Performing Mountains

Performing Mountains

School of Performance and Cultural Industries, stage@leeds, University of Leeds

Keynote Performance: Lone Twin’s – On Everest, (followed by a curated panel of internationally recognised climbers and artists, including Doug Scott CBE)

Mountains are places of ‘great cultural importance’ (Price 2015, p.10). Whilst they might appear to be impervious to human agency and intervention – you can’t move mountains after all – they are, in fact, constantly being shaped by human hands, sometimes benignly and sometimes with permanent malignance. Culture and the production of cultural objects play an integral part in this process comprising an extraordinarily varied gallery of what might be termed Mountain Arts. The richness of Mountain film, literature and creative writing is celebrated each year across the networks of Mountain festivals (within the UK and internationally) and is contested in hugely popular awards ceremonies such as the Boardman-Tasker. Fine Art dedicated to mountains has a very long history and its more recent extension into Environmental or Land Art in the last forty years, has enjoyed similar growth. Photography competitions promoted by the many popular and specialist hiking and climbing magazines, bring the amateur photographer into the realm of mountain artistry joining evermore ambitious photo-shoots staged in mountains by professionals. The inspiration mountains provide for artists of these media is as unmistakable as the mark they make in the landscape. But where do the live arts fit into this picture, what do they uniquely offer, and what might they contribute in the future?

Drawing an appropriately inclusive audience together to debate and trouble the boundaries of mountain culture, this symposium is dedicated to understanding some of the complexities of this new field of research, extending its interest with a focus on the live and performed.

For further details visit the project website