The Ecology of Re-peat
It wasn't long ago that we learned of the hidden power of the erased yet mystical, and animated peatland. It took just one story on a bog, one scientific core of the peat earth, and a few print-out graphs floating in the wind, and the seed of RE-PEAT was planted. Then, before we knew it, the story seeds were surrounding us and we all became well and truly brain-deep in boggy shoots.
Today, RE-PEAT is an international youth-lead organisation with members in the United Kingdom, Germany, Estonia, Sweden, and Chile, registerd in the Netherlands. Some of us study peat at a university level, some of us work with peat "in the field", and many of us are simply amateur enthusiasts.
The skeleton of RE-PEAT is six working groups: Strategy & Internal Communication, Outreach & Political Liaison, Events Organising, Arts & Aesthetics, Media & Promotion, Finance & Legal.
The life of RE-PEAT is as a collective, a heap of people pulled together by peat who learn from the way that peat has pulled together countless others over deep time – the dragon-flashing-flies and solemn birds, the startling flowers and microbes sopping in the moss. Like a mutalistic web our basic unit is linkage, interaction, relationship – where all participants benefit and give benefit. Honest communication is the thread through which these relationships are stitched, and problems arise most often when this frays.
Like an ecosystem, we depend on diversity. Everyone has something different to contribute and all of it has value. Where different perspectives and lived experiences converge or confront is where learning, where evolution and adaptation, can occur. This is only possible if individuals are equally respected and fairly treated.
In an ecosystem nothing is wasted. Similarly in the Re-peat web there are no mistakes, only unexpected links and portals into opportunity. We find excitement in processes, rather than outcomes, and value co-operative control in these. Just as a tree may stand in the peat for hundreds of years while midges fly for just days at a time, our members work at different paces and magnitudes, in different time-scales and time-zones. A resilient ecosystem will survive when nodes diminish, and so Re-peat maintains itself while its members have the freedom to grow and shrink in their capacities.
An ecosystem is porous, not closed, to the world in which it is embedded. We believe that solidarity with our common world is bred through child-like curiosity; playfulness loosens our imaginations to let us be fantastically optimistic. Being porous also means feeling the ripples of damage and disturbances. We mindfully shape our anger into determination against those who thrive off peatlands-as-wasteland. Our strength comes from being radical, which means standing at the roots of things. Inwardly and outwardly we are open and commonly responsible; thus it is that RE-PEAT can co-create ourselves and the future.
The Conservation Revolution by Bram Buschner and Robert Fletcher
White Supremacy Culture by Tema Okun
Commons Thinking by Justin Kenrick