26.10.2021 – 20.3.2022

DAD x Banana Mountain

Banana Mountain is an autonomous, off the grid, and co-created democratic learning community for under privileged children based in rural Andalucia at the base of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Spain. Luke Freedman from Banana Mountain wrote:

‘The world is in a very particular historical moment. Old narratives, always contested, are becoming increasingly obviously false. The central collective myth of our time, the myth of progress, which imagined humanity on an inevitable trajectory towards an ever more stable and prosperous future, is crumbling around us. In light of the objective realities of vast and increasing economic inequality, increasing social and political polarisation, the existential threat of climate change, and the instability and insecurity that these and other factors create, it is now more common and arguably more rational to imagine a dystopian than a utopian future. At first glance this may seem tangential to an educational project for young people. What does the troubling state of the wider world have to do with the organisation of a school? As soon as we pose the question, the answer becomes obvious: Everything. Schools do not exist in a vacuum separated from the world. They are responses to it and they are active in its ongoing production. The real question is; in the world as it is what should a school look like? Banana Mountain is our attempt to answer to that question, eyes wide, consciously and responsibly. At the heart of our answer is a simple truth, as radical as it is blatant. It is always today and never tomorrow. Where education has traditionally orientated itself towards an imaginary future, we choose to focus on our real present. Our goal is not to prepare young people to create a better world, it is to co-create one with them here and now.’

The spaghetti western permaculture of Banana Mountain serves as the meeting place between the community and children of Banana Mountain and the arrival of members of the Dirty Art Department between as the basis for co-creating the world we want to live in, a possible utopia. First how to survive, then how to discuss and co-create, and finally to produce a ‘Festival for the Planet to Come’. For who? Maybe as St.Francis de Assisi demonstrated, for the plants, birds and animals?