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The Dawn Chorus: An Illustration of Post-Lockdown Revolution by Jennifer Bell

Original Article on Earthly Creative. News item published with permission from author. Okay. The air is cleaner. The dawn chorus woke me this morning like a thunderous applause. The sky is decluttered of planes. There’s hardly any traffic noise, and in its place, the pulsing of nature is amplified. I have this sense in which we’re seeing the blood return to the world’s cheeks. It was wheezing, but now it’s in the process of taking a full, deep, relieved breath - and I’m deeply sad it is coming at the expense of death and suffering. 

With this in mind, and whilst acknowledging my privileges, it also feels, on some levels, as though the world is within our reach for the first time, maybe in our lifetime. As if this is more how it should be. 

So I would like to pose what I hope is a credible proposition:

Might now be our chance for a peaceful revolution? 

In all seriousness. What do you think?

Ground-up change in behaviour, now that we’re seeing it’s possible.

Might this be THE best stab we get at it?

Can we NOT return to normal?

We are good people, and in our banal ways, we are all complicit in the degradations associated with capitalism. On reflecting on our current behaviour, what could follow from the lockdown conditions could be a powerful personal, and ultimately systemic, sea change… 

We’ve had to drastically change how we live, and we are all, across the world, practising self-restraint. We have been forced into a global state of localism and of minimalism, and our sense of community and solidarity has increased. It is these mind-sets that I propose will infuse a behavioural movement away from the destructive features of the modern world. It is these mind-sets that will inform a new type of active citizenship, and renewed political engagement. It is this set of ingredients, brought into the mix NOW, globally, that will provide the basis for peaceful systemic change. 

We know that it is not possible to continue in the manner of the lockdown en masse, because it is a condition that is being artificially sustained, in most countries, by governments propping up their economies. In order for this deep breath to continue, outside of the crisis, there would have to be some sort of major economic reshuffle, and draconian intervention to enforce it. 

However, we can ride this global change in culture moving forward. In fact I would argue that we must. I hope that the following call to arms simply reflects what you already are thinking and feeling. It’s not an invention. More an articulation. 


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