Helen Czerski's Sea Shambles Advent Calendar25 Ocean Stories
Following the popularity of last year’s inaugural Advent Calendar for Cosmic Shambles Network, Dr Helen Czerski has devised another one for this year which will be based on the themes of next year’s highly anticipated Sea Shambles show at the Royal Albert Hall on 17th May.
Here at the Cosmic Shambles Network, our idea of a treat is an idea. Preferably one wrapped up in a bit of history, science or culture, and with unexpected musical accompaniment. It’s the time of year when advent calendars are appearing everywhere, teasing the impatient by providing a source of daily delights in anticipation of a big event. And so, looking ahead to our huge Sea Shambles show at the Royal Albert Hall, we’re about to launch our Sea Shambles Advent calendar.
Every day in December, we’ll publish a short article on one tiny aspect of our ocean, based on a photograph sent either by our Twitter followers or taken by our contributors. There’s still time to get involved too! Tweet us a pic using the hashtag #SeaShambles with your pics of the ocean or anything at all ocean related. The articles will come from Helen herself plus some amazing guest contributors as well. Earth’s oceans are massive and complex and beautiful, and they’re responsible for octopuses, seashells, weather, half the oxygen we breathe, life on Earth, and they inspire Turner paintings, sea shanties and far, far more. Sea Shambles will be a huge celebration of Earth’s oceans and humanity’s relationship to them. And so each daily treat will open a window on to that vast blue, highlighting one tiny nugget of the gorgeous treasure beneath the waves. (Note: for the musical accompaniment, you’ll have to come along to the show itself).
Helen writes – I talk and write about the ocean a lot, and the hardest thing to convey is just how deeply it’s connected to all our lives. It’s also startlingly varied – the ocean itself is a place where physics, chemistry and biology are all woven together, forming an engine that is absolutely at the heart of the Earth system. And then there are all the aspects of so many human cultures that depend on the ocean, whether we’re aware of it or not. I’ve come to the conclusion that the best way to convey the immensity of all of this is in small doses – a story about history, a demonstration of ocean physics, the sheer joy of watching an octopus hunt, building and building the links until you can see the shape of the connected whole. I’ve spent years studying the ocean, I’ve spent many months of my life at sea, and I’ve met and listened to many seafarers and ocean scientists, and I want to tell you all of it, right now, because it’s amazing and varied and important and beautiful. But I can’t, because it needs to soak in slowly, to be felt as well as understood, to be told by many voices, and that takes time. This calendar and Sea Shambles are our celebration of all that we know and all that we need to know about the blue of our blue planet. Join us, and I promise you won’t regret it.
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