The trees, as well as the sky that hangs above it and the rocks beneath those trees, may have a lot of knowledge that we as humans wandering on the hills, may not know. How can we learn from them? What do we want to learn from them? Are we ready to hear what they have to tell us? How do we relate to them, how do they relate to us? What is their experience of the city? How would we develop the means to hear their stories? Asking the right questions, one can begin to hear the stories of the trees. And as with any conversation, by listening to others we listen to ourselves.

Maybe we share this knowledge, but we can’t know unless we take the time to listen. We, the Mouries – a circle of women with practices of divination and healing – are interested in building a conversation with the trees. We receive our guests in a picnic in the farangi, where we share our methods, thoughts and intuitions. We then guide each visitor to a different space in the grove where a mediator assists their connection with the trees. Let’s open our senses and new intimacies through one to one encounters, conversations, stories and songs in the forest.

Sketching rituals for the regeneration of forests.A three-hour workshop to imagine, discuss and put in practice ideas for rituals to mourn, accompany, and heal with our lost forests. This encounter is inspired by the recent fires in Greece, and is an open invitation to those who, like us, feel the need to do something without knowing exactly what. Maybe we will find out together.

Oi Mouries are a fluid group composed by different women at different times. Mainly Thalia Dimitropoulou, Isabel Gutierrez, Maria Juliana Byck, Eliana Otta, Vasilikí Sifoustratoudaki and Sanem Su Avcı.

mouries_portfolio-Sept-2022-1

Chronology of produced works:

2021:

May:
Meeting with the Trees: participatory experience at Lykabettus hill as part of the Lykabettus Festival, Athens.

June:
Reading sessions: weekly gatherings as part of our internal process of work. Self-organized.

September:
Mouries under the Trees: participatory experience at Pedion Tou Areos, as part of the Athens Garden Festival. Invited by the Institut français de Grèce, French Institute, Greece and coproduced with the independent art space Yellow Brick.

October:
Workshop Sketching rituals for forests’ regeneration, as part of the public program of the exhibition Lost and Shared: Approaches to Collective Mourning Towards Transformative Politics, at the independent art space One Minute Space.

2022:

February – ongoing:
Care Council: weekly gatherings as part of our internal process of work. Self-organized.

April:
12sqm: Filopappou ́’s Hidden Flowers: performative walk and exhibition at Or.artspace.

May:
Exercises on Dwelling: participatory experience at Pedion Tou Areos as part of the Hills & Fields Festival. Invited by EIGHT / ΤΟ ΟΧΤΩ – Critical Institute for Arts and Politics

Together we have embarked on two projects: 1) Meeting with Trees and 2) Care Council. 

Meeting with Trees is an ongoing exploration of finding ways of communicating with trees. We have organized several events including performative actions and an experimental workshop.  Each project expands on our ideas and refines our collective synergies. Our first and second events were encounters that focused on listening to the trees through one on one encounters in urban parks, part of the self-organised Lycabettus Festival and the Athens Garden Festival. We then hosted a workshop to further our practice and inquiries through discussion, exercises and performance under the title “Sketching rituals for the regeneration of forests”, as part of the public program of the exhibition “Lost & Shared: Approaches to collective mourning towards transformative politics”. Following that we organized a guided walk “12sqm: filopappou hidden flowers” in which we mingled with the local flora in central Athens to find stories and images. Our last encounter was ”Exercises on Dwelling” a public space intervention in which we were guided by the concept of home and habitat within urban context as a part of Hill & Fields exhibition initiated by το οκτω, critical institute for arts and politics.

Care Council is a new initiative. This experimental project seeks to develop care practices and  relationships that embrace radical re-interpretations of kinship. Through the project we will ask  each other: How and what type of care practices can help us become kin in healthy, sustainable  and liberatory ways? It attempts to collectively weave broader questions around how capitalism  shapes the ways we relate with one another and with more-than-human beings, with situated  experiences and personal stories reflecting about how “permanent-crisis” as a contemporary  condition of (socio-economic and ecological) breakdown, loss, dispossession and fear affects our  capacities to trust, share, engage, care, wish and desire, which modes of care we practice and  experience in our everyday lives and how those could be expanded or intensified. 

The project wishes to provide tools that can help Oi Mouries reproduce themselves collectively and  individually while (creatively yet care-fully) exploring affective modes of relating as the basis of a  shared practice. By the Fall of 2022 we will have enriched our practices through this self organized  Care Council and be ready to share our learnings with others.