18-20th March 2022, Selgars Mill, Devon

Led by Max Hope and Sophie Christophy

“One of the most vital ways we sustain ourselves is by building communities of resistance, places where we know we are not alone.”

bell hooks

We are creating a retreat space for changemakers and activists to get together and reflect, imagine, and co-create, through writing and being together. We want a ‘community of resistance’ and creativity, where we feel solidarity with one another and connect in deep ways. We want to light fires together, literally and at a soul level. For this retreat, we are taking inspiration from bell hooks and her work on activism, social justice, truth-telling, and the practice of love.

We have booked a fantastic venue in Devon for a weekend retreat. We will write. We will cook together and eat together. We will have fire and circles. We will offer two interconnected strands of activity: one to carve out space for individual and collective radical writing, and one for embodied healing and self-liberation work – the combination intended to bring us to our soul’s fire and most authentic expression. 

Our intention is to create a supportive and encouraging environment for everyone to re-connect with the ‘why’ that drives their activism. During the retreat, we plan to co-create a piece of writing that we can publish at the end of the weekend, something which communicates our collective and personal commitments to social justice, our truth-telling, and the practice of love. Our current idea is to document a dialogue between us, a series of letter exchanges, which share radical visions, passions, vulnerabilities, and aspirations for the future. 

During the weekend there will be space and time to come together as a community and to spend time outside in the beautiful surroundings of the water mill where we will be staying. We are offering a plan and structure for the weekend, a programme of opportunities designed and led by Max Hope and Sophie Christophy. We will support you to in navigate that plan in a self-directed and consent-based way. You choose what you want to take part in and and how you want to participate. We hope to support you to stay centred in yourself, to explore and be authentic in your choices, so that we can have a shared experience and your weekend can be what you need it to be. For example, if you want to come, to be in community and to just get on with your own writing, that works. If you want to come to be together, but find you need to chill the whole weekend, that works too. Or come and take part in something or everything that is on offer. We need you at the circle meetings and to pitch in, but the rest is all up to you. 

PLAN FOR THE WEEKEND:

Dates: Fri 18 March at 4pm – Sunday 20 March 2022 at 4pm

Venue:  Selgars Mill, Uffculme, Cullompton, Devon EX15 3DA https://www.selgarsmill.co.uk/

Friday

The weekend starts at 4pm on the Friday. There will be a writing warm up, dinner together, and a soft circle around the fire for introductions. 

Saturday:

Breakfast, then a circle meeting, guided writing provocations, solo in the wild, lunch together, more writing, deschooling the body guided session and sound bath, dinner, fire and a soft circle for radical imagining. 

Sunday:

Breakfast, guided writing provocations, find your power session, last lunch together, last writing push, closing circle meeting. Depart at 4pm. 

Arrangements:

Price based on shared rooms: £175 (9 spaces available)

Price based on a single room: £250 (2 spaces available)

Non-residential/camping price: £100 (5 spaces available)

If you do not have the financial freedom to manage the cost, but feel the burn to come, please get in touch because we have limited funds available to supplement spaces on a ‘pay what you can’ basis. 

We are grateful to Stir to Action for subsidizing the cost of all places.

What is included: Food will be provided (plant-based, and gluten free options). Taking a share in cooking and washing up will be part of the ethos of the retreat.  Accommodation, including sheets and towels, is provided for those booking shared or single rooms.

Booking a place: Please email hello@maxhope.co.uk and we will send you a Registration Form and payment details. Please tell us which type of place you wish to book (shared / single / non-residential) as they will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

About Max Hope and Sophie Christophy:

Max (she/her) is a facilitator, educator, researcher, activist, and writer. Max’s own identity as an activist and changemaker is rooted in her commitment to social and environmental justice. She has spent many years as a grassroots activist, primarily focusing on challenging queer and gender-based inequalities and providing innovative alternative spaces for marginalized young people and adults. She is angry about poverty, about sexual violence, about the abuse of power, about patriarchy, and about the state of the wild world. She is a firm believer in the power of the collective and strives to find ways of joining forces with other activists to push for simultaneous changes across multiple fronts. Max is a keen writer and has authored or co-authored two books, twenty academic articles and book chapters, as well as pamphlets, booklets, and blog posts. She has also run writing retreats and supported dozens of students in their writing of essays, dissertations, and PhD theses. She is the creator of Write On Changemakers, a writing space for changemakers and activists. She is also Director of Rewilding Education, Co-Lead of The Lodge, and Co-Facilitator of Call of The Wild. For more info on Max, including a full list of publications, go to https://maxhope.co.uk/

Sophie (she/her) is the co-founder of consent-based, self-directed learning communities, the Cabin and the Lodge. She’s a feminist, children’s rights and education activist, with a focus on post-patriarchal, consent-based models for personal, family, community and other organisational and interpersonal systems, relationships and dynamics. Over the last ten years she has supported and worked with many people committed to social and environmental justice change-making. Through her Consent-Based Education course, she works closely with people on deschooling paths, helping to unpack the issues at hand, and working towards establishing and strengthening connection to self and consent-based learning and life. As an activist, her work happens through speaking, collaboration, facilitation, writing, life long learning, and energy and body work designed to help unblock and unlock our most authentic expression of and connection to self.  She has written for newspaper and magazines, for her own blog and social media spaces, as well as website copy, policy documents and recommendations. She believes that the personal is political, that our bodies, lives and choices are all spaces for radical activism and transformation, with the most influential change happening first in the relationship that we have with our selves, and then in the relationships with those closest to us. For more info on Sophie, go to https://sophiechristophy.com/

The practice of love is the most powerful antidote to the politics of domination.”

bell hooks

We are grateful for support from:

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Quotes from bell hooks are from: 1) Yearning: Race, Gender, and Cultural Politics (2014) and 2) Toward a Worldwide Culture of Love (2006).