Yearly Archives: 2016

Ben’s Strategy Blog: Why Climate Change Needs the Arts

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

Creative Carbon Scotland began by focusing on the arts and cultural sector, arguing why our colleagues in theatres, galleries, music groups etc and individual artists should start thinking about climate change. But more recently we’ve recognised that we must also talk to those involved in climate change from the scientific, technical, innovation, research and policy angles about why the arts and culture are important, and why they might want to call upon the arts in their work. My last blog touched upon this and I thought it might be worth explaining our thinking more clearly.

We’d argue that climate change is at heart a cultural problem. In 1982, UNESCO defined culture as part of its conference on cultural diversity. The Mexico City Declaration states:

‘In its widest sense, culture may now be said to be the whole complex of distinctive spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional features that characterise a society or social group. It includes not only the arts and letters, but also modes of life, the fundamental rights of the human being, value systems, traditions and beliefs…’

This wider culture is, in effect, the way we live in the world – how we organise our societies, the values we hold and the way in which we see our place on the planet and our relationship with it and its other inhabitants. At present, we live in a culture of consumption: we take resources from the planet, use them and dispose of the waste into the land, seas and atmosphere. Climate change is one of the results. (This last is of course not new to anyone who works in the field of climate change, but it’s necessary to restate it for the next part of the story!)

The Mexico City Declaration mentions in its old-fashioned way the ‘arts and letters’. We’d include in this category what today are described as the arts – theatre, music, visual arts, literature and so on – but also museums and heritage, broadcast media, video and gaming and other similar areas. For the sake of this blog, let’s call these ‘the arts’.

The arts are an expression of the wider culture – in their myriad forms they express our values, our way of seeing the world and our place in it. Shakespeare’s Hamlet tells the players to:

‘…hold as ’twere the mirror up to nature: to show virtue her feature, scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the time his form and pressure…’ (Hamlet Act 3, scene 2, 17–24)

The arts help us understand our way of being by expressing, exploring, contesting and debating it. My own field of theatre is in many ways a live ‘thought experiment’. Different ideas, situations and futures are played out, arguments and viewpoints tested, implications followed through. The arts in Europe have always been a forum for public debate, from ancient Greek drama, which set out the thinking behind how Athens was governed, and the packed theatres of Soviet Eastern Europe, which were where forbidden ideas were debated before the Wall came down, through to the late 19th and early 20th centuries, where contemporary scientific ideas about the slipperiness of ‘reality’ were discussed in the cafes of the Parisian Left Bank and translated into Modernism in painting, music and dance.

One way or another we are heading to a massive shift in the way we live in the world. If we achieve the (almost impossible) carbon reductions required by the Paris Agreement our ways of living will need to become much less energy-intensive. There is a widespread reluctance to admit that business as usual, but using zero carbon technologies is not going to achieve what is required. Our diets, mobility and levels of consumption are going to have to change. If we don’t achieve those carbon reductions (and arguably even if we do), the impacts of climate change that we are already seeing will increase and will require a different cultural shift: what we eat and how we get it; where we live; migration from increasingly stressed areas (see IPCC AR5 SPM p16); and so on. Our wider culture will not be the same in the future as it is today. I described our view of the role of the arts in this great transition in my last blog, arguing that the arts should be seen as working not on individuals and behaviour change, but on changing the way we as society think about how we live in the world. To be more specific about this, we see the arts as operating to change the collective thinking of society by (among other things):

  • Synthesising complex political, social, scientific and philosophical ideas
  • Re-interpreting and developing these ideas and feeding them back into society’s thinking
  • Representing these ideas in concrete form in order both to explore their possibilities and to engage different audiences
  • Imagining different futures and playing out ‘thought experiments’
  • Holding contradictory ideas in creative tension in a way that other parts of society find hard
  • Making the invisible and implicit visible and explicit
  • Analysing how the way things are came to be
  • Innovating and thinking non-linearly
  • Breaking conventions & challenging established norms
  • Bringing communities together or helping to make new ones
  • And of course communicating emotional truths, where the arts are best placed to do so

These functions apply to the arts generally, not just to their engagement with climate change and the great transition, but they are useful and relevant to it. As well as informing their own practices and ways of working, these approaches take the arts out of their own field into other areas of society where they can make a useful contribution.

Getting specific about how the arts and those who work in climate change should get work together is a discussion for another blog but see my reflections on our exciting event with engineers, architects, planners, artists and the Land Art Generator Initiative for some starting points. And feel free to get in touch if you have thoughts about this – we’d like to hear and we’re here to make things happen!

And finally, another quotation from the great German playwright Bertolt Brecht (one of my favourites):

It is not enough to demand insight and informative images of reality from the theater. Our theater must stimulate a desire for understanding, a delight in changing reality.

(Bertolt Brecht – Essays on the art of Theater 1954)

* Image:Rising Tide, Jason deCaries Taylor

The post Ben’s Strategy Blog: Why Climate Change Needs the Arts appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.


Creative Carbon Scotland is a partnership of arts organisations working to put culture at the heart of a sustainable Scotland. We believe cultural and creative organisations have a significant influencing power to help shape a sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.

In 2011 we worked with partners Festivals Edinburgh, the Federation of Scottish Threatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network to support over thirty arts organisations to operate more sustainably.

We are now building on these achievements and working with over 70 cultural organisations across Scotland in various key areas including carbon management, behavioural change and advocacy for sustainable practice in the arts.

Our work with cultural organisations is the first step towards a wider change. Cultural organisations can influence public behaviour and attitudes about climate change through:

Changing their own behaviour;
Communicating with their audiences;
Engaging the public’s emotions, values and ideas.

Go to Creative Carbon Scotland

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Ecologising Museums

Edited by L’Internationale Online with Sarah Werkmeister

The implications around climate change have far-reaching consequences but they can also have far-reaching benefits. The e-publication Ecologising Museums explores how museums and cultural institutions can face the issue not only head-on, but from all angles. To what degree are the core activities of collecting, preserving and presenting in fact attitudes that embody an unsustainable view of the world and the relationship between man and nature?


  • 1.Introduction
  • 2.Let Us Now Praise Famous Seeds by Michael Taussig
  • 3.Beyond COP21: Collaborating with Indigenous People to Understand Climate Change and the Arctic by Candis Callison
  • 4.Theorising More-Than Human Collectives for Climate Change Action in Museums by Fiona R. Cameron
  • 5.Fictioning is a Worlding by Clémence Seurat
  • 6.Late Subatlantic. Science Poetry in Times of Global Warming by Ursula Biemann
  • 7.Ecosophy and Slow Anthropology. A Conversation with Barbara Glowczewski by Barbara Glowczewski, Nataša Petrešin-Bachelez, Sarah Werkmeister
  • 8.Necroaesthetics: Denaturalising the Collection by Anna-Sophie Springer, Etienne Turpin
  • 9.The Eclipse of the Witness: Natural Anatomy and the Scopic Regime of Modern Exhibition-Machines by Vincent Normand
  • 10.Imagining a Culture Beyond Oil at the Paris Climate Talks by Mel Evans and Kevin Smith of Liberate Tate
  • 11.Climate Risks, Art, and Red Cross Action. Towards a Humanitarian Role for Museums? by Pablo Suarez
  • 12.Biographies

Artist Residency Open Call: Thinking through the Anthropocene

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

We’re delighted to announce the details of our annual Arts & Sustainability Artists’ Residency (30th September – 3rd October). This year we’re offering up to eight Scotland-based artists from any discipline with the paid opportunity to participate in a weekend of discussion and activities at Cove Park, exploring the relationship between their practices and environmental sustainability.

Residency description

“Human activity has been a geologically recent, yet profound, influence on the global environment. The magnitude, variety and longevity of human-induced changes, including land surface transformation and changing the composition of the atmosphere, has led to the suggestion that we should refer to the present, not as within the Holocene Epoch (as it is currently formally referred to), but instead as within the Anthropocene Epoch” (Lewis and Masin, 2015)

Co-facilitated by Jan Bebbington (Professor of Accounting and Sustainable Development, Director, St Andrews Sustainability Institute) and Lex ter Braak (Director, Van Eyck Institute, Maastricht, Netherlands), Creative Carbon Scotland’s third annual residency will use the spectrum of stories surrounding the Anthropocene as an entry point for discussing the relationship between cultural practices and environmental sustainability.

We are delighted to offer up to eight Scotland-based artists working across a variety of disciplines and contexts, who may or may not have previously worked in this area, with the opportunity to think about, learn from one another, and develop their practices in relation to environmental sustainability.

This year, the residency will be hosted in partnership with internationally-renowned artist residencyCove Park over a long weekend from 30th September – 3rd October. Selected artists will be paid a fee of £450 for their attendance and travel expenses from within Scotland, accommodation and catering will be covered.

Within the divergent responses to the Anthropocene, from the humble to the hubristic, we will seek to understand where points for fruitful artistic enquiry might emerge, building on existing examples and our specific geographical context.

Working in partnership with Cove Park, the residency programme draws on the group’s skills and experience, on-site activities and a range of reading materials to explore the diverse ways in which the Anthropocene could be considered through creative practice. Through this we seek to build understandings of how artistic practices might in turn effect wider social change in the transition to a more sustainable society.

This residency is funded by Creative Scotland and kindly supported by The Dr David Summers Charitable Trust and is run in partnership with Cove Park.


Application deadline: 10am Friday 19th August

Apply to the Arts & Sustainability Residency

Residency aims

  • To offer the opportunity for artists from a range of disciplines, who may have or may not have previously worked in this area, to learn from one another and develop their understanding of the relationship between their practice and environmental sustainability;
  • To explore the ways in which cultural practices of artists can re-express the scientific, social and philosophical ideas and concepts associated with the transition to a more sustainable future;
  • To build participating artists’, partners’, and Creative Carbon Scotland’s understanding of the connections between individual creative practices and climate change, and their role in effecting wider social change in the transition to a more sustainable society.

What to expect


The residency will commence at Cove Park mid-late afternoon on Friday 30th September and wrap up on the morning of Monday 3rd October. Travel arrangements will be made in coordination with Creative Carbon Scotland. Participants are expected to be able to attend the whole duration of the weekend.


Artists should expect a relatively open-format long weekend with facilitation by the group as well as Jan Bebbington and Lex ter Braak. There may be the opportunity for some artists to lead a ‘session’ during the weekend, bringing a particular response or angle to the theme of environmental sustainability and artistic practice.

Please note that participants are not expected to produce work during the residency period but rather use the time and space to reflect on their practice for future development.

The residency plays an important role in contributing to the community of practice of artists, cultural organisations and those working in environmental sustainability contexts which Creative Carbon Scotland supports across programmes including Green Tease and the Green Arts Initiative.

Following the weekend, we anticipate that participants will continue to build connections with one another and Creative Carbon Scotland to explore opportunities for collaboration and exchange. We will also work with partners from the University of St Andrews to evaluate the longer term impact of the residency on participating artists’ practices.

Activities will include:

  • Whole and small group discussions led by our facilitators;
  • Presentations by participants on projects which they are interested in developing and connecting to residency themes;
  • Visits to local sites of thematic significance;
  • Walking and hands-on activities as an alternative format to group discussion.

For more information on Cove Park visit the website –

What we’re looking for

We’re looking for inquisitive artists who can bring interesting ideas to a group setting and who are keen to ask questions of themselves and established ways of working.

We encourage the participation of artists from a wide range of disciplines, and whether or not they have previously considered environmental sustainability in their approach to working. Applicants must be based in Scotland.

Through the generous support of the Dr David Summers Charitable Trust, at least one place on the residency is reserved for a poet or writer.

Equalities and accessibility

Creative Carbon Scotland has a rigorous Equalities Policy and we welcome applications from artists in line with the ‘protected characteristics’ named in the Equality Act 2010. This includes: Age, disability, gender reassignment, income, marriage or civil partnership status, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation, socio-economic deprivation.

Our Equalities Policy is available here.

Cove Park’s brand new Artists Centre has been designed and built to be open and accessible to those with mobility issues, with ramped access to the entrance and level access throughout. There is accommodation and an adjoining studio attached to the Artists Centre, which will allow a wheelchair user on residency to make full use of the new centre.

Cove Park sits within a 50-acre rural site overlooking Loch Long and is hilly with some rough terrain and pathways. Residents are able to make use of the 4 X 4 truck to access the whole site and the nearby coast. The nature of the site and some of the activities we plan may present difficulties for some people with limited mobility but we will make every effort to overcome these and urge all to apply – we will discuss any details once the initial selection has been made.

About our facilitators

Jan Bebbington

Previously Professor of Accounting at the University of Aberdeen, Jan applies academic research in sustainable development to practice. She is Associate Director of the Centre for Social and Environmental Accounting Research.

Lex ter Braak

Lex ter Braak is currently the Director of the Van Eyck Institute, a post-academic institute for artistic development with an international outlook, located in Maastricht. The core values that the Van Eyck aspires to are meeting, connection, cooperation, engagement and process. From 2000 he was director of the Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture in Amsterdam. Previously he was director of the Vleeshal in Middelburg. He is a freelance writer/critic on literature and fine art.

Applicant specification

  • Artists at any stage in their career are welcome to apply, provided that they are at least one year out of undergraduate training or have equivalent experience.
  • Artists must be based in Scotland.
  • We encourage applications from artists working in a range of disciplines including theatre, dance, music, visual art, literature, poetry, TV/film, craft, design, community arts, participatory arts, digital, and other related creative practices. At least one place will be reserved for a poet or writer, thanks to support from the Dr David Summers Charitable Trust.
  • We encourage applications from artists who may or may not have not previously considered environmental sustainability in their practice.
  • We encourage applications from artists in line with the ‘protected characteristics’ named in the Equality Act, 2010. This includes: Age, disability, gender reassignment, income, marriage or civil partnership status, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation, socio-economic deprivation.

Apply to the Arts & Sustainability Residency

Selection process

We will select applicants so as to achieve a good balance of the specifications outlined above, and on the basis of their responses to the application form questions, quality of work and previous experience outlined in their CV.

Applications will be shortlisted internally and then referred to our selection committee: Jan Bebbington (Residency Facilitator), Asif Khan (Director of Scottish Poetry Library – for special advice on the literature and poetry position funded by the Dr David Summers Trust), Catrin Kemp (Cove Park), Ben Twist (CCS) and Gemma Lawrence (CCS).

Phone calls may be made to some applicants if further information is required to support their application.

All applicants will be informed of the status of their applications by early September with feedback provided to unsuccessful applications.

Recommended reading

Defining the Anthropocene – Lewis and Maslin, 2015.

Read about our previous Arts & Sustainability residencies



Image: Contains British Geological Survey materials © NERC (1990)

The post Artist Residency Open Call: Thinking through the Anthropocene appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.


Creative Carbon Scotland is a partnership of arts organisations working to put culture at the heart of a sustainable Scotland. We believe cultural and creative organisations have a significant influencing power to help shape a sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.

In 2011 we worked with partners Festivals Edinburgh, the Federation of Scottish Threatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network to support over thirty arts organisations to operate more sustainably.

We are now building on these achievements and working with over 70 cultural organisations across Scotland in various key areas including carbon management, behavioural change and advocacy for sustainable practice in the arts.

Our work with cultural organisations is the first step towards a wider change. Cultural organisations can influence public behaviour and attitudes about climate change through:

Changing their own behaviour;
Communicating with their audiences;
Engaging the public’s emotions, values and ideas.

Go to Creative Carbon Scotland

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Music and Hope in a Warming World

This post comes from the Artists and Climate Change Blog

by Guest Blogger Simon Kerr

Can music help make a safer climate?

As a musician I should say yes. Folk music has always engaged in social issues, Rap is a language of self-empowerment for marginalized youth, and Reggae speaks of freedom …

Except there isn’t much music speaking to climate change.

While other art forms address climate change, music is conspicuous by its relative silence. But I think it ought to. As Joan Sullivan writes on this blog, “protest music is the missing ingredient to breathe new life and a sense of urgency into the global climate change conversation.”

In the beginning of 2016, we developed Music for a Warming World  –a 75-minute concert using music and projected visuals and video, telling the story of our warming planet.

Over the years I’ve recorded a few “environmental” songs and they were often a part of our gigs, but I always felt that this wonderful creative medium could do much more to address climate change. But how could we do it without being trite or preachy? Here is what we did.

First, we figured we needed to tell a story. We knew it couldn’t be just a scary story. That doesn’t work, as lots of recent research has shown. So we thought long and hard and came up with this structure: starting with the coming Storm (sobering news from science), experiencing Loss (eco-mourning), focusing on positive Change (technology & politics) and finally celebrating Hope (living well in a challenging world). It sounds straightforward now, but it took several months and a couple of trial runs before we found something we were happy with.

We decided not to try to “convert” climate change deniers and sceptics. Music is not really the appropriate medium for presenting carefully constructed rational arguments. Music is good at telling stories and is wonderful for allowing people to feel the impacts of those stories. We would just tell an honest story and let people engage with it in their own way; art creates space for reflection! Using original music and imagery (including minimal text), we speak honestly about the perilous state of planetary warming without trying to prove anything (though all our key facts are from peer reviewed sources).  That’s the rather challenging “state of the planet” bit of the story. But what does it mean for us?

Simon and Will smiling

It means loss. We have and will continue to lose much that we value to climate changes; coastlines, species, home and ways of life, mighty glaciers, probably the Great Barrier Reef. This is where we must acknowledge a role for mourning, for processing the many rapid changes happening before our eyes.

That, by no means, is the end of the story. Maybe we can change things? There is in fact a hell of a lot of positive change happening that we all need to see, to feel, to experience. One significant story is the need to leave coal (and other fossil fuels) in the ground. We need to stop digging it up because if we do, we will burn it, and if we burn all current known reserves, the planet will warm 3-4oC. No climate scientist I know (and I do know a number) wants to live in that world. So I wrote a song called “Leave them in the Ground.” It is not yet a global hit, but hey, there is still time! Though releasing it first might help!

What about the revolution in renewable energy that no one predicted? We thought we should tell that story as well. It seems to cheer people up a fair bit.

Then there was the troublesome issue of politics. Now, I understand the frustration of politics (having taught it at a university for a number of years), but we needed to include it in our story. Then along came Naomi Klein’s book This Changes Everything, and her linking of the unfinished business of social justice, climate change and capitalism. So to cut a long story short, I wrote a new song called … “This Changes Everything; It’s Changing our World.” It seemed to catch the mood I was in. And it is a reggae type thing, so you can dance to it, if you want to.

But how should this story finish? That got us pondering deeply about our beautiful and troubled world. We realised how simple it really is. Wellbeing depends on where our emotional attention is. We think we can be encouraged by an underestimated fact about the future; it is not here yet.

Music for a Warming World

The interesting thing about the future is that it rarely turns out as we expected. Predictions are difficult. Climate modelling is pretty accurate these days, but what is far less certain is how we, the human community, will respond to climate change. I wasn’t expecting the Paris Agreement to be signed. But it was. Who knows what could happen if there is a democratic majority in the US Senate, under a Clinton presidency? There is as much opportunity for optimism as there is for pessimism. We have a choice in how we want to live. That led to a new song called “Imagine the World,” not an excuse for pollyanish visions, but for much more grounded and positive understanding of social change.

And what about simply living well? In the midst of trying to save the world, we reminded ourselves that we also want to have a good time. We decided that Music for a Warming World would be a great gig, regardless of the topic, and that we would have fun playing and sharing our music and interacting with the audience (good art is participatory, I think).

In the twenty or so shows we have performed this year, people have told us that they feel much more positive and committed to change by the end of the show. We think that comes from the process we go through, a narrative with a beginning, middle and end, and combining music and powerful imagery to allow emotional reflection and engagement. The result is more than the sum of its parts. The band, the music, the rich and evocative visuals and the audience create a temporary community, one focused on music, our climate challenge and collective hope.

Maybe music can help make a safer climate.


Simon Kerr is a New Zealand songwriter, guitarist and thinker based in Melbourne, Australia. In 2016, he and his partner Christine Parker, developed a unique multimedia concert telling the story of climate change. A prolific songwriter, Simon has released three studio albums and performed around New Zealand and Australia. A former academic, he has worked professionally in Research Management at the University of Melbourne for some years and is now a climate activist and musician.


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Filed under: Guest Blog Series, Music


Artists and Climate Change is a blog that tracks artistic responses from all disciplines to the problem of climate change. It is both a study about what is being done, and a resource for anyone interested in the subject. Art has the power to reframe the conversation about our environmental crisis so it is inclusive, constructive, and conducive to action. Art can, and should, shape our values and behavior so we are better equipped to face the formidable challenge in front of us.

Go to the Artists and Climate Change Blog

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Outlook: Exploring Geddes in the 21st Century

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

To coincide with Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016, a two-day international conference (18-19 August, 2016) will celebrate the impact and legacy of Sir Patrick Geddes, polymath, botanist and founding father of town planning.

The conference will be opened by Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Fiona Hyslop MSP.

The conference will involve a series of interactive seminars and workshops, fusing together strands of academic and practice-based thinking from Scotland and all around the world.

The first day will hear from young people about their sense of place as well as a range of leading thinkers, artists, architects, educationalists and planners.
Day two will provide opportunities for creative, hands-on art and design workshops inspired by Geddes, involving students from Art, Space + Nature Masters Programme at ECA.

Further information and booking here.

ecoartscotland is a resource focused on art and ecology for artists, curators, critics, commissioners as well as scientists and policy makers. It includes ecoartscotland papers, a mix of discussions of works by artists and critical theoretical texts, and serves as a curatorial platform.

It has been established by Chris Fremantle, producer and research associate with On The Edge ResearchGray’s School of Art, The Robert Gordon University. Fremantle is a member of a number of international networks of artists, curators and others focused on art and ecology.

Go to EcoArtScotland

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Call for Papers: The Performing Arts and the Film Industry through Sustainable Development


Universités Lumière Lyon 2, Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3, Bourgogne Franche-Comté – ESC Dijon-CEREN

Paris (Théâtre de la Cité Internationale) – 8th-10th of March 2017

Call for papers 

The recent introduction of the notions of “sustainability” and “sustainable development” into fields of cultural and artistic practice is a phenomenon that demands our attention.   The interest in sustainability signals the emergence of a new paradigm–at once economic/political and aesthetic/philosophical– a paradigm that is worth examining and developing more thoroughly.

The roots of such a new paradigm of “sustainable culture” can be found in the many discourses justifying public funding for culture that have accumulated and cross-pollinated ever since the 1950s (Menger 2011). The dominant paradigm during the 1960s suggested that the general population (including neophytes) could receive aesthetic acculturation through direct exposure to what was deemed to be the most excellent, aesthetically “high brow” offerings (Throsby and Withers, 1979; Urfalino, 1996). This paradigm of cultural democratization was then contested, due to its failure to effectively reduce the sociodemographic inequalities of the different populations targeted (Bourdieu et Darbel, 1966; Baumol, Bowen, 1966).

At the same time, an alternative ideal of cultural democracy sought to legitimize the diversification of funding by public organizations of cultural activities that went outside  the parameters of “high” culture. This paradigm was informed by an anthropological, relativist vision of cultures as diverse, each possessing its own aesthetic values. Cultural organizations accorded artistic recognition to alternative forms of expression (such as the work of amateurs, of street art, circus, urban dance, and so on). The cultural democracy- oriented paradigm interacted with a growing international interest in the conditions of sustainable development, from Brundlant report (1987) to the Unesco Declaration on cultural diversity (2001, 2005), the foundation of United Cities and Local Governments for cultural development (Agenda 21 for culture), and Fribourg Declaration on Cultural Rights (2007).

Finally, there emerged a third paradigm, the doctrine of the “creative industries,” circulated from the 1990s on. This paradigm sought to marry multiculturalism (the recognition of the cultural value of “minority arts”) with an economic impetus: the dynamism of cultural activity was seen to constitute a motor of economic development, stimulating numerous profitable innovations in the other economic sectors. None of these paradigms shifts, however, has questioned the fundamental manner in which public funds are distributed nationally according to what is deemed to be artistic merit.

The goal of this conference is to interrogate the links that have been established between the performance arts, cinema, and sustainable development. To what extent are the notions of sustainability and sustainable development relevant for analysing artistic and cultural practices?

Following COST typology (2015), the links between performing arts, the film industry and sustainable development can be discussed from three different perspectives:

  • the performing arts and the film industry in sustainable development. In this case, the focus of study is the arts within a framework that refers to culture as yet another activity (similar to economic, social, and environmental activities) leading to sustainable development, especially by recognising the equal dignity of cultures (Hawkes, 2001; Lucas, 2010) or the heritage value of local objects and cultural practices (Boltanski, Esquerre, 2014);
  • the performing arts and the film industry for sustainable development. These artistic practices contribute–via the production and sales of performances–to other activities (economic, social, environmental) leading to sustainable development: they might, for instance, reduce the environmental footprint by enhancing stakeholders’ incentive to meet the ISO 20121 standard (Herry, 2014); consolidate the social cohesion with artistic forms of expression reflecting the cultural diversity of the population (Wallach, 2006; Goldbard, 2010; Throsby, 2014); or stimulate positive economic returns, such as in cases where they cause an increase in territorial attractiveness and economic innovation (as in the reference framework of ‘creative industries’). Contributions in this area may take an aesthetic or/and philosophical approach: certain artists treat sustainable development as a theme or in terms of a dramatic plot; here, the stage can become a space for reflecting on and even promoting a militant position;
  • the performing arts and the film industry as sustainable development. The process of co- construction in which the world of the arts enters into more solid relations with other sustainability projects manifests itself most notably: 1) when a more equal collaboration among professional and non-professional artists is valorised (Urrutiaguer, 2014) ; 2) in experiments that reconfigure performance and cinematic arts by developing links of solidarity, both within and between organizations, in order to address a context of recurrent economic insecurity. This precariousness, which impacts negatively the lives of artists, is often hidden by those who militate for federating democratic cultures (Henry, 2015). This second practice urges greater cooperation among players such that resources may be more equitably

We suggest the following axes of reflexion:

1. Conventions and doctrines of cultural action 

How did the rationales justifying public cultural expenses change in the different State- nations so that cultural diversity is now taken into account more frequently? What are the links between cultural diversity and sustainable development? To what extent are  references to a new paradigm, assessing culture in terms of sustainability, modifying priorities in the institutional valuation of artistic production?

The sociologic analysis of domination may be based on the “grammar of political and moral justification” of different “worlds” or “cities” (Boltanski, Thévenot, 1991). Can we characterize the “grammar of political and moral justification” of a “world of culturally sustainable development”? What are the conflicts with other logics of action and valuation, especially from the market world or the artistic inspiration world?

2. Dynamics of sharing artistic creations

Artistic creations that emphasize sharing or collaboration are aimed at creating more symmetrical relationships between artists and non-professionals. Shared creations are orientated differently, from the minimal vision of amateurs’ inclusion in a professional cast to the egalitarian pooling of artistic and cultural competences. To what extent is this relational dynamic connected to the culturally sustainable development?

What are the positive effects and the limits of sharing-oriented performing arts or industry film-making on the participants’ personal development? How are the artistic teams positioning themselves between the public authorities’ social inclusive goals and the political critics of the social order?

What are the effects of artist-as-scholar residencies that have attempted to engage the students and the staff members in an egalitarian process of co-construction? What are the obstacles to longer stays for artists?

What kind of initiatives are being developed to get attendants involved in creating some reflexivity between producing or programming (performing arts or films) and extending  the groups’ life time?

3. Solidarity and economic sustainability in the performing arts and the film industry 

Sharing-oriented creations are usually appraised for their social-added value and not for their aesthetic qualities. Given that the market-oriented and the institutional-oriented logics of action and valuation base the valuation of their products on the ludic and aesthetic qualities of performing arts and films, the corporative reputation and media renown of sharing-oriented creations are at a disadvantage. We can infer a systemic obstacle to the economic viability for the artistic teams involved in the ideals of culturally sustainable development. How are these performing arts companies and cinematographic enterprises proposing modes of cooperative solidarity to consolidate their economic sustainability?

Production offices are increasing in the performing arts. Some of them refer to the values  of the economics of solidarity. Will this logic of action strengthen the sustainability of both performing arts companies and administrative teams?

What are the instrumental or ideological motivations of the co-operative members who are sharing resources, competences or risks? What obstacles to their budgetary sustainability do they confront? What are the key success factors of collaborative business models? What can we learn from the analysis of emerging business models for cultural enterprises? (Spence et al., 2007; Sinapi, Juno-Delgado, 2015) The current debates regarding economic,

environmental and social dimensions of cultural sustainable entrepreneurship interrogate the different existing paradigms within the field of entrepreneurship (Dean et al., 2007 ; Sheperd et al., 2011).

4. The festivals in performing arts and cinema

The European Festivals Association plays three main roles: to favour the international circulation of artists, to support innovations, and to promote intercultural dialogue. To  what extent is promoting intercultural dialogue on local and international scales a condition sufficient to attract some festivals to the world of culturally sustainable development?

We suggest several areas of questioning with respect to the characteristics of festivals seeking to abet culturally sustainable development:

  • the initiatives for decreasing the environmental footprint, that are recurrent in music festivals (and significant also in the production and sales of performances;
  • the participative interactions with the local population;
  • the extent to which cultural diversity is taken into account in the structuration of festivals;
  • the partnerships with local cultural actors to decentralize the festival in the territory;
  • the cooperative relationships with the programmed artists, especially those who are unknown.


Baumol W.J & W.G. Bowen, Performing Arts – The Economic Dilemma, MIT Press, Cambridge 1966.

Boltanski L.& L. Thévenot., Les économies de la grandeur, Paris, Gallimard, 1991. Boltanski L. & A. Esquerre, « La “collection”, une forme neuve du capitalisme. La mise en valeur économique du passé et ses effets », Les temps modernes, 679, 2014, p. 5-63, 2014. Bourdieu P. & A. Darbel, L’amour de l’art, Paris, Minuit, 1966.

Brundtland G.H. Our Common Future: Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development. New York: UNO, 1987.

COST, Culture in, for, as Sustainable Development, Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä University Press, 2015.

Dean T.J. & J. S. McMullen, “Toward a theory of sustainable entrepreneurship: Reducing environmental degradation through entrepreneurial action”, Journal of Business Venturing, 22 (1), 2007, p. 50-76.

European Festivals Association, Europe for festivals. Festivals for Europe. The guide 2015-2016, Brussels, Lannoo Publishers, 2015.

Goldbard A., New creative community. The art of cultural development, Oakland, New Village Press, 2010, 1st edition 2006.

Hawkes J., The fourth pillar of sustainable development: Culture’s essential role in public planning, Melbourne, The Cultural Development Network, 2001.

Henry P., Un nouveau référentiel pour la culture ? Pour une économie coopérative de la diversité culturelle, Toulouse, L’attribut, 2014.

Herry J.-C., Le management responsable du spectacle. Comment intégrer les principes du développement durable à son activité, Paris, Irma, 2014.

Lucas J.-M., Culture et développement durable : il est temps d’organiser la palabre…, Paris, Irma, 2010.

Menger P., « Les politiques culturelles en Europe : modèles et évolutions » in Poirrier P. (ed.), Pour une histoire des politiques culturelles dans le monde. 1945-2011, Paris : La Documentation française, 2011, p. 276-287.

Nurse K., “Culture as the fourth pillar of sustainable development”, Small states: economic review and basic statistics, 11, 2006, p. 28-40.

Sheperd D.A. & H. Patzelt, « “The New Field of Sustainable Entrepreneurship: Studying Entrepreneurial Action Linking ‘What Is to Be Sustained’ With ‘What Is to Be Developed’”, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 35 (1), 2011, p. 137-163.

Sinapi C. & E. Juno-Delgado, “Motivations for Establishing Cooperative Companies in the Performing Arts: A European Perspective”, In Kauhanen A. (ed.), Advances in the Economic Analysis of Participatory & Labor-Managed Firms, Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2015, p. 63 – 107.

Spence M., J. Ben Boubaker Gherib & V. Ondoua Biwolé, « Développement durable et PME: une étude exploratoire des déterminants de leur engagement », Revue internationale PME: Économie et gestion de la petite et moyenne entreprise, 20, (3-4), 2007, p. 17-42.

Throsby, The Economics of Cultural Policy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010.

Throsby C. & G.A. Withers, The Economics of Performing Arts, London, Edward Arnold Publisher, 1979.

Urfalino P., L’invention de la politique culturelle, Paris : Documentation Française, 1996. Urrutiaguer D., Les mondes du théâtre. Désenchantement politique et économie des conventions, Paris: L’Harmattan, 2014.

Wallach, J.-C., La culture pour qui ? Essai sur les limites de la démocratisation culturelle, Toulouse : Editions de l’Attribut, 2006.

Expectations for papers:

We are soliciting two types of contributions; 1) Researchers may address theoretical considerations and qualitative and/or quantitative data on the issue of cultural sustainable development in the performing arts or the film industry; 2) Panel discussions may be based on the testimony of professionals or amateurs.

Further, papers may be based on the theoretical background of various disciplines in sciences: aesthetics, anthropology, economy, ethnology, history, information and communication sciences, management sciences, philosophy, political sciences, sociology. The colloquium concerns all the domains of performing arts (theatre, dance, music, puppetry, circus, storytelling, performances, interdisciplinary theatre) and  the  film industry.

Proposals involving the on-site observation of professional or amateur artists should be accompanied by a document or a link offering further information on the experiment or experience described.

Communications can be in French or English. If the language used is French, the presentation support (ppt., etc.) written in English should be appraised and vice-versa if possible.

The scientific committee will select some papers for publication.

To submit a proposal: Please send the title and an abstract around 3,000 characters with a short bio-bibliography (in the form of a Word document) before October 5, 2016 to the Organization Committee:

Notification of acceptance on November 15, 2016.

Organisation Committee 

Daniel Urrutiaguer, professor in performing arts studies, co-director of the Research Team (RT) Passages XX-XXI, Université Lumière Lyon 2

Christine Sinapi, professor of finance, scientific coordinator of the RT in Cultural management, Burgundy School of Business

Aurélie Mouton-Rezzouk, lecturer in theatre studies, RT Institut de Recherche en Etudes Théâtrales (IRET), Université Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3

Scientific Committee

Rachel Brahy, lecturer, scientific coordinator of the Maison des sciences de l’homme, Université de Liège

Sylvie Chalaye, professor in theatre studies, IRET, Paris 3

Laurent Creton, professor in economics of cinema, RT Institut de Recherche en Cinéma et Audiovisuel (IRCAV), Paris 3

Véronique Corinus, lecturer in comparative and francophone literature studies, RT  Passages XX-XXI, Lyon 2

Nadine Decourt, researcher in anthropology of storytelling, retired assistant professor, RT Passages XX-XXI, Lyon 2

Jacques Gerstenkorn, professor in cinematographic studies, RT Passages XX-XXI, Lyon 2 Kira Kitsopanidou, lecturer in economics of cinema, RT IRCAV, Paris 3

Bérénice Hamidi-Kim, lecturer in theatre studies, Institut universitaire de France, co- director of the RT Passages XX-XXI, Lyon 2

Philippe Henry, researcher in socioeconomics, retired assistant professor Aurélie Mouton-Rezzouk, lecturer in theatre studies, RT IRET, Paris 3 Olivier Neveux, professor in theatre studies, RT Passages XX-XXI, Lyon 2

Maria Lucia de Souza Barros Pupo, professor in theatre studies, RT Conselho Nacional de Pesquisas Tecnológicas, Universidad de São Paulo

Jaime Ruiz-Gutiérez, associate professor in arts management, Universidad de los Andes – School of Management, Bogotá

Milena    Dragićević    Šešic,    Unesco    Chair    in    Cultural    Policy    and    Management

(interculturalism and mediation in the Balkans), University of Arts Belgrade

Christine Sinapi, professor of finance, scientific coordinator of the RT in Cultural management, Burgundy School of Business

Daniel Urrutiaguer, professor in performing arts studies, co-director of the RT Passages XX-XXI, Lyon 2

Emmanuel Wallon, professor in political sociology, RT History of arts and performances, Paris 10

Ben’s Strategy Blog: Brexit, Climate Change and the Arts

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

After the Brexit vote, we learned this morning that the UK Government has committed to a fifth carbon budget, which would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 57% by 2030 against the 1990 baseline as part of the overall aim to reduce emissions by 80% by 2050. This would seem to go some way to allaying earlier fears that leaving the EU would mean a dilution of the UK’s commitments in this area. What does Brexit mean for environmental sustainability and action on climate change? And why are the arts crucial to this conversation?

First, we must recognise that in some respects Scotland is separate from the rest of the UK: we have our own Climate Change Act, separate plans to achieve the emissions reductions and separate adaptation plans. But much of our work here is tied up with that of the rest of the UK and the EU. Weimport from and export electricity to England, which may well come from continental Europe via interconnectors. Our Climate Change Act is ‘nested’ within the global Kyoto Protocol and the EU ‘bubble’. And Scotland has no official role in the UNFCCC climate change structure that delivered the Paris Agreement last December at COP 21: we’re part of the UK (at least currently…), which itself is (currently) part of the EU bubble.

But legislation and targets are one thing – what measures a country actually takes is another. The recent trumpeting of Scotland’s success in ‘exceeding’ its carbon reduction target for 2020 six years early masks the fact that as well as a warm winter and reduced industrial activity, much of this success in 2014 is down to a technical issue relating to how carbon credits across Europe are counted within our own calculations. On the same day that the UK Government committed to the new target, the UK Climate Change Committee warned that it lacked the policies to ensure that it meets it. It hardly seems likely that a new UK Government opposed to red-tape (aka useful regulation) and with the administrative and legislative burden of extricating itself from the EU will have the desire or the time to effect more radical carbon reduction policies.

There is however, perhaps more room for optimism in Scotland despite the Brexit vote. The Scottish Government has responsibility for meeting its own world-leading target. Regardless of the ‘success’ of 2014, the third Report on Policies and Proposals (RPP3, as it’s known) to be published later this year will aim to identify how both currently agreed policies and those proposals will add up to achieve future carbon reductions. And it’s here that I find the chink that lights up my Brexit gloom.

From any major change come both good and bad outcomes. Can we take the opportunity of the current uncertainty to make sure that preparation begins for a sustainable future in a world much changed by the effects of climate change? I’d argue that this is where the arts and culture need to play their part. The Scottish Government is beginning to convene a series of Climate Conversations to help steer and influence the RPP3 and perhaps more widely to consider how life should be in a lower carbon future. Most artists and arts organisations probably don’t know about these and many wouldn’t normally consider that they should be involved. But as Bertolt Brecht is (mis)reported to have said, ‘Art is not a mirror held up to society but a hammer with which to shape it’.

If the arts are referenced in relation to sustainability it is usually assumed that the arts will be better than scientists and others at communicating the facts to individuals, who will then change behaviours and practices to reduce carbon emissions. But providing information is ineffective at delivering change, and it isn’t a job the arts are necessarily well qualified to do. There is talk of the ‘emotional’ capacity of the arts to make concepts such as climate change more meaningful, but even if this works, research shows that simply changing attitudes or beliefs is not enough to change behaviour, let alone deeper ways of being.

The role of the arts that we understand at Creative Carbon Scotland is not one which focuses on individuals, but one which seeks to change ways of thinking at a societal level in order to bring about the transition to a sustainable society. Art is nearly always a collective business of transformation. The performing arts have a collective quality built in, but even when a poem, book or picture is experienced by an individual, the artist has created it in order for more than one person to read or view. Nearly always an artist wants to change the world in some way, even though it may be microscopically: provide a new viewpoint, new knowledge, a new understanding. No artist works hard just to do the same as something that already exists. Equally audiences (including viewers, readers etc) seek to be changed in similar ways. A successful work of art provides that jolt of understanding, even if that is just a re-recognition of an insight we’ve forgotten. Really successful artworks provide new understandings each time we revisit them as each time the audience is, and in the performing arts the interpreting artists are, different.

Regardless of Brexit, and whether or not we achieve the transition to a low carbon future, our way of being in the world is going to be massively changed by climate change. If we are successful we will be living according to values that are not defined by perpetual growth, consumption and disposal – a way of living that is incompatible with a low carbon future. If we fail, the physical, social and economic impacts of climate change will have changed the world we live in. Either way, society is going to need to think in different ways.

Arts venues and the organisations that run them are places where society meets to debate, question and discuss. Let’s be part of the Climate Conversations. We’ll be working hard to ensure that the arts are involved: keep an eye on the Creative Carbon Scotland website for more information.

The post Ben’s Strategy Blog: Brexit, Climate Change and the Arts appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.


Creative Carbon Scotland is a partnership of arts organisations working to put culture at the heart of a sustainable Scotland. We believe cultural and creative organisations have a significant influencing power to help shape a sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.

In 2011 we worked with partners Festivals Edinburgh, the Federation of Scottish Threatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network to support over thirty arts organisations to operate more sustainably.

We are now building on these achievements and working with over 70 cultural organisations across Scotland in various key areas including carbon management, behavioural change and advocacy for sustainable practice in the arts.

Our work with cultural organisations is the first step towards a wider change. Cultural organisations can influence public behaviour and attitudes about climate change through:

Changing their own behaviour;
Communicating with their audiences;
Engaging the public’s emotions, values and ideas.

Go to Creative Carbon Scotland

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Julie’s Bicycle Current Vacancy: Company Administrator / EA

Julie’s Bicycle is looking for an excellent, self-motivated Company Administrator/EA to provide skilled day-to-day administrative support to the staff team and Personal Assistant responsibilities for the Chief Executive as and when needed.

Responsibilities include developing, implementing and maintaining accurate and efficient processes for all administrative activity.

This is an exciting time for Julie’s Bicycle, as we embark on an ambitious nation-wide programme to raise the profile and impact of cultural leadership on climate change and environmental issues over the next few years.

We are looking for an exceptional person with ambition, love of the arts and culture, creative flair and commitment to environmental sustainability to join a thriving team at the heart of the cultural response to environmental sustainability.

Terms and conditions

Contract: Full time

Salary: £23,000

Location: Somerset House, New Wing, The Strand, London.


Please send a CV and cover letter to by Wednesday 17th August 2016, 5pm. Interviews will held on Monday 22nd August 2016.

Can copyrighted art make fossil fuel policy?

Can we build on the legal framework of the Blued Trees Symphony case study, based in environmental science, to stop intercontinental natural gas pipelines?

Discussion workshop
Aug 12 2016  9:00 – 11:30
Université du Québec à Montréal – Pavillon DE (Local DE-2540)
1440, rue Sanguinet
Montréal, QC, Canada

This workshop will explore the meaning of public good, in the legal and practical use of copyrighted art to challenge proliferating fossil fuel infrastructures. The Blued Trees Symphony will be referenced as a case study to join this initiative or develop strategies to apply elsewhere. The Blued Trees Symphony, created by artist Aviva Rahmani, installed miles of permanent artwork in the path of proposed natural gas expansions in the United States. It developed a legal framework to leverage the work that included American eminent domain, copyright and environmental law to contest natural gas takings of private land for the profit of natural gas pipelines. The workshop will cover organizing the support team, considering legal timing and process, and how to establish standing in the courts. Green Map has mapped energy in NYC and stands with this project.

Aviva Rahmani, INSTAAR, University of Colorado at Boulder, CO

Activity Lead Organization
Green Map System

Group Admins
Wendy Brawer

Organization(s) that co-animated activity

Green Map System

Programming theme

Rights of Nature and Environmental Justice

To inform / To make aware of
Skills’ development / Training
Networking / To meet
Debate / deliberate / discuss
To propose / altenative development
Converge for action / to decide
Partner development / alliances constitution

Université du Québec à Montréal – Pavillon DE (Local DE-2540)
1440, rue Sanguinet
Montréal, QC, Canada

Changing the Culture: Festivals Working for a Sustainable Future

Do you want to know more about how festivals directors and organisers can tackle the complex aspects of sustainability? At this event we’ll hear stories and ideas from the Edinburgh International Science Festival (the world’s first science festival) and Imaginate (Scotland’s international festival of performing arts for children and young people).

The Event

Creative Carbon Scotland is delighted to bring discussions about sustainability to the participants of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. We are hosting Paul Fitzpatrick, Executive Director of Imaginate, and Amanda Tyndall, Creative Director of the Edinburgh International Science Festival, to discuss how they have been tackling the issue of sustainability in the arts.

From content and audience travel to operational design and waste disposal, festivals face a difficult task if they strive to be more environmentally sustainable. If one also into account the ideas of economic and social sustainability, it becomes clear that this is a difficult challenge that requires creativity, flexibility and constant review.

Come and join us on 11 August from 4pm to 5.30pm for presentations from our speakers on their respective strategies, the challenges they have faced and overcome, and where they think their future lies.

Tea and coffee will be provided. This event is part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe’s Fringe Central Event Programme for participants at the Edinburgh Fringe and is free to attend, but ticketed: get your tickets here.


Amanda Tyndall will be speaking for the Edinburgh International Science Festival, the largest science festival in the UK, established in 1989. Their programme includes everything from discussions, workshops and performances to science themed parties and experimental food events. This year, the festival chose to host events under the theme “Building Better Worlds” this year, with significant inclusion of sustainability topics.

Paul Fitzpatrick joins us from Imaginate, a festival striving to ensure that children and young people in Scotland have regular access to high quality performing arts experiences. The Imaginate Festival has established itself as one of the best places for programmers from all over the world to see children and young people’s work of the very highest standard.  It has also become a place where artists meet, to see and discuss work and take part in professional development activities.

Both the Edinburgh International Science Festival and Imaginate are part of Festivals Edinburgh, which brings together a total of 12 festivals in the Scottish capital city which work together as well as individually on new ideas and approaches to sustainability. Sharing an environmental policy, they are both members of the Green Arts Initiative.

Get your tickets here