School of Unlived Worlds

The School of Unlived Worlds is a nomadic ‘school’ that pops up in the context of festivals, theatres, museums and organizations that are concerned with ecology. It offers a multisensorial experience of multiple days in which theatre and reflection are integrated. We train ourselves in paradigm shifts and learn collectively about our relations to nature. The core team of the School consists of theatre maker Emke Idema, physical actress and writer Marie Groothof and producer and dramaturge Floor Cremers. The School collaborates with a growing group of (ex)participants.

The School of Unlived Worlds on a dike near Hornhuizen, Groningen

One can see the participation in the School of Unlived Worlds as a mini retrait from normal live, a blind date with a landscape you know, the co-creation of the experience of an ‘Unlived World’, as a philosophical scouting and a fundamental training in piercing through your own images of human and world. By stepping into the world in ways you never did before you overcome your typical ‘intelligence’ and become more open to a broader range of impressions. The ‘world’ always answers and by listening well you can hear what she says. The playful, ritual actions give an opening to decolonize the senses and let you connect in new ways with nature, both outside and inside of yourself. You could find yourself crawling on all fours through a forest, rotate around your axis in slow circles, follow an ant in the city or sing along with the meadow birds. The interventions are simple and open the door to new possibilities in seeing and embodying the world and yourself. Blind spots and lacunes in our narratives become visible and new narratives can emerge.

The School of Unlived Worlds has a library of related and supportive practices and literature. Together, we read inspiring texts of philosophers, ecologists and artists that can deepen the actions. And we practice (a bit) related practices and techniques, drawing from wilderniss training, qi gong, meditation and creative writing. As participant you are invited to share your expertise and contribute to the collection of the School. The School of Unlived Worlds collaborates with different partner organisations throughout Europe.


The main aim of the School is to offer an insightful and inspiring experience for the participants, but by doing that, a poetic ‘knowledge bank’ comes into existance. By manifesting itself in different places, in different assemblies of experts, the School develops an archive about possible ways to relate to a place. The School wants to make these relations available for the future. 




02/08/2023 -

School of Unlived Worlds | La Strada, Graz (AT), half day introduction

29/07/2023 -

School of Unlived Worlds | La Strada, Graz (AT), three day training

10/07/2023 -

School of Unlived Worlds | part of WE LIVE HERE, Amsterdam (NL)

16/04/2023 -

School of Unlived Worlds | Bosbeek, Bennekom (NL)

18/11/2022 -

School of Unlived Worlds | Jonge Harten Festival, Groningen (NL)

02/10/2022 -

School of Unlived Worlds | BASE, Milan (IT)

  • Founder Emke Idema | core team Emke Idema, Marie Groothof, Floor Cremers | produced by Stichting Stranger | supported by IN SITU – European Platform for Artistic Creation in Public Space, BASE Milano, Jonge Harten Festival Groningen, Oerol Festival Terschelling, La Strada Graz ea| thanks to Doke Pauwels and participants


    The days with the School of Unlived Worlds offered doorways that I didn’t know existed, to connect in a deeper and stranger way with nature, both inside and outside of myself.

    S (35) micro-biologist


    Enriching, uplifting, humorous, relaxed. It brings you very close to nature, to yourself, to being-human, all in a new way.

    Astrid (40), forester


    Very special and completely new experiences: listening to the world in a new way, using all of your senses and your wild imagination. Things came to life that I couldn’t anticipate.

    Elize (20), student Future Planet Studies


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