The Barefoot Diaries is our vision of a gorgeously designed, ethically produced, inspiring collection of writings, artwork and photographs, exploring what living an earthed, connected, simpler life might look like.
We've called it The Barefoot Diaries because barefooting implies being connected, getting your feet in touch with the ground rather than having layers of other stuff in the way - and that's what this whole thing's about in a metaphorical and literal sense - we've noticed how busy and fragmented life often is, and we've also noticed that it feels amazing to slow things down, take pleasure in simple stuff, and sometimes literally to take the shoes off and walk barefoot.
We're planning a paper journal because we want it to feel substantial, and though we use screen-based technology every day, we want to create something that doesn't need to be wired, something that feels lovely to hold, something that will be sat with and immersed in.
We propose producing 1000 copies of the A5 size, full colour journal on beautiful chunky 100% recycled paper by a renowned eco printer in West Wales, for distribution to our supporters, and for sale online and through selected outlets around the UK at around £5. We intend to publish towards the end of May/beginning of June.
The content for this specific project, our first edition (we hope there'll be more to follow!), will focus on Summer - seasons are pivotal to our life (though often overlooked) - and all articles and artwork will reflect this theme. We've got writings about the summer life of bees; foraged summer food; poetry; the art of making fires (and cooking with them); tree climbing as meditiation; growing food as a family; being present in your own body; drawings, illustrations, photographs.
We're aiming for practical, local, idiosyncratic, thoughtful, beautiful, wild, reflective, inspiring, delicious and warm. There's a focus on our relationship to the natural world, and in our communities and the places we live. Then to the beyond - connections to different places, different peoples; how can we respond in a reverent and rooted way where others are in need? Here's a place for wondering, for possibilities, stories of what could be, and what is. A catalyst rather than a textbook.
We've invited a lovely bunch of people to contribute - Bruce and Sara Stanley run a permaculture smallholding in the Welsh hills, and produce their own range of foraged teas; Brigit Strawbridge has appeared on the BBC's It's Not Easy Being Green and is a leading activist and educator on bees; Padraig O Tuama is an Irish poet and peace worker; Jackie Morris is an internationally acclaimed artist and illustrator; we've also invited contributions from Youngs, a family growing their own food on an urban allotment, Mary Tame, a 99-year old lady reflecting on her life, Ben Atkinson who runs a yurt holiday business in Cumbria and is a qualified tree surgeon (and climber), Nik Marten and Simone Kenny who currently live in a Camphill Community and have a wealth of experience of the great outdoors, spirituality and community, and others.
We (Stu and Verity) will be gathering the whole thing together, editing and overseeing the production (with the help of some brilliant and insightful friends!) - Stu will be responsible for designing the Barefoot Diaries and contributing illustrations (including some that will be made during this funding journey and printed in the Diaries).
We've got a lovely bunch of rewards for funders, and we're planning to have a little launch event sometime in May to crack the champagne against the prow of the Barefoot ship.
The Barefoot Diaries is for everyone who feels drawn to living simply and creatively, and connected. We're really excited about the project and what it could become, and we'd love to have you with us as we set out with our shoes off.
Risks and challenges
The big thing is to gather everything together and design it in time for release - we've allocated time in our schedule to design the whole thing - and we've already got a number of submissions in from contributors. We have a long list of other people we'd like to include if we had space, so if for any reason someone can no longer contribute, we have a safety net. The printers have us booked into their schedule in anticipation, and we'll confirm that with them as soon as we know we've got everything we need.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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