World 91, Enactment i: Meet the Mushrooms

Want to join this year’s Meet the Mushrooms challenge?

Great! Follow this guide to join in.

You’ll be enacting a fictional fashion world in which mushrooms are hailed as spiritual guides. You’re invited to present yourself to the mushrooms, once a week, for six weeks – from 18 February to 25 March.

The fiction guiding the Enactment:

Once a week in World 91, people undertake a quiet ritual: they present themselves to the mushrooms that are widely understood as spiritual guides.

For most, this practice involves a fleeting visit to a wooded area to enable a few minutes’ connection with either visible fungi or the hidden mycelial network, and reflection on cycles of decay and regeneration.

As a sign of respect in this nature-centric culture, people take great care over what they wear for the mushroom visits. Aesthetics vary: some adopt celebratory flamboyant styles, while others opt for a more subtle approach.

The mushrooms see it all.

Meet the Mushrooms takes place across multiple communities, which we think of as ‘soils’:

Padlet soil

If you would like to share your mushroom-visiting activities with others in a public but relatively sheltered corner of the internet, join our Padlet soil. This is a simple webpage that anyone can add to.

If you would like to receive weekly reminders and inspiration for the challenge, sign up for our email reminders.

Instagram soil

Want to share news of the mushrooms with your Instagram community? Post your updates there, using the hashtags #MeetTheMushrooms and #FashionFictions.

If you would like to receive weekly reminders and inspiration for the challenge, sign up for our email reminders.

Create your own soil

If you’d like a more intimate experience, why not create a new soil? This means forming your own mini-community to do the challenge with.

You might be two friends, or a group; you might do your visits together, or individually. You’ll probably want to create a dedicated space, such as a WhatsApp group, to share your experiences. Click the button below for resources to help you:

What you need

You don’t need much for this Enactment!

  • Don’t buy any garments especially – work with what you already have in your wardrobe.
  • You don’t need any specialist mushroom knowledge, but if you’re keen to learn, you could find a relevant app or borrow a mushroom identification book from your local library.
  • Internet access to Padlet or Instagram, or a group chat if creating your own soil
  • Decide which community you’re going to participate in: Padlet soil, Instagram soil, or your own soil. (Note that you’re welcome to join more than one!)

    Encourage friends and family to join in – it’s great to encourage each other and share your experiences.

  • For your first visit (on or near Saturday 18 February), decide what to wear to present yourself to the mushrooms. Don’t buy anything new – use what’s already in your wardrobe.

    What do you think the mushrooms want to see? There are no right or wrong answers!

  • Locate some mushrooms. You might need to hunt a little: wild areas with fallen trees are a good place to look. If you struggle to find any visible mushrooms, find a wild place where you can think about hidden mycelial networks.

  • Present yourself to the mushrooms! It’s up to you whether your visit is brief or lingering, and what ‘presenting yourself’ will involve. You might want to reflect on cycles of decay and regeneration. Again – there are no right or wrong answers!

  • Record your experiences in some way. If you are taking part in the Padlet soil or Instagram soil, post an update there. If you’re working in your own soil, you could share an update with the others via a comment and photograph posted to the group chat.

  • You might want to record your experiences as yourself in the real world, or ‘in character’, i.e. as a fictional World 91 version of yourself. When writing in your World 91 voice, add MW (Mushroom World) to your comment. For example: ‘MW: I went to meet the mushrooms that my granny used to dress for when she was a girl’.

  • Repeat the previous steps every week for six weeks. Your approach to dressing and presenting yourself might evolve over the weeks, or it might stay the same.

  • Want to reflect on your experiences and connect with the Fashion Fictions community? Look out for details of an online reflection event at the end of the challenge.

Tell us about your Enactment

We’ll be following all of the posts shared on Padlet and Instagram with great interest. If you create your own space, we’d love to hear how it went for you! Send an email to Amy with your news.

This Enactment was devised by Amy Twigger Holroyd, building on an Exploration created by Elly Platt, Talia Hussain and Martin Benes, which was in turn developed from a World contributed by Suzanne Rowland, using a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International licence which allows others to share and adapt the work in any medium and for any purpose, providing that they credit the authors and share their material using the same Creative Commons licence.

Image credits: many thanks to Julie Ripley, Roshni Bhattacharya, Annebella Pollen, Kate Harper, Jade Lord, Talia Hussain and Sanket Haribhau Nikam.

Does this World remind you of something?

I am keen to hear about any historical or contemporary real-world examples – whether individual practices, subcultures or mainstream activities – that this fiction brings to mind.

Please share any such examples using this form. Thank you!

Published by Amy Twigger Holroyd

explorer of Fashion Fictions

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