Land Body Ecologies at The Hub

Person wearing a dark pink shawl, standing in the centre of a green forest.
Mau Forest_1, Jason Taylor. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0).

The residents at The Hub for 2021–23 were Land Body Ecologies, a global interdisciplinary network that explores the relationship between mental health and ecosystem health. We are pleased to share that the Land Body Ecologies (LBE) research project will continue to be funded for an extra year, until the end of November 2024.

Our fourth Hub residents, Land Body Ecologies (LBE), are bringing together human rights activists, expert communities, mental health researchers, scientists and artists.

Together they will research the phenomenon of solastalgia, a developing field of global health, defined as the emotional or existential distress caused by environmental change and land-rights issues: “the feeling of homesickness while you are still at home”.

LBE is an initiative led by award-winning interactive arts studio Invisible Flock, and is The Hub’s first international project.

At the heart of the project are Indigenous communities including the Ogiek in Kenya, the Sámi in Finland, the Batwa in Uganda, the Pgak’yau (Karen) in Northern Thailand, as well as communities living in the buffer zones of the Bannerghatta National Park in India. The project will bring together a live network of hubs in these regions and The Hub in central London at Wellcome Collection.

“Traumas of the land have been buried, and the expressions of land trauma have been silenced... We need to discover where the world’s wounds are, and to guide the global mental health movement to a collective healing whereby the rupture between the environment and mental health is re-threaded with renewed ways of living, and dying.”

Dr Ayesha Ahmad, Senior Lecturer in Global Health at St George’s, University of London

The Hub space will provide a base for the group’s collaborative research, involving mixed methodologies across arts and science practices, data-gathering and storytelling, advocacy, activism and public events. The group will also have unique access to resources in Wellcome Collection, the Wellcome Trust and the Wellcome Library.

The team

Victoria Pratt, Director of Invisible Flock, an award-winning interactive arts studio that creates highly sensory installations and environments that ask us to renegotiate our emotional relationship to the natural world. They are an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation.

Babitha George and Romit Raj from Quicksand, an interdisciplinary design research and innovation consultancy based in India.

Kaisa Keratar from Waria, a cooperative of freelancers and project workers in the fields of culture and media.

Dr Outi Autti, Adjunct Professor in Arctic Architecture and Environmental Adaptation at the University of Oulu, Finland.

Sheila Ghelani, a UK-based artist interested in the relationship between art and science with particular focus on hybridity

Daniel Kobei from Ogiek Peoples’ Development Program, a non-governmental organisation based in Kenya that promotes the recognition and identity of Ogiek culture.

You can follow their progress on:

Instagram @landbodyecologies

Twitter @LBecologies

Facebook @landbodyecologies