25 Jul 2023

The Earth

Soft Life: The Earth

00:00 / 00:00

What if the way we're approaching the crisis is part of the crisis?

We look at the effect our endless drive for productivity is having on the planet and how we’re intimately entangled with the natural world with Somerset House Studios artist Sam Williams on the invisible labour of the earthworm, poet Jason Allen-Paisant on tenderness in rural Jamaica, systems theorist Nafeez Ahmed on why the old systems are crumbling and artist Natalie Sharp on her love of ecosex.


Natalie Sharp is a British artist, musician, and radical body activist, known for her boundary-pushing work that challenges societal norms and explores the possibilities of the human body. Natalie has a multidisciplinary practice, which encompasses performance art, music, sculpture, and costume design.

Jason Allen-Paisant is a Jamaican writer and academic who works as a senior lecturer in Critical Theory and Creative Writing at the University of Manchester. His non-fiction book, The Possibility of Tenderness: A Jamaican Search for Freedom in Nature is out in 2024.

Somerset House Studios resident Sam Williams is a visual artist and filmmaker working between moving image, performance and installation. Sam has exhibited and screened work at institutions including Baltic39, The Lowry, Somerset House, Siobhan Davies Dance, Jerwood Space, Tate Britain, Sadler’s Wells and the V&A Museum.

Dr Nafeez Ahmed is a systems theorist, change strategist, and investigative journalist, formerly of The Guardian and Vice. He is creator of the Age of Transformation newsletter on systems thinking for what Nafeez calls the ‘global phase shift’ and Director of the Futures Lab at Unitas Communications.

Listen to the Soft Life series

We take the idea of ‘soft life’ as a launch off point to explore alternative ideas around work, time, the body and ecology emanating from Somerset House and beyond. We talk to radical thinkers, artists and writers, who are carving out these new ways of being in the body, centring the soft and the in-between, finding space for rest and looking at ways of expanding time beyond the clock.


Soft Life

Our ways of working aren’t working. How can art offer new ways of being outside of the values of hustle culture?


Soft Life

How can we make time free? We contemplate different ways of experiencing time beyond the linear.

The Body

Soft Life

How can the soft body challenge social hierarchies?


Soft Life is produced by Alannah Chance and Axel Kacoutié
With sound by Axel Kacoutié and additional music by Ellen Zweig

Supported by

Rothschild Foundation