About the Alpine Fellowship
The Alpine Fellowship is a group of writers, thinkers and artists who are passionate about learning and communicating with a view to better understanding themselves and others. We value a capacity for openness - being engaged in critically reflecting on firmly held beliefs; the courage to be vulnerable - speaking from a place of lived experience; the drive for curiosity - being truly able to receive and listen to others.
We think it important to support young people today who may have become somewhat disillusioned by the reality of modern day education. We care about discovering what an alternative model of education might look like. Hence the spirit of the enterprise is necessarily open ended, and we welcome and seek the support, contribution and presence of anyone who relates to what we care about.
I am committed to being with and integrating more and more parts of my experience that have historically felt overpowering. I have found that it is possible, very slowly and incrementally, to move beyond some of the conditioning that I have grown up with.
To me the Alpine Fellowship plays such a large role in this. It is a space where I can experiment, where I can be open, and where I can relate to people with honesty.
As Schiller famously writes: ‘Man himself, eternally chained down to a little fragment of the whole, only forms a kind of fragment; having nothing in his ears but the monotonous sound of the perpetually revolving wheel, he never develops the harmony of his being.’
It is my hope and vision that the Fellowship can become a place where we can move from fragmentation towards wholeness. We need to imagine and design worlds that are founded on mutual recognition and compassion.
Jacob L Burda is a German Philosopher based in Los Angeles, California.
‘Can a bird sing only the song it knows, or can it learn a new song?‘
‘Man is not immutable. Our greatest strength is our capacity for reflection and empathy, our ability to change, and thereby sing a new song. The artist has a duty to herself, to not only be honest but to approach her work with humility and with love. Creating new songs, perhaps changing the world, does not necessitate the violent overthrow of the old. Great songs can come from listening to our traditions and triangulating our respective positions. As Alan Bennett says: ‘it’s in the process of imitating the voices of others that one comes to learn the sound of one’s own.’ I believe in our human capacities, yet also in the mysteries that surround our existence, and in the value of our traditions. Moreover I believe we must protect the weak and vulnerable and use our gifts with wisdom and compassion. This is my vision for the Fellowship: a space where masters of different disciplines can meet and share and challenge themselves.Together we can create new narratives, weave new dreams, sing new songs.’
Alan J Lawson is a British artist living and working in Switzerland.