diverse ways. Attending to both our differences and our commonalities is a key part of weathering. As the weather changes day to day and as the climate changes year to year, any practice of weathering will change too.
In the first instance it is just a word to describe the act of being eroded and worn away and also making it safely through something like a storm. But it was then developed as a concept the context of contemporary feminist and environmental cultural studies by Astrida Neimanis and Rachael Loewen Walker in the article “Weathering: Climate Change and the Thick Time of Transcorporeality” Hypatia 29.3 (2014) and then further developed in a short paper by Neimanis, but this time in collaboration with Jennifer Hamilton. This paper is simply called “weathering” and is in the journal feminist review (2018).
During 2016 and 2017, Neimanis and Hamilton, along with Rebecca Giggs, Tessa Zettel and Kate Wright became “The Weathering Collective” and undertook a series of retreats and experiments designed to think critically and culturally about weather in relation to bodies. This work is documented on the website “The Weathering Station“. We also produced “The Weathering Map” for Chart Collective’s project Legend.
Neimanis and Hamilton further developed the concept’s potential for translation into early childhood pedagogies in collaboration with Common Worlds Research Collective. This occurred in 2017 at an early childhood education research retreat on Rindö in Sweden, funded by The Seed Box: A Mistra+ Formas Environmental Humanities Collaboratory . This work is documented in part on The Weathering Station blog and then became “A Field Guide for Weathering” published in the open access Canadian Journal The Goose.
CoWS is a grassroots experiment, building on this knowledge, but applying the concept to drought response and environmental crisis in Armidale.
The Community Weathering Station is a settler-led project on Anaiwan land. In rethinking town water practices in CoWS, we acknowledge and respect Indigenous water and land sovereignty; this sovereignty was never ceded.