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Dumbo FeatherDumbo Feather

Dumbo Feather Issue 56

Dumbo Feather is an iconic Australian magazine. Published quarterly for seven years, and hailed around the world as a design leader, it is a magazine like no other. Our readers are people who want to be told a different story than the one they hear every day. Each quarterly issue features five extended (20 page) profiles of people worth knowing, across enterprise, education, science, sport, politics, fashion and the arts. Whether they’ve touched millions, or just those around them, we take the time to get to know these people, and ask them to tell us their stories.

Land:
Australia
Språk:
English
Utgiver:
Dumbo Feather Pty Ltd
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access_time6 min.
urban rewilding

On a misty Friday morning in May a dozen of us stand in a circle on the banks of the Birrarung (the Yarra) in Melbourne’s inner north. Dressed in parkas, beanies and scarves, our greetings breathe halos into the fog. A smaller circle sits within ours, a ring of rocks containing the charred remains of a fire. “What is the quietest sound you can hear in the east?” I ask, and extend my own awareness in the direction of the sunrise. I strain to pick up nuances over the sound of the nearby freeway. Sometimes I imagine the roar is that of a mountain river. However when the southerly wind blows during peak hour I can’t pretend I live in the wilderness anymore. Despite the bushy outlook, the drone of the…

access_time4 min.
where questions unfold

There’s a field next to my garden: an interlude of green rolling out beyond my fence, leading down to a place where the predators roam. Dotted with clumps of weeds, tussocks of earth and the odd, straggly apple tree, this paddock is my gateway to the wild, the interface between my humble, domesticated acre and a secret, riverside land of eagles, hawks and serpents. Here, in southern Tasmania, I am literally on the edge of the world. In the field, I’m in the borderlands. During summertime, thickset red and cream Hereford steers come to munch on the grass, and muse at my human otherness over the hedge, staring at me quizzically before resuming their grazing. The green tower of pussy willow in my garden hums with bees, while wattle birds and…

access_time3 min.
forest bathing

When I was 25, I moved from the city to the seaside because I needed to sort through my life in a place where there was stillness and spaciousness. I spent mild autumn days wandering through the bush and along the clifftops behind my house, inspecting the patterns made by reed-like plants in the sandy soil and marvelling at rainbow shells. During this time I had two epiphanies. The first was that the earth has a natural hum to it. I noticed that between the sounds of nature there is not silence but a subtle yet audible and visceral vibration: the hum of aliveness. Second, I suddenly understood those oft-quoted words from Hermes Trismegistus: “As above, so below. As within, so without. As the universe, so the soul.” I saw that…

access_time3 min.
farming for the whole

The great Japanese farmer Masanobu Fukuoka famously wrote, “The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.” I’ve often wondered what the world would look like if we worked to create a farming system that supported the best for human beings—for our health, our relationships, our desire to live in community and much more. At this point in time, the opposite is true for most of the planet. Our farming system is producing food which diminishes not only who we are, but the natural world on which we depend. When I began farming, I quickly realised that it was a mirror I could use to look more deeply inwards and around me. The more I planted and weeded, nurtured and fed,…

access_time4 min.
gregory smith is out of the forest

Gregory Smith spent much of his adult life homeless. After an abusive childhood, and an early adulthood marked by addiction and social problems, he found himself living in the forests of northern New South Wales for nearly a decade. There, he faced his demons, or what he calls “the aliens,” and between hunting and trading food for his own survival, spent long hours processing his experiences in solitude. It was a period that sent him on a journey to save himself, and today, more than 20 years later, Gregory has a PhD in sociology and teaches in the School of Arts and Social Sciences at Southern Cross University. Spirituality. Connectivity. Respect. That’s what I got out there. An appreciation of not only my life but for the life around me. Some…

access_time27 min.
bob brown saves the wilderness

SUBJECT Bob Brown OCCUPATION Environmentalist INTERVIEWER Nathan Scolaro PHOTOGRAPHER Rémi Chauvin LOCATION Hobart, Australia DATE June 2018 ANTIDOTE TO Feeling powerless UNEXPECTED Forty-year relationship with the Tarkine When Bob Brown was first elected to the Australian Senate in 1996, he used his maiden speech to drive home the impact of human activity on the planet. He spoke of the greenhouse phenomenon and warming temperatures—what we now know as human-made climate change—and warned that without committed action, millions of people would be displaced due to rising sea levels by the end of the next century. Government and opposition members laughed and heckled at his proposition, but Bob was unwavering. “Humankind’s most pressing challenge,” he asserted, “is to live in harmony with the earth on a genuinely sustainable basis.” “Until we put the environment, the living environment, and our grandchildren’s right to exist on this planet above immediate self…

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