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Ecofeminist Festival-Berlin-Writing Workshop

As part of the ecofeminist festival 'Seeding Freedomheld in Berlin on September 4th, and of which La Mèche was a partner, the participants of the writing workshop directed by Hélène Coron did us the honor of sharing with us their texts, written with talent and emotion, on the theme of the 'Poetics of the Earth'.

To plunge our hands into the earth, to explore its matter. Let our words take root, cling to it, plunge towards the dark to bloom towards the world. If the earth were a poem, what would its verses be? The participants were accompanied, through a process of creative, instinctive and collaborative writing, through a poetic journey in the belly of the world. We let you discover the result.

And for our readers who would like to try the exercise, you will find the content of the writing workshop at the bottom of this page. 

Ecofeminist Festival-Writing Workshop

Cécilia : I like walking in the forest, going on adventures, and trying new experiences, like this writing workshop, which is in line with my ecofeminist values.

" Hands in the ground, I sink, I am absorbed, She absorbs me.
I sink, I slide, I do not fight, I let her take me.
The limits between her and me blur, I sink, I burn, I fade. She disturbs my forms. She stretches me, she diminishes me, she swallows me, she pushes me away.
I am clay in the hands of a giantess.
Its ardent power has neither goal nor will.
Abandonment, fullness, oblivion, nothingness.
I am her, she is me, we are a whole.
I am a gravel in an immensity. "

Julia: As a Berliner at heart, I work to develop a softer mobility, one that preserves nature.

" Ardent sun that irrigates the earth
With its most timid rays
The infinite movement of solar particles
comes to caress the invisible world
Living, immense is the earth that nourishes us
The one from which I draw my source
When my hands plunge into its folds
And my eyes observe
The inseparable worms
That swirl and revel in
Of these millions of years
That lie beneath our feet "

Nina, Mamue and Plum made 'This world is not made for us', a choral documentary on the ecofeminist movement as it is embodied today within the Voix Déterres collective.

" Here I try to understand you
But I am afraid I do not speak the language
Do the saxifrages want me?
Can I be on first-name terms with you?
I have the impression that we know each other
But your rocks are not my age
You have to laugh at me Do you talk to each other?
Every rock has its own language that I don't understand
Under them do the roots find a way?
What there was before, those who bloomed, cried, danced Those, those places there
Do you miss them?
I cling to these places that remain, to those who, to that
I burn, I consume myself
You don't care
If I ever try
I press my ear against your damp earth
In the hope of hearing the chelidonia take root
I stop for fear of being too quick to see you
To feel your vibrations
Even still, it's not enough
A gravel falls on a dandelion
Oh Sorry Every stone has its language
Here, groping, thousands of ants
They whisper under the rocks
As if not to let me hear their most intimate secrets
Do they tickle you? You must seem immense to them
Do you like the rain that flows on your entrails?
You feel the humidity
That's your charm I wonder how tall you are
If you get along with your neighbors
If you are afraid I would like to reassure you
But I'm scared too
And maybe you are not afraid, maybe you don't understand
Or maybe you do
You understand too well
Your vibrating arteries
The water flows over your stones "


" When I put my hands in the dirt... I get it under my nails. Dry fingers, dark tips, it bothers me, it seeps in. I need water to separate myself from it, to find myself.
What if I accepted to be infiltrated? To become other, to be inseparable and inseparable, to cling to it as it clings to me, slowly etching itself into my fingerprints?
If I accepted that the earth would crack me? Dry me out? Darken me?
Maybe then I could allow light and water to bloom my buds in the making. "


" The sip of water slips from my gourd, it touches my lips.
A few drops fall on the still green grass, moistens the well hidden foam.
It is a little sweet, it has the taste of iron, it mixes with my saliva.
It slips into the dry earth which swells slightly at its contact.
The coolness in my throat makes my body temperature drop immediately.
The sun has already evaporated the drops that did not seep in.
The earth is now more compact. An earthworm worms its way through the grains and pebbles to reach the wet earth.
The second sip that I swallow is a little warmer.
The water reaches a root anchored very deeply in the ground. It too drinks, feels its ephemeral freshness.
I am very thirsty. She saves me.
Three stones move at her touch. They creak. Each stone has its own language.
Naked in a stubborn position, I am tiny, wrapped in earth, rocks, roots and worms. The border of my body does not exist anymore.
The earth is also very thirsty.
Angry earth, exhausted earth, living earth. "

Plum, ecofeminist activist

Ecofeminist Festival-Writing Workshop-Seeding Freedom

Fanny Steyer is a journalist and member of the ecofeminist association Positive Lab in Berlin. In her spare time she tries to read or listen to podcasts, but most of the time she finds herself observing the people around her and noting what they say (it's much more fascinating).

" When I put my hands in the dirt, I feel a certain power. A feeling of of rootedness invades me. The earth decomposes and so does this text.


potting soil 

I feel the earth slip through my fingers. The angry dirt gets stuck under my nails.

What if I let the softness and calm of this land take over me completely? What if I let my eyes closed and sniffed this land? It smells like a quiet cave

the mountain stream 

the crackling fire.  

This land inhabits me. And yet I am a city dweller, but regularly I need to reconnect with to it. To feel the magic roots under my feet. To look up and see only trees and the sky. the sky.

I always thought that screaming at the top of my lungs in an empty forest must be enjoyable.

Extracting my anger, my frustration, extracting the pressure, freeing myself by screaming and hugging a tree.

To feel the green bark of this tree under my fingers. To caress this bark. The tree is thousands of years old and speaks with a soft but serious voice. What is it telling me? The noise of the city still prevents me from to hear it.

In fact, I should take a nature bath regularly to breathe. The city can drive you crazy, and so can solitude. Nature doesn't lie and I like this clarity. "

Christian: A not very literary polyglot lost in a writing workshop.

" When I put my hands in the ground...

It's dark, I can't feel anything. I am lost... Am I lost?

Would this place be the beginning, the start of everything? Or rather the end?
Curiosity surprises me, there is no turning back, I venture in, attracted by the darkness - I want to get lost, to go deeper and discover.

I'm heading to the right... or is it down? I don't know anymore - having lost all orientation, however I feel that this is the right way.

It's starting to get warmer, more humid, that makes me feel better.

I continue in this momentum and the more I advance the better I find myself.

It is a labyrinth in which there seems to be no way out - no singular way out - there are an infinite number of them - I know that, and yet I am far from any way out at the moment. The warm, wet path has stopped, I am now in a field of rocks, I lift one, slowly, only to be immediately caught by another that blocks my way, I have to make a detour.

Suddenly, other stones move, would it have gone too far?

A tremor, slight indeed, but nevertheless directed against me - I must escape, save myself. I breathe deeply, the spicy smells around me making me dizzy, I close my eyes and jump... I jump, without knowing where, when the cold surprises me, wakes me up - the power of the current carries me to a new dimension. Water, so precious, protective, will have saved me, without my having asked for it, it is always there, in abundance to make me travel, to feed me, to wash me, to heal me. 

I'm going through this new world and yet I'm still in the same labyrinth.

It's still dark but I perceive more movement around me, roots tickle me, unknown beings accompany me, asking me to accompany them.

We hold on to an oar and follow it to change altitude.

This whole world is new, mysterious and yet lulls me, beginning to seem familiar.

I find everything I need there. This labyrinth is a circle, a multitude of unique paths, isolated exits, and yet I ask myself why I want to get out? I find the balance I need, the fulfillment, the serenity, the warmth, the cold, the stability - I stay here... "

Ecofeminist Festival-Writing Workshop-Seeding Freedom-Poetry

If these texts have inspired you, we invite you to reproduce the exercise at home, alone or with others, thanks to the content of Hélène Coron's workshop, which will guide you in this process:

Capitalism has deprived us of the ancestral knowledge of the earth, how to care for it, make it fertile, feed it so that it feeds us in turn. Urbanization and industrialization have replaced this age-old link with a deadly relationship with the living. The farmers-ice-s, those-them who are at the base of our subsistence, are more than ever precarious-e-s, marginalized-e-s : 529 suicides are to be counted in 2016 among the the 1.6 million insured persons in the agricultural system aged 15 and over.

Today, I invite you to dig, (un)compose, explore, visit, to reappropriate our relationship with the earth, through a creative and magical tool: poetry.

1. Unlock writingTo free the creativity, by a process of automatic writing.
Approach: view one by one 5 images related to the earth, caves, underground, mud, rocks and other minerals and inhabitants of the underground. Listen one by one to 2 mineral and underground sounds. Facing each support, write for 1 minute, without stopping, without lifting the pen, whatever words, sentences, syllables appear on the paper: these texts are not meant to be read or shared.


2. Be inspiredby listening to the poem by queer activist Susanne Saxe: A Stupid Question (written in response to the FBI agent looking for a sister, who asked her who is in her network):

Who is part of my network,

what is it that binds us, precisely? 

You might as well try to understand the strength

which pushes the water course through the rock

that connects the similar

and makes opposites attract each other

Who guides the earthworm under the ground,

and makes the ants so stubborn and obstinate?

When wind and rain erode the soil,

that pushes the root to resist?

And what invisible hand has written its coded message into the seed? 

Who runs the spider's web, 

and organizes the weed strategy?

What imagination could have invented 

the infrastructure of the vineyard,

the revolt of the grass against the cement,

the dandelion rebellion ?

What force shakes the walls

until they crack,

or grows back the branches of trees 

when they were cut?

Who hides the passages between death and birth?

Who is leading the earth revolution?

Who is part of my network,

what is it that binds us, precisely? 

You might as well try to understand the strength

which pushes the water course through the rock

that connects the similar

and makes opposites attract each other

Investigate the daisies that are invading the lawns,

or on the ivy that penetrates everywhere it wants.

Blame the sky for the rain,

and contributed to the overflow of the river.

Arrest the seagull for illegal theft

Decree a border to enclose the sea,

ask a mountain to change its altitude,

try to prevent a free woman from expressing herself.

3. Collect the words and groups of words that, in light of this poem, now flash in your automatic writing fragments

4. Share the fragments, write them on post-it notes in the center of the group so that each person can write down 3 that do not belong to them.

5. Drawing inspiration from theunderground writing experience of Louise Warren, from her collection 'Interrogating Intensity'..

5. Writing proposal To write by plunging one's hands into the earth, by planting one's fingers as roots penetrate, to move forward in the dark, guided by the infinite process of degradation and transformation of the living, to write from a cave, a garden, a subterranean, to let the earth and its matter invade our text, what do its run-offs, its lines, its erosion, have to tell us, to teach us?

share your creations with us at, we will gladly read your texts and publish them after this article.

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