After a period of fifteen years making new performance and publications, Rajni Shah Projects is engaging in a period of reflection and exploration in order to find the most appropriate and useful ways in which to move forward as a company. During this time, Rajni is working with Mary Paterson, Susan Sheddan and Tiffany Charrington to explore new company structures that will allow us to support radical new work as well as radically new ways of working. Part of this process involves moving away within our own company from a single-leader patriarchal structure to a more collaborative way of working. Lying Fallow has emerged as part of this new way of working.
Why ‘lying fallow’?
Rajni Shah Projects is in a period of reflection as a company which we feel is akin to that of a field when it lies fallow - seemingly 'doing nothing' but in fact engaging in a deep process of rejuvenation and enriching. However, it is important to us that we do not engage in this process without input from others. After lengthy discussions, we have therefore embarked on a year-long project in which we explore through practice the concept and value of ‘lying fallow’ within the wider context of a society which is frequently driven by product, outcome, and the charade of efficiency.
Why do you care about this?
Click here to read personal statements from each of us about why we think Lying Fallow is important. We’re keen that these statements do not define the event - they are merely our personal reasons for being invested in this project. We are looking forward to adding 26 more statements to these!
What is the timeline?
14th September: Deadline for expressions of interest
Week beginning 22 September: We will aim to contact everyone this week to let them know whether we can accommodate them or not. If we have a high number of applications, this may take us until the end of the month - we’ll go as quickly as we can on this!
Saturday 15 November 2014, 12-5pm: first gathering
Sunday 15 February 2015, 9am-9pm: second gathering
Friday 15 May 2015, 5-10pm: third and final gathering
How much will it cost to attend?
It will not cost anything to attend these events - we want them to be accessible to as wide and diverse a group as possible. If you decide you are interested in attending the events, you will need to fill in an 'expression of interest' form, which includes a section on access needs. We will aim to cover any access costs that might otherwise prevent you from being able to take part, including but not limited to: childcare, personal assistants, travel, and accommodation.
Where will it take place and will it be accessible for me?
The gatherings will all take place in London. We realise that this may present problems for some people. There is a section in the ‘expression of interest’ form where you can let us know about any access needs. This includes requests for costs to cover travel, accommodation, and childcare, as well as letting us know if you have any access needs or have specific requirements around the timing and duration of events. We hope that we will be able to make the project accessible to anyone who is passionate about being there. We will confirm the exact timings and locations of events at the beginning of October, based on the information we have about the people who are attending.
Is it right for me?
If you are drawn to what we’re proposing, and you can commit to attending all three dates, then it’s probably right for you. We’re very keen to attract a wide range of people, and this will inform our process. This mix of people might include scientists, artists, academics, and writers - but we hope that it will include people who can’t or won’t define themselves this clearly too.
But what will actually happen?
Each gathering will be framed by the core questions listed on the invitation, and shaped around the needs and desires of the group we gather together. We will take full responsibility for ensuring that the events are carefully and rigorously hosted and catered for, and that each has a clear structure that invites differing modes of participation including quieter modes such as listening and observation. However, the content of the events will come from the people who attend. There is a huge element of unknown within this project. There will be no keynote speakers, no great networking opportunities, no fame or fortune to be won. Instead, there will be a group of people returning to some core questions in different spaces and seasons. If you’re still interested, we’d love to hear from you.
Do I need to attend all three events? Can I still apply if this is not possible?
Everyone will need to commit to attending all three events, as this is a core principle of the project. If you have specific needs around travel or access that mean you cannot attend during the proposed times, please let us know in your application form and we will take this into account when finalising timings and locations of events.
How will you select participants if more than 30 people are interested?
If more than 30 people want to attend Lying Fallow we will focus on selecting a group that is as diverse as possible. We will then operate a waiting list for those who were interested but to whom we weren't able to offer a place immediately. Please note that we will respond to all submissions by the end of September at the latest.
I am interested! What do I do now?
Please click here to fill in an 'expression of interest' form. You will need to submit the form by 14th September 2014 at nightfall.