‘If We Can Imagine…Writing with Deep Time’ live on my Substack

Image by Chip Phillips.

“Yesterday a friend, Bela, introduced me as ‘a walking artist…wherever she walks, she co-creates’. I really loved this. It’s true that sometimes this co-creating has been with many other humans, through walking or journeying together, ending with a writing session…. But more often I am on my own, and the more-than-human world of nature is my co-creator, as with this next journey…’
Read/listen/watch my second Substack journey through the deep time lenses of an archeologist following another dramatic chalk cliff fall along the Sussex Coast at Seaford Head on the UK coast. Now over on alinahazadeh.substack.com. Subscribe for free, extra content for paid subscribers to support my work to continue.
#climatewriting #ecology #archeology #climatechange #sussex #seaford #nature #poetry #restorenaturenow #southdownsnationalpark #wearenature

This Hidden Valley – from the Sussex Downs to the mountains of Iran..

What’s the connection between the green hills of the South Downs and the mountains of north west Iran?

Answer: me, as I take you on my first published journey here on Substack. This prose poem This Hidden Valley is a remix of a walking essay originally commissioned  for ‘Into the Wild’, part of The Essay series on BBC Radio 3.

Part 2 of this journey to follow soon… together with a read-aloud version. Free to subscribe, one story/poem/article every 7-10 days plus audio/writing prompts for paid subscribers who want to support my work on that level.
#biodiversity #lewes#southdownsnationalpark #ecology #Sussex #literature #ecopoetry ccreativewriting #WomanLifeFreedom #Iran #ecofeminism #equity #nature #decolonisethedowns

Nature writing, but not as you know it….on my new Substack The Colour of Chalk

https://open.substack.com/pub/alinahazadeh/p/the-colour-of-chalk-writing-journeys?r=57ae7&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web&showWelcomeOnShare=true

Launching today on Substack, my new publication project, The Colour of Chalk – writing journeys with me, from the chalk coast of Sussex to the borderlands of my British-Iranian identity. Non-fiction, short story, poetry.

The title of this Substack is named after my 2021-22 podcast The Colour of Chalk, a walk and talk podcast made as inaugural Writer-in-Residence across the Seven Sisters and Sussex Heritage Coast, UK for South Downs National Park.

So now I am continuing my journeys, taking my pen for a walk with readers, sometimes to places I know well along these ancestral bone paths of Sussex, or down along the lip of its shoreline and in dialogue with water – river, sea, far ocean.

I will take my readers to places I am discovering or researching afresh for current commissions, pure pleasure or personal refuge and restoration. I will write about the process of developing my new work, including how I manage to make my life work as a writer and artist with its struggles, insights, breakdowns and breakthroughs.

Read more here on how to join me, as a free or as a paying subscriber…

Writing the more-than-human world… Chichester University workshop

Bright spot work moment – on a beautiful sun filled Monday afternoon I was ‘in conversation’ about my writing journey and residency work across the South Downs, then ran a creative writing workshop on ‘Place, Change and the Speculative’ for MA students at University of Chichester on their final day of term….under this particularly beautiful tree canopy, accompanied by the campus fox… thanks to the brilliant Suzy Joinson for inviting me, fellow literary activist and author of an incredible memoir out in the autumn (I will amplify!)..and the inspiration and openness of all the writers who took part …

#creativewriting #naturewriting #climatechange #speculativefiction #SouthDownsNationalPark #WeHearYouNow @UniversityofChichester

Inclusive culture-making…for Clore leadership

Yes, I know you have seen me striding confidently across the landscapes of the Sussex Coast, and yes when out in the open air everything falls away.. But like so many creatives & leaders, I’ve had many struggles in bringing my larger projects into the world, especially through covid and these societal and ecological crises we are in…Over the last few years I’ve had to overcome additional barriers – poor health, carer burnout & increasing challenges arising through my own neurospicyness. This part, mainly presenting as ADHD, has also been the source of my visioning, change-making and drive in generating the multi-dimensional projects and fostering my cultural activism, for years.

I’ve learnt a lot along the way, some of it painfully, some of it joyfully! and am proud to have also supported many other creatives to bring their incredible work and voices to this and previous projects, though always feeling there is so much more to be done to disrupt & lift the systemic barriers that keep our voices and visions for change from making the powerful impact I know they can.

I’ve been fortunate to have recently received support & the opportunity to pause, and I’ve become more aware of what’s now needed for me to continue my creative path, but also take care of myself better along the way.

One of the invites I’ve had is to join the brilliant Clore Leadership as a facilitator/coach on their ground-breaking Inclusive Cultures programme ‘a six-month disabled-led professional development programme designed for cultural leaders seeking to take steps towards systemic change in the area of inclusive culture making and disability justice. The programme draws on Inclusive Leadership theories and practice, and the lived experiences of D/deaf, disabled and neurodivergent people/communities, and uses coaching techniques to inform both thinking and action.’

It is leading edge work and I am thrilled to be able to both serve and learn… the deadline for the next programme is 9am April 29th, details here please do spread the word!

The Colour of Chalk – podcast

Ok so this is me on the beach, but not yet this year – until it’s warm enough! It was taken back in 2021 at Birling Gap on the Sussex Coast, with my furry zoom recorder, from inside my beloved beach tent , storytelling for episode 1 of my podcast The Colour of Chalk, an early fruit of my Seven Sisters residency and We See You Now writers project…it was sparked by this question…How has your relationship to this coastal landscape and the wider natural world been shaped by your upbringing, identity and sense of belonging?

Walks, talks and creative readings out along the sublime chalk landscapes of Cuckmere, Seaford and around the Seven Sisters together on warm Spring and Summer days followed in episodes 2-4 with fellow creatives Josephine Hall, Razia Aziz & Dulani Kulasinghe.

Listen/ re-listen to The Colour of Chalk podcast on all platforms – Spotify, Apple, Google, Apple via and you can also listen to our subsequent collection of We Hear You Now (WHYN) stories that now sit across this same landscape as an audio trail also hosted by South Downs National Park.

I  hope to be doing more podcasts outdoors this year, I loved it! Until then snuggle up, plug in & enjoy the last of the indoor weather… & if you are a walker & do go out on a chalky seaside adventure, take a notebook & pen & get inspired by our free creative writing prompts too, all on the Seven Sisters WHYN pages.

Thanks to Writing Our Legacy, Arts council England, SevenSisters Country Park, South Downs National Park and all partners and advocates along the way since..

We Hear You Now at the first International Black Speculative Fiction Festival this weekend!

Feb 2- 4pm We Hear You Now project is being featured as part of the online programme (Sunday 4th at 2.55- 3.55pm) at the first ever International Festival of Black Speculative Fiction at Goldsmiths University hosted by Sable Literary Mag/Inscribe and many other partners. Our session will include a screening of our new project film & live readings, panel discussion on the role speculative / eco-fiction can play in re-imagining, reclaiming & re-storying British rural landscapes.

Our online session will include readings by myself, Akila Richards Pauline Rutter and Georgina Parke. Supported by New Writing South.