We started out as a small group of people trying to work out “how did we get here and where do we go next?”. This was in the wake of a seemingly endless stream of shitty things happening: Trump, climate change, public displays of nastiness, growing inequalities and a general sense our democratic structures showed no interest in addressing it, let alone sorting it all out.
As we tried to answer this question, we realised people from all walks of life, who didn’t know each other existed, were pondering the same thing. These people are your kin and kith and they come from some unexpected places. In the same breath, it dawned on us that the very humans riling us up, those on the other side of any number of metaphorical fences, are our family too. We welcome all of them to KIN.
Through our flagship event, Shambala, we’ve been taking our ‘Adventures In Utopia’ to huge gathering of humans for nearly twenty years. We are fiercely independent, have always done things our own way and know how to throw a serious party with people and planet at the forefront.
We’re working with a global collective of activists called The Rules, who will be running a culture hack over the weekend. A culture hack uses things like data analysis alongside creative storytelling to highlight the myths that are shaping the world and bringing about things like poverty, inequality and climate change. During KIN the culture hack will encourage us to build new stories together — these stories will show that another world is possible in a way that feels like common sense.
Then there’s Bristol based Rife, an online magazine created by young people across our epic city, who are hellbent on giving themselves a voice in shaping their future.
We also discovered that established institutions in our city, like the University of Bristol and the Arnolfini, are brimming with powerful ideas about how to disrupt and challenge the status quo. They all got involved too.
We now realise that many of these vocal or still, silent or active partners are all connected in the global, overlapping networks of activists, organisers, writers, researchers, policy makers, academics, musicians, artists and everyone in between – all sharing a clear intention to rewrite the rules.
We also ask the question – can you recognise yourself in another? That another, that other, be it animal, mineral, vegetable or some form of magical fluid state.. it’s all KIN.
The first ever KIN is the result of these and many, many more voices (including yours) coming together in our funny little city to ask each other with kindness and optimism “what happens next”?