Press Releases 2014-2015

Jane Davidson Takes Interviewer Role in Landmark Satish Kumar Documentary


Dr Jane Davidson gyda Satish Kumar (credydau – Ruth Davey, of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor Dr Jane Davidson has interviewed one of the greatest spiritual thinkers of the 21st century, Satish Kumar, for a landmark six-part documentary to be released next year.

Born in 1936, Satish became a Jain Monk at the age of nine and then, at the age of eighteen, joined the Gandhian non-violent land reform movement. In 1964, his 8,000-mile Peace Walk took him from Delhi to all the nuclear capitals of the world, without a penny in his pocket, carrying only a message of peace.

He later settled in the UK and went on to become Editor of Resurgence Magazine, championing ecology, art and spirituality. He founded the world’s leading college for activists and change-makers, Schumacher College, now celebrating its 25th anniversary.

The documentary has been created by Emergence, an arts and sustainability collective based in Wales, in association with Resurgence Magazine, Schumacher College, Culture Colony and Volcano Theatre. It was made possible following a successful crowdfunding campaign, which exceeded its £25,000 target.

The documentary series will be available as a DVD box-set in Autumn 2016 to coincide with Satish’s 80th birthday, the 50th anniversary of Resurgence and the 25th anniversary of Schumacher College.

In conversation with Satish is Dr Jane Davidson, Director of the Institute for Sustainable Practice, Innovation and Resource Effectiveness (INPSIRE) at UWTSD. Dr Davidson is also a former Welsh Government Environment Minister who was responsible for the pioneering ‘One Wales: One Planet’ strategy, that led to the innovative Wellbeing of Future Generations Act which was passed by the National Assembly this year. This policy put sustainability at the heart of the Welsh Government, making it one of the first nations in the world to do so.

Dr Davidson said: “In his tireless teaching, writing and speaking over eight decades, Satish has changed countless lives. However, until now there has never been a record of his life and work that deeply investigates all that he stands for and advocates.

“When I was first approached to work with Satish on this exciting project, I was doubtful. What had I to offer to illuminate one of the greatest spiritual thinkers of the 20th and 21st century - a man who creates lasting mental images from his inspired turn of phrase and who is truly authentic in what he says and does? But, after reflecting for some time, I became excited - maybe the narrative of our time is a profound loss of dialogue between different actors about what matters. In the era of the ever shortening sound bite, we no longer debate ideas.

“This documentary is the chance to do that, to energetically debate Satish's ideas between ourselves, and with others, and to momentarily call a halt to the daily onslaught of the senses and reflect on the human condition. After all, as Satish says, ‘human energy is the most important form of renewable energy’.”

Fern Smith, Co-producer of the series and Creative Director of Emergence, said: “We live in uncertain times, yet we lack the political leadership we need to bring our planet back from the brink of ecological, social and economic crisis. This situation leaves many of us feeling isolated and disempowered. The message at the heart of Satish’s teaching is that individuals can and do change the world for the better. He is a living example of Gandhi’s maxim that each of us can “be the change we want to see in the world”. At times like these, we all need to be inspired to change – and Satish is one of the most inspirational teachers the world has ever seen.

“Through these films we aim to bring Satish’s words and teachings to as wide an audience as possible and, at the same time, create a legacy of his lifetime of learning for generations to come. This series sees Satish communicate his philosophy as never before through six hours of intense, enlightening and enriching conversations.”

Further Information

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