Please be seated for 6pm and as always there will be time for questions & discussion at the end!
Darren Springer is a grass-roots researcher and event organiser based in London. He's the Director of Ancient Future, convenor of the Psychedelia Railway Gatherings and curator at Earth Tone Arts. After setting up Ancient Future in 2006 -- a voluntary organisation -- he has continued to develop workshops and projects geared around creative arts, personal-development and African-Caribbean spiritual systems in his community.
Collectively his work aims to inform and empower individuals from diverse backgrounds to cope with social challenges and contribute to community development as well as self-improvement in an innovative, creative, culturally-aware style. By day Darren teaches organic horticulture and food enterprise to young people and grows edible mushrooms.
Presenter and chair at the psychedelic conference 'Breaking Convention' London, the 'Detroit Entheogenic Conference' and numerous consciousness gatherings around the UK, Darren is a knowledgeable and dynamic speaker who is passionate about sharing his research on African entheogenic plants and their various applications.
Although not often recognised by researchers and scientists, fungi and plants have been used for millenniums by indigenous Africans; and those in the diaspora for personal and community, spiritual development and healing. Several indigenous African communities use these sacred plants in their rites of passage, initiation ceremonies and daily ritual.
With so many people now becoming aware of the increase of psychedelic usage in the western world, and open-minded to accessing information on psychedelics, a discussion has begun to be entertained that this “psychedelic renaissance,” as some coin it, is a movement that has the potential to spearhead the dissolving of cultural and racial barriers that have previously been obstacles in developing genuine cross-racial dialogues on many levels.
In this presentation Darren will explore the subject of race and psychedelics through the eyes of a British born African-Caribbean male in the UK. In the last few years the subject of race -- and how to respectfully address it -- and whether racism can really exist in the psychedelic community, has been highlighted as a topic yet to be fully acknowledged. Questions have arisen such as:
• Why are the descendants of the indigenous peoples so disconnected from the medicine lineages of their ancestors?
• What can be done to make the psychedelic community as equally accessible and inclusive to non-white communities?
• What can be done to defend against the co-optation of sacred indigenous traditions by Westerners in search of novel "experiences," who exploit these traditions for financial gain?
• What role can psychedelics play in the current racial climate?
These questions and discussions are healthy, but what will be the outcome of these discussions? How will these ideas be manifested? Darren will be taking you through a historical journey from the ancient world and bringing you into the modern era exploring these and others questions in his interactive presentation.