Chris Lambert 

Altering the landscape through fabricated myth – An exploration of the Black Meadow and its associated phenomena

This paper aims to explore how a text can alter our perceptions of a landscape. Using my work Tales from the Black Meadow (and its many iterations) as an exemplar, I will explore how fiction, lies, heritage and myth can be interwoven to create a new virtual landscape. I will look at how the language and structure of the text empower the reader to accept the folklore as legitimate. How the ambiguity and unreliability of the web can be used as an instrument to achieve this and how false trails set on the web can spill into the real world. This will explore the creation of fake sites and artefacts in both the real world and the virtual, as well as the deliberate placing of misinformation on blogs and social networking in order to establish new fiction as old folklore or as a seemingly familiar conspiracy theory. It will explore how this misinformation can alter our perception of landscape and heritage and how the landscape can be re-viewed as a nightmare or fever dream.

Tales from the Black Meadow is a collection of fabricated folklore set on the North York Moors. Its current iterations include a book, a lost radio documentary, a soundtrack, folk songs, a linked multi-genre album by folk/pop/drone artists from around the world (due this summer), a research blog on the “conspiracy”, a Facebook Group page, lectures, a film and four connected blogs. It continues to grow.

This paper will be presented as mix of film, music, song and spoken word.

Chris Lambert is a Lead Practitioner in Drama at Theale Green School in Reading. He lectures and trains other Drama teachers around the country and is a published playwright. He is the Artistic Director of Exiled Theatre and specializes in physical storytelling. He is also a Sound Artist (under the moniker of Music for Zombies) who has created work for Reading Libraries and been commissioned by the Whitley Arts Festival. He has an MA in Theatre and Performance Studies from Rose Bruford College. His recently published collection of short stories Tales from the Black Meadow is available to buy from Amazon.