In our wounded world, there’s a background song. A murmuring song emerging through cracks. The song of life that breaks through. Of life that flows and sings to the rhythms of the Earth.

Singing connections,
Convivial seeking,
reminding of life threads
that dance through us all.

Promiscous care
Mutually aiding
Symbiotic web
of all life.

If Earthlings we are
How do we recall
The call of our time
To come back to Earth?

The Forest University invites you to come join and ground for the first edition of “Zemljani/Earthlings”, a series of explorative gatherings dedicated to symbiotic, regenerative, convivial ways of relating to the Earth. This Earthlings edition has a focus on symbiotic dwellings.

During these twelve days, from 21st of July until 1st of August, we will be co-creating the future spaces of the Forest University, working with wood, reed, straw and mud on the future roofed classroom, as well as on the common workshop and atelier. Morphing with mud and earth through our bodies and space-making processes, we will have time for conversations, provocations, inputs, dances, deep listening, as well as group and individual work.

We will explore the convivial economy and symbiotic autonomy of the Forest University – our ways of living with waters, energy, waste, food, collective permaculture garden and more than humans that we share the Forest University with. In these twelve days, we will be feeling what happens when a territory cares for us with its fruits, shades, beauties, and waters, and how it feels to care back, and care within.

First half of the day, from 9am to 2pm is devoted to building processes. It involves safe but sometimes demanding physical labour (due to warm weather) including digging, carrying and mixing mud, cutting wood, plastering, screwing and similar.
The second half of the day, which we call Collective explorations, is co-designed among all participants, curating collectively the offerings which each of us is bringing to the gathering (you will be asked to think of these teachings/offerings in the application form). In the middle of the programme, there will be a full day off for integration of experiences, excursion or relaxation.

Exemplary day dynamic
7-8h Grounding (meditation, yoga, walking, etc.)
8-9h Breakfast
9-14h Collective hands-on work with building, mud mortars and wood
14-16h Lunch and rest
16-20h Collective explorations (lectures, workshops, collective reading, crafts, foraging, etc.)
20h Dinner
21h Film screenings, music-playing, conversing around fire
23h-7h Quiet hours

Application process
To apply, please fill in the application form by 1st of July 2024. We will let you know the results by the 5th of July 2024.

Financial contribution
Processes at the Forest University are non-profit and experimental in terms of alternative economies, including bartering, gifts, volunteering, etc. There is no big or small funder for this event. We as FU will contribute with organising, facilitating and hosting the gathering and its educational and working processes, and will also cover the cost of working materials and accommodation. We ask you as a participant for a minimum contribution through which we will be buying food, securing there is enough water in case of draught and repairing tools.

Recommended monetary contribution:
The recommended contribution for 12 days is 120eur.

Solidarity contribution:
The solidarity fee is for those who feel they can contribute more than the minimum recommended, because they come for more money-affluent background. This depends from your position and willingness to contribute. What is collected will be used to fund stipend for someone who cannot afford or some future programs at the FU.

Participation without monetary contribution:
We want learning processes not restricted through money. If you cannot afford to contribute financially, please underline this in your application.

Accommodation arrangements
Prepare yourself for a forest camping experience. We have collective outside showers, as well as spaces for tents. If you have your camping equipment (tent, sleeping bag) please indicate in the admission form and bring it with you. If not, please indicate so we make sure we have enough places to host you. For those that are afraid of tents, and would still like to join, there are several in-doors beds. If you are one of those people, please write so in the application form.

Food arrangements
Cooking will be plant-based, low waste, as local as possible and collectively organised because it is integral process of the collective learning and caring for each other. There is no “chef” in charge of providing us food, and we will have cooking teams changing on daily basis. Each participant will spend 2 separated days in a cooking team overall.

There are plant-based meals in every culture around the world, and new recipes are being explored each day. We invite you to explore your local gastronomic culture with attempt to share with us ways and tastes when your turn for cooking comes. This might mean bringing with yourself an ingredient or a spice that you might need, but also might be an improvisation of what we have locally. This is how we transform gathering around food into transcultural, sacred moments of sharing.

Common waste
We look to produce as little waste as possible that will pollute the soil and water, or that must be taken to the garbage collection stations in the city.

We invite you to practice together awareness about the waste produced, as well as wastes which should not be wasted, but can circulate further. You will be part of composting practices both from kitchen scrapes and humanure.

We drink water from the well, and do not want it infected by septic tanks. Therefore, we have dry toilets at the FU, which we hope you will love and pass further as a practice.

Travel arrangements
“How do we nurture more symbiotic, regenerative ways of relating to the web of life?” is a question to be explored not only at FU but during your journey, and we will be sharing and recalling the journeys when we gather. Each of you will organise, fund and explore ways to reach the FU in your own way. Ours is to say that The Earthlings do not start at the FU, but the moment when you start heading towards us.

If you do not have to fly over oceans or deserts, we strongly encourage you to explore ways to reach us that are to the ground, so that your Earthlings experiences include your physical journey in even more layered and regenerative way. This can be by bike, by train or bus, by hitchhiking or coming with a full car, or by foot if you are for a more radically rooted experience. If you want some ideas and concepts behind other types of mobilities, check this book we have co-written a few years ago for artists and cultural workers.