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Land Body Ecologies Festival Day One

  • Free
  • Festival
Photograph of an Ogiek elder in the Mau forest in Kenya looking to camera. They are wearing a light blue top with mauve shawl. Around their neck is a colourful beaded neck piece complimented with similar earrings. Behind them are two other individuals and a traditional hut. Interwoven into the scene is a graphic element made up of thin green drawn lines, which create a tree and leave-like pattern behind the elder.
Elder Noosokon Nadunguenkop in traditional Ogiek regalia for the welcoming ceremony in Nkareta in Mau Forest, Kenya. © Image courtesy of Invisible Flock. © Illustration overlay courtesy of Quicksand.

What you’ll do

Explore the deep connections between mental health and ecosystem health in this four-day festival. Take part and experience performances, food, workshops, discussions, music, films and more. 

Events are organised by access or interpretation type for easier finding here.

The programme is created by Land Body Ecologies (LBE), from teams across India, Uganda, Kenya, Thailand, the UK and the Arctic.

LBE is a research network of artists, researchers, designers, conservationists, technologists and activists from fields including psychology, arts, ecology, sociology, medicine and human rights. LBE seeks to understand lived experiences of land trauma among marginalised communities.

A range of handcrafted items and publications from LBE’s communities and collaborators will be available at the Wellcome Shop for the duration of the festival.

The Land Body Ecologies festival is produced by Unbox Cultural Futures and Invisible Flock.



Past events

  • Installation
Reading Room
Experience the sound of being in the centre of 3,000 circling reindeer during the annual reindeer corral in the indigenous-governed Sápmi area of the Arctic via audio recorded at the top of Boalnotjåhkkå mountain during May 2022.

  • Workshop
Coffee with Swae
Restaurant, level 2
Attend a coffee ceremony led by Siwakorn Odochao of the Ban Nong Tao community in Northern Thailand. You will prepare and drink Lazy Man coffee together as Swae shares the philosophy behind Pgak’yau farming practices. Suitable for vegans.

  • Installation
Virran Mukana
Staircases and landings
Experience a sound installation by Chris Watson, featuring recordings from the Arctic sea ice to a freshwater lake and the dawn chorus at the midnight sun beyond, with the hydrodam power station blocking the Kemijoki river in between. On each of the six floors you can explore different parts of the journey.

  • Discussion
Virran Mukana Sound Recording Demonstration
Information Point
Join Chris Watson, the artist who created the ‘Virran Mukana’ sound installation, who will demonstrate different aspects of the field-recording process that took place in the Arctic.

  • Discussion
Expressing the Ecological Crisis
Reading Room
Join Invisible Flock, who will lead a conversation on how the climate and ecological crisis is in a way wordless and cannot be neatly explained because there is no precedent. This discussion will explore modes of expression such as art, sound, film and literature, and explore ways of collectively communicating to make radical change possible. With Priya Basil, Bharat Mirle, Aira Huovinen and moderator Victoria Pratt.

  • Walking tour
Hub Open Studio
Information Point
Go on a behind-the-scenes tour at The Hub to learn about the work of the LBE team, who bring together experiences across India, Kenya, Uganda and the Arctic. You will have a chance to meet informally with LBE team members for discussions and conversations.

  • Gallery tour
AD Tour of Land Body Ecologies Installations
Information Point
Join a visitor experience assistant who will give a short tour of a selection of installations on display for the festival and provide audio descriptions.
  • Audio described

  • Workshop
Food as Adaptation
Restaurant, level 2
Explore the role of native seeds and hardy crops, such as millet from Karnataka, at a workshop-based meal with Vishalakshi Padmanabhan from the Bannerghatta Hub in India. You will reflect on food, climate-change mitigation and community health.

  • Discussion
Batwa Storytelling
Reading Room
Join Batwa community members from the Bwindi Hub in Uganda to experience cultural practices – such as traditional songs, storytelling and traditional weaving – that connect people to the land and ecologies around them.

  • Performance
Borindo Performance
Reading Room
Hear a unique performance from Faqir Zulfiqar, a Sindh folk musician and maker who is largely responsible for preserving the borindo, a wind instrument, from cultural extinction. You will have an opportunity to ask questions after the performance during a discussion with artist Ben Eaton of Invisible Flock, who collaborated with Faqir Zulfiqar on ‘Microtonal’, and Saif Samejo, founder of Lahooti Melo, Pakistan’s largest folk and international music festival. The performance is supported by the British Council Pakistan.

  • Discussion
Land-Based Violence
This panel discussion explores how lands and bodies are sites of simultaneous trauma, drawing on lived experiences of solastalgia, the emotional or existential suffering caused by environmental change. Speakers from different geographical hubs will draw on lived experiences and global health perspectives. You can ask questions or just listen. With Nishant Srinivasaiah, Ayesha Ahmad, Vishalakshi Padmanabhan, Kinnari Bhatt, and moderator Babitha George.
  • British Sign Language
  • Speech-to-text

  • Installation
Crypt Gallery
Witness the sight and sound of 200 borindos, small clay wind instruments made by master potter Allah Jurio from the earth of the Sindh region of Pakistan. The borindos in the installation respond live to the sounds of the gallery space, field recordings from Sindh, and the music of Faqir Zulfiqar playing the instrument. ‘Microtonal’ is a collaboration between Faqir Zulfiqar, Allah Jurio and Invisible Flock, and was originally commissioned by Karachi Biennale with support from the British Council Pakistan. The Crypt Gallery is located in St Pancras New Church, Duke’s Road, Off Euston Road WC1H 9AD. The Gallery is reached by going down steps with a handrail; there is no ramp or lift, and the floor in the Crypt is uneven.

  • Installation
Asking the Salmon to Return
Ground floor Atrium
Watch Jenni Laiti’s performance for video, which asks the salmon to return to the river. Atlantic salmon are an ecologically and culturally key species in Sápmi, the traditional indigenous territory of the Sámi people in Northern Europe. Over recent years, the changing climate across the Arctic has led to the decline of salmon populations. The word ‘bivdit’ in Sámi language means to catch something, but also to ask for something from someone. The video is 6:01 mins and will be playing on a loop.

  • Installation
Stories of Entanglement
The Forum
Visit the Land Body Ecologies’ ‘Stories of Entanglement’ installation to experience objects, photographic books, immersive sound and video installations, and live Ogiek hive-building. The installation will embody real stories and lived experiences of land-dependent, marginalised communities across India, Kenya, Uganda and the Arctic.

  • Installation
Ovdavázzit – Forewalkers
Ground floor Atrium
‘Ovdavázzit – Forewalkers’ is an installation of 37 freestanding Sámi walking sticks forming a path, created by Sámi artists Outi Pieski and Jenni Laiti. The constellations of the sticks bring together indigenous knowledge, ancestral technology, traditional crafts and sovereignty. This will be the UK premiere of this installation.

  • Chill out
Chill-Out Room
Viewing RoomStudio Breakout Room
Any time during the festival that you want to find a space away from the programme of activities, you can come to the Chill-Out Room to lie down or relax. There will be low lighting, comfortable seating, cushions and mats throughout the room. Make use of ear defenders, earplugs, board games and materials with different textures.

Need to know


This is a large-scale event with several different activities. Check specific sub-events for their locations.

For more information, please visit our Accessibility page. If you have any queries about accessibility, please email us at access@wellcomecollection.org or call 0 2 0. 7 6 1 1. 2 2 2 2

Our event terms and conditions

About your hosts

Land Body Ecologies

Land Body Ecologies project is a global transdisciplinary research network and the first international residents of The Wellcome Hub. The collaborators and members of the Land Body Ecologies project participating in the festival are Invisible Flock, Quicksand, Minority Rights Group International, Kaisa Keratar, Dr Outi Autti, Action for Batwa Empowerment Group, Sylvia Kokunda, Emmanuel Barugahare, Turyomurugyendo Elivera, Eliphazi Kapere, Dr Ayesha Ahmad, Sheila Ghelani, Ogiek Peoples’ Development Program, Daniel Kobei, Lilian Maina, Samson Luari, Ms Emily Katais, Mr John Sironga, Bharat Mirle, Chris Watson, Professor Ilan Kelman, Jennifer Katanyoutanant, Jenni Laiti, Dr Nicole Redvers, Nishant Srinivasaiah, Outi Pieski, Siwakorn Odochao, Vishalakshi Padmanabhan, Faqir Zulfiqar, Carl-Johan Utsi, Arjun Kapoor.

The Hub

The Hub is Wellcome’s dedicated space for transdisciplinary research, situated on the fifth floor of Wellcome Collection. The Hub Award is a funded two-year residency, granted to a collaborative research group that brings together people from different backgrounds such as academia, advocacy and the arts to explore specific questions of human health. Land Body Ecologies holds the current Hub Award. The next grant call will be announced in 2024.