Every so often we find ourselves collectively or individually looking into a mirror. Indeed, it may be necessary in order to move forward. That is not to say that I have the responsibility or left to create the mirror, but it will always come from somewhere, better from someone with experience I should think. Mirrors emerge in our paths all the time.
The forest working groups are made up of "EMPLOYEES" and "VOLUNTEERS". To see it any other way would be to lie to ourselves.
There are times when there are EMPLOYEES dealing with EMPLOYEES, EMPLOYEES dealing with VOLUNTEERS, and VOLUNTEERS dealing with VOLUNTEERS.
The forest is a hierarchy, you would be kidding yourself if you thought otherwise. To quote one kitchen manager in the past 'the forest is a level playing field, not a pyramid'. This is someone who may be lying to themselves.
As a volunteer, I feel that the forest, as an "arts/ cultural/ education charity, sees me as some sort of slave (crude term perhaps). As someone who only exists to be used as labour, someone with no other interests within the forest, and no other abilities, other than what I can offer the forest in terms of hard labour.
When we have EMPLOYEES who are not artists, in charge of artist volunteers then we may get this, possibly because the none artist EMPLOYEES simply don't understand the artists mind, personality, and in particular, how sensitive artists are capable of being. We are talking about ultra sensitive with some, and I don't just mean arrogant or moody. Artists in charge of artists is not guaranteed success either. And then some people are simply more insensitive in general.
The kitchen manager seems by far the most stressful role in the forest. They burn out in the way that we expect our shoe laces to break. We can ask too much of them and the role they play, and they caqn ask too much of themselves, a learning curve. It may be said that we are there to learn such things and develop from them, assuming we survive.
Being an EMPLOYEE need not mean that we have more authority than others, need it? People are paid to fulfil a certain function. They are obliged to turn up or perform the function, but it need not give them power over others automatically, or we are pandering to a twisted system. And to complain about people being paid money when we are may be to give power and respect to the making of money. Earning power means nothing in an artists community, it should not bring automatic authority in my opinion.
So, to what degree does this arts cultural educational charity respect artists? Well, of course it does, but Let us compare the forest attitude towards artists, to that of making money. The forest machine is looking at money, even when it looks at and deals with artists and the arts, the emphasis is often on money, as if, if we have more money, then we will have better art. This of course is a nonsense. The world and system impose the need for money.
One months notice and the forest could be out of that building (as far as I am aware). A sobering thought for those who are climbing ladders within the forest hierarchy. Those who may even no longer have any time and energy to pursue their art because the forest sucks all their time and energy, and inspiration with it. Of course, if you are an EMPLOYEE, then you need to meet certain demands and fulfil your contract, which is not the same as being a volunteer, is it?
So the forest is a pyramid hierarchy then. One which claims to serve artists but is capable of destroying them. The emphasis should be on art, culture, education and not on self importance or money, admin.
There has been no music rehearsal space in the forest for two months. Is this the result of none musician minds? Hello___? Sure, people are burnt out after the festival and.....
The musicians are among the bottom feeders of the forest, the kitchen volunteers get tips and the kitchen manager paid, as if it is they who bring in the money and the live music and stage are provided to musicians/ performers as some sort of gift to them from the forest. No live performance and the cafe may be quiet, but they are not important, they are better used as slaves to the forest machine, with the making of money in mind, it is why the forest exists after all, to make money, it is why artists exist also, isn't it? And for people who hold more important positions than others to exercises their role upon others and the physical space, and get paranoid about the motives and agendas of others, especially vollies who take some time out. Trust, an interesting word. We can only trust those who are paid. Hmm. 'The kitchen manager was going along well until possessive jealousy set in'. Working with your partner/ lover can bring problems to the WORK PLACE. Yet another kitchen manager burns out and is on the brink, you can tell, they start behaving in a Hitler type fashion and have a very intense look about them, though it may just be possessive jealousy because their lover is part of the set up, or they have artistic talents which are being crushed by the forest money making ethic.
Everything in this world is upside down. In the future, artists will have more say, far more, probably when they overcome the ego. We have inherited these traits from a dodgy system and our brainwashed parents, are we sure we want to do things the same way as them?
As far as I am concerned, there is not enough actual creativity going on within forest walls, and more hierarchical folly and self importance, but that is normal, if not natural. The main past time is- getting waisted. It may be more productive to get high on the art itself rather than superficial substances. I don't blame the "forest" for that, it is the individual.
I have not passed judgement here as to whether people should be paid or not, this post simply accepts that it is going on, from the viewpoint of a multiple artist and volunteer. Without volunteers, the show is over. Without artists, the show won't exist in the first place.
The forest is yet to get going with the cultural and in particular, "education" aspect proper. There is potential, but is it being realised? Can it be realised under the current ways and outlook? And is there the thought that it cannot happen unless there is money? Basic human virtues come first, this will determine the true hierarchy once we get down, or, up to it.
Just a few thoughts, they are not aimed at hurting, the forest needs feedback.
Peace and productivity, without money if need be.....