Wild City Manifesto

Alec Finlay


the wild city is only the past repeating * wildness doesn’t begin or end at the edge of the city * the wild doesn’t shut at 10pm * wild things have their own sequence * bring back the seasons! * our material existence cannot be sustained without wildness * the wild city reverses destiny * the wild opens up spaces in the city for new thought * only by mending the city will we repair the weather * we consider the mountains as the nation’s lungs but most people do their breathing in cities * the diesel rainbow floating on the puddle is a memorial * a culture so fixated on death has no need of breath * we have killed wildness many times but now it’s going to die * glass can be wild and so can paper, but never plastic* the wild flit of the seasons is a rush of signs * we will never remediate climate breakdown in country landscapes, only in streets and docks * there is no “road” that leads out of this mess * if only we were more hare-brained * every great city plan began with a wee den * each clover flower enlarges the city * shame is a nettle patch, good enough for butterflies if you wait * grubbing round in the weeds is a good place to find new arguments * wild politics: a fluctuating blend of wide-eyed federalism and grassroots anarchism * nothing makes people more afraid than poverty – in a landless city with no place to grow food for your family * allotments represent the right to care for the land not the right to own it * when the wild becomes unthinkable then life becomes impossible * the real wild begins at Dumgoyne – not in space, but in time * there are 2,000 coyotes in Chicago there are no wolves in Glasgow * every night the moon sets as certainly behind the tower-block as the mountain * in today’s news: they have cut down all the trees at Mount Florida station * wild lots of willow could make wild lots of heat (biomass) * only wild things are indispensable


Alec Finlay, Manifesto for Humandwolves, edition of 10 risograph posters. Photography: Mhairi Law, 2016


Alec Finlay is taking part in Radical Landscapes: Innovation in Landscape and Language Art at The Plough Arts Centre, Great Torrington, Devon from 23rd March to 22nd April 2019.


In support of the exhibition, The Learned Pig’s Spring 2019 editorial season is devoted to Radical Landscapes.


The Learned Pig


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