Yearly Archives: 2020

Tiny Coronavirus Stories: ‘A tiny laughing dove’

By Laurie ParsonsMadeline HumphreyMargo ClausenRebecca Cohen

Reader-submitted stories of the COVID-19 pandemic, in no more than 100 words. Read past stories hereSubmit your own here.


These spring days whisper come,
come invent a new game, one that has
never been played,
come find a family of leaves in the shade
and roll them around in your palm as you
brace yourself for an ascent up to the
top of the slide,
dangle your toes from the monkey bars
and feel your belly drop into your ribs,
come chase someone, anyone,
reposition your scrunchy on your
wispy dirt-glazed hair,
oh to be innocent to the secret magic of touch.

— Rebecca Cohen (New York, New York)

(Top photo: The construction site across from the playground reads: “LET THE NATURE LOOK AFTER YOU.”)

* * *


Seemingly every aspect of what was once our normal has been flipped utterly backwards. Confusion and conflict struck me. Backwards. The way to help people is to not go out and help them? The way to keep people safe and healthy is to keep yourself safe and healthy? Backwards selflessness, I suppose. Socialization has become smiles through a screen. Backwards. The tired and the brave on the frontlines are the very same people who are least protected and provided for. Utterly backwards. Realizing that reality is a hand-in-hand dance of both the miracles and the misery. Pray.

— Margo Clausen (Plymouth, Minnesota)

Parachuting in pandemics with poorly provided protection!

* * *


Maybe you can see it, maybe not. But right in the middle of that telephone wire, there’s this little hummingbird. At first I thought he might have been stuck there. I’d never seen a hummingbird sit still. But as I’ve gone for daily walks I’ve realized that the wire beside our home is his place, he likes it here. He leaves at night and comes back in the morning. He takes lunch breaks as well. It’s weird, what you notice when you’re forced to stop and look at things differently. I think this is what life will be like now.

— Madeline Humphrey (Orange, California)

Hummingbird on a wire.

* * *


A tiny house in a tiny suburb of a city in a big country with big issues…

We have lived our tiny lives in our tiny home with big imaginations creating endless portraits of hope – painted and presented with pride. Now we have a tiny art gallery in our tiny conservatory where a tiny laughing dove struts boldly about collecting tiny sticks to build his tiny nest to raise his tiny chicks to fly freely into the big, blue sky.

Hope whispering to us that we will emerge from our tiny cocoon into a brave, new world… South Africa.

— Laurie Parsons (Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa)

The laughing dove of hope.


This series is edited by Thomas Peterson. One of the editors of Artists & Climate Change, he is also a theatre director and researcher whose work focuses on the climate crisis.


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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Green Tease Reflections: #arts4cop26 online planning discussion

29th April 2020: Over 80 participants gathered for an online discussion about arts and culture’s plans for COP26 and how to collectively reorganise and reorient these in light of COVID-19 and the postponement of COP. The event was co-organised with Stop Climate Chaos Scotland and ecoartscotland.

The event opened with introductions from Kat Jones of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland (SCCS) and writer and artist Wallace Heim who offered two contrasting prompts for the ensuing discussion.

Kat gave us the basics about the postponement of COP26 and predicted it would now take place between May and November 2021 in Glasgow, although no date has yet been confirmed. She then discussed SCCS’s plans for COP26, which involve an emphasis on Glasgow’s distinctive history as the ‘Dear Green Place’ and a centre of the early industrial revolution, with Watt’s steam engine for example. SCCS wants to welcome the international community to Glasgow through the city’s unique artistic traditions, music, dance, and ceilidh culture. She stressed the importance of work before and after COP as well as during the brief 2 weeks of the conference itself and working with local communities to create a lasting legacy. She encouraged people to make use of their new Climate Fringe website as a means of publicising work.

Wallace reflected on her own experiences to offer broader thoughts on the role of the arts in crises, the impact of social distancing, and what we can learn from the COVID-19 pandemic. Her complete introductory talk has been published on our website as a guest blog.

First Breakout Session

We separated into smaller groups to introduce ourselves to each other and share our experiences of how planning around COP26 has been negatively impacted by coronavirus and how we might learn from and adapt to the situation to continue making and doing. Some of the thoughts shared back to the main group were:

  • Using this time for networking and skillsharing
  • The importance of platforms and resources for finding out what others are doing and planning
  • Digital media providing an opportunity to reach different people
  • How working with limitations requires finding creative solutions, which is where the arts can excel
  • That longer run-up time provides more opportunities to engage with local communities
Second Breakout Session

We returned to our groups to discuss more specific themes in greater detail. These groups and the main outcomes of their discussions were:

1. What makes for effective collaboration between arts and civil society organisations?

  • It is important to find examples of successful collaborations in the past to learn from
  • The main barriers were not knowing who to work with and how to find funding
  • We need to actively work on reaching out and discovering what others are doing

2. Culture and arts as welcome: global civil society is coming to COP26, what’s our response?

  • Connecting up the global and the local, how to draw connections between visitors and what’s happening here in Glasgow
  • Arts and culture as a means of drawing delegates away from the main site and engaging people on a more human level

3. Bringing the voices of those most affected by climate emergency to COP

  • Being aware of language barriers and the need for work to be multilingual
  • Providing a platform for international and especially indigenous voices in Glasgow, as well as a platform for non-human voices
  • Need to work outside of traditional structures to reach people

4. Arts and protest at COP

  • Importance of protests having a specific goal in mind, raising awareness of specific issues such as climate justice for the global south
  • Using online resources to keep in contact and share information, as well as partnering with others such as Glasgow Life to reach more people
  • Interest in ‘carnivals’ and ‘celebrations’ as an alternative form of protest

5. The role of cultural organisations in increasing awareness that COP is coming to Glasgow and empowering people to get involved

  • COP as punctuation mark in a longer continuity, how to create a legacy
  • COP as a means of mainstreaming ideas and behaviours faster than would be possible otherwise

6. Adapting artistic engagement practices around COP26  in light of coronavirus

  • Being aware of the limitations of digital approaches and inequalities that can result (e.g. slower internet connection in rural areas)
  • Using the time to reflect: potential for arts to play a role in COVID-19 re-framing how people see climate change
  • World soil conference coming to Glasgow in 2022, providing further opportunities for engagement

7. Using art to frame the COP

  • Does art provide the space, and a spectacle in Glasgow? Or is it to open up and question the issues?
  • How can arts and science work together?
  • Fossil fuels and colonialism as issues that the arts can play a role in highlighting
Resources and next steps

All the notes taken during the discussion remain accessible online here.

People in the same breakout groups shared emails so that they could keep in touch. If you are interested in any of the breakout group themes and would like to get involved, please email to be put in touch.

Useful resources for hearing about and organising work around COP26 include:

  • The Climate Fringe website has been repurposed as a hub for online events.  If you are planning activity online please post it to the site. Or email with your event details.
  • The Arts4COP26 facebook page provides an informal environment to share ideas and plans
  • SCCS are starting a monthly newsletter on events and the climate fringe, hosting, and the Civil Society Hub at COP26
  • The Green Tease network provides opportunities to meet others through online meetups and a database as well as an open call that offers support for events
  • The COP26 civil society coalition Slack working groups, including a dedicated ‘Culture’ channel, are being used for organising

The post Green Tease Reflections: #arts4cop26 online planning discussion 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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Joya: artist in residence / AiR apply

Joya: arte + ecología / AiR is an “off-grid” interdisciplinary residency rooted in the crossroads of art, ecology and sustainable living practice. It is located in the heart of the Parque Natural Sierra María – Los Vélez, in the north of the province of Almería, Andalucía. Joya: AiR offers abundant time and space for residents to make, think, explore and learn from their surroundings.

Joya: AiR supports a range of disciplines including, but not limited to, visual art, writing, music, dance, curatorial and film. Founded by Simon and Donna Beckmann in 2009, the Joya: arte + ecología / AiR programme is grounded in the foundation that dynamic and sustainable creative activity is the backbone to regenerating the land that has been slowly abandoned over the last fifty years. 

Since 2009, Joya: AiR has welcomed over 600 artists and creatives to realise their projects within one of the most unique and beautiful regions of the country. This is one of the sunniest regions of Europe receiving over 3000 hours of sunlight a year.

Residents have access to studio space and 20 hectares of land. Accommodation (private room with attached bathroom) and meals are included, as is collection and return to the nearest public transport system.

We happily cater for vegans, vegetarians and occasional carnivores (we have a reduced meat consumption with an emphasis on all our food being local)
We happily cater for vegans, vegetarians and occasional carnivores (we have a reduced meat consumption with an emphasis on all our food being local)
Accommodation is bright, warm and clean with wood heated radiant floors. More images…
Accommodation is bright, warm and clean with wood heated radiant floors. More images…

Selected artists are invited to contribute to the Joya: artists listing and are asked to contribute a small text outlining the nature of their practice whilst in residency. This will be posted to the Joya: website along with a link to the artists website. ( examples are to be found here)

Selected artists are requested to make a presentation of their work to other artists in residence during their period at Joya: AiR. This is not obligatory but it does contribute to the overall experience of all artists in residence.

Joya’s working languages are English and Spanish.

NOTE: with reference to Covid 19 Joya: AiR is conforming to the current (July 2020) Spanish law making the wearing of face masks in public obligatory and social distancing of 1.5m. Neither of these regulations will be a problem for resident artists at Joya: AiR as our location is remote and our complex is large. The wearing of masks and social distancing need only apply when in proximity to other artists. The law will not impact your studio/study time or your interaction with other residents.


Interdisciplinary: Visual Art / Sculpture / Ceramics (enquire before applying) / Dance / Theatre / Performing Arts / Music / Writing / Educational Programmes / New Media / Curatorial / Film Making /


Independent not for profit association/foundation


Joya: AiR is currently accepting applications in Spanish and English only.


The length of the residency would be 1 to 2 weeks (longer periods are available)

NOTE* the experience of previous resident artists strongly indicates that a two week residency is much more preferable and productive than one.






The Joya: AiR residency has a subsidised fee of €325 per week + tax (10%). This covers the cost of accommodation, wood for heating and all meals. It also includes collection from our nearest transport hub, Vélez Rubio.


Note* in the event of an artist not being able to take up a residency opportunity they have accepted (and paid their deposit), and there are extenuating circumstances, we retain their fee for the next opportunity they can be in residence, typically up to one year after their deposit was paid.

Accompanying friends and family:

Accompanying friends and family are welcome subject  to the contribution of the same outgoing fees as the resident artist (above).


The following data is required to consider applications to Joya: AiR and to conform to Spanish law. This data is retained for one year before being deleted. Unsuccessful applicants will have their data deleted as soon as their applications have been processed. Joya: AiR will not use or share your data for any other purpose.


Art to Heal Environmental Damage WORKSHOP

Art to Heal Environmental Damage; Trigger Point Theory as triage for our present environmental crises

Workshop presented by Aviva Rahmani for CAMP

July 11-14, 2020

Our degraded environment is a real world problem for most life on the planet. Most artists concern themselves with real world problems. But artists and artmaking aren’t usually associated with an overtly analytic methodology to solve problems in the real world. However, all formal art training teaches internalizing an analytic approach to perception, analogous to scientific methodologies. Conversely, ecological restoration to heal degradation has been referred to as as much art as science. This workshop will systematically explore how formal rules, equally grounded in art and science, can become the conscious basis for effecting healing ecosystemic triage. We will explore how to apply a set of premises I call trigger point theory (TPT) to environmental healing and implementing the identified strategy. These premises interact on the basis of a set of six rules. Applying these rules will allow participants to make a strategic analysis out of an embodied practice.

TPT is my original approach to solving environmental devastation grounded in artmaking. It developed from my experience creating Ghost Nets 1990-2000. That ecological art project restored a former coastal town dump to flourishing wetlands and formal gardens. The objective of this workshop is to introduce TPT skills. We will apply 6 rules identified in italics, to observe agents in interaction. This will help identify small points of entry into chaotic and degraded ecosystems.  Each rule will be introduced in a sequence to build understanding of how they work together.

This workshop has been designed for CAMP to help participants connect theoretical and personal experiences to practical initiatives in their projects. No specialized education is required but an interest in seeing connections between science and art is helpful.

Each day will follow the same routine:
Part I (2 hrs): Lecture discussion and instructions with some screen sharing.

Break (1 hr): Individual experimental explorations of location.

Part II (2 hrs): Presentations of outcomes, discussion of insights and/or challenges with screen sharing

July 11
Part I: Lecture discussion overview of TPT and how it is based in complex adaptive modeling as a form of art to see systems differently. On the first day, emphasis will be on the rule of the paradox of time between urgency and change. Brief presentations from each participant about their current location, practice, interests & current concerns will clarify where each participant will focus for the next four days. Discussion of instructions and Q&A to exercise an exploration of local space about what to look for and record for Part II. Break for exercise.

Part II: Presentation of outcomes and brief introduction to the next day’s rule of TPT for our exercise: how layering information will test perceptions.

July 12
Part I: Lecture discussion on layering information, GIS, and general research, building coalitions.
Break for exercise.

Part II: Presentations of results and brief introduction to the next rule of TPT for exercise: metaphors as idea models.

July 13
Part I: Lecture and discussion of how metaphors function in human thinking & behaviors with visuals. Introduction to the next rule, how we identify critical disruptions in sensitive initial conditions?
Break for exercise.

Part II: Presentations of exercise results and discussion of results; introduction to the final rule: play will teach.

July 14
Part I: Lecture discussion about what has been observed from each of the exercises, what has been learned so far in the context of: perceptions of time, urgency, chaos, points of intervention, and the rules of TPT.

Part II: How did each participant observe small points pf entry into chaotic systems, play with the rules of TPT and the knowledge they brought to the exercise? What might they each take away from the workshop? How might they continue to apply skills they developed to on-going projects?

Dewey, John. Art as Experience. New York: Capricorn Books, 1934.

Heartney, Eleanor “How the Ecological Art Practices of Today Were Born in 1970s Feminism.” Art in America May 22, 2020

Polanyi, Michael “The Tacit Dimension,” Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1966.

Rahmani, Aviva. A Year in the Blued Trees Symphony, 2019*.

Rahmani, Aviva. Fifty Years of Work, 2019*.

Aviva Rahmani, “Fish Story Memphis: Memphis is the center of the world,” Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Springer; Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences, vol. 4(2), pages 176-179, June, 2014.

Rahmani, Aviva. Gulf to Gulf webcasts on Vimeo.

Rahmani, Aviva. “The Music of the Trees: The Blued Trees Symphony and Opera as Environmental Research and Legal Activism,” Leonardo Music Journal, Volume 29 – December 2019, p. 8-13.

Upaya Zen Center. “A Wiser, Braver World,” YouTube, June 21, 2020.

*Note: artist’s books available in hard cover, cost with shipping $70.

Ghost Nets site after restoration detail of riparian zone 2018 Photo: Aviva Rahmani

(Top photo: Ghost Nets site as quarrying operation in 1930 courtesy Vinalhaven Historical Society with insert detail of restored wetlands)


ecoartapace ecoartspace is a nonprofit platform providing opportunities for artists who address the human/nature relationship in the visual arts. Since 1999 they have collaborated with over 150 organizations to produce more than 40 exhibitions, 100 programs, working with 400 + artists in 15 states nationally and 8 countries internationally. Currently they are developing a media archive of video interviews with artists and collection of exhibitions ephemera for research purposes. Patricia Watts is founder and west coast curator. Amy Lipton is east coast curator and director of the ecoartspace NYC project room.

A project of the Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs since 1999

Go to EcoArtSpace

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Climate Literacy 101: Communicating Sustainability

Session 4: 9th July

Register here

Communicating Sustainability

As part of the Arts Council England environmental support programme, we’re running a series of introductory webinars on creative climate action. 

Cultural and creative activities are uniquely placed to bring people together, providing a platform to inspire, share knowledge and build a sense of community. Messaging and signage can inform audiences and staff about on-site environmental actions as well as influence them in adopting pro-environmental behaviours. In this webinar by Julie’s Bicycle, we’ll look at different ways of communicating your environmental projects and initiatives: from explaining why you’re ‘going green’  – and how your communities can play a part – to transparently and creatively speaking about your environmental impacts and celebrating your achievements. We will also include practical tips on using sustainable materials and tactics to share your messages. The webinar will feature case studies from the cultural sector and allow plenty of time for discussion and Q&A.

Well cover:

  • the state of the climate and climate policy (where we are now and where we have to get to), 
  • where Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions come from (how we got here)
  • the role of the arts (where we can be most powerful)
  • understanding data and taking action (what YOU can do now, and how we move from individual action to big picture change).
  • case studies from the arts sector 

This webinar is designed for those just starting out, or who want a refresher in the basics of climate science and action.

Time: Jul 9, 2020 10:00 AM in London

Register here

COMMON GROUND BRIEFING – Season For Change (UK Artists)

We will be hosting two briefing sessions for artists interested in applying for our Common Ground commissioning opportunity to find out more.

This is the second of two briefings, taking place Tuesday 7 July at 11am with Zena Edwards.

Raised in Tottenham, North London, Zena Edwards has become known as one the most unique voices of performance poetry to come out of London. She is also known for her polemic voice, speaking on panels for climate change and creative campaigning for equality and equitable rights.

Zena has been involved in performance for 20 years – as a writer/poet performer, facilitator, creative project developer and vocalist after graduating from Middlesex University. 

As part of Season for Change, Zena will be working with Apples and Snakes on a new commission in 2020/21.

Who is this briefing for?

UK-based artists, makers or creators. Common Ground invites applications from artists who identify as Black, Asian and minority ethnic/POC, refugee, D/deaf, disabled, neurodivergent, working class and/or LGBTQI+.


The sessions will be delivered digitally. If you would like this session to be captioned or BSL signed, or you require other access support, please email

Visit there website

Tiny Coronavirus Stories: ‘We meet with the midwife on the phone’

By Irie CooperJennifer MacLatchyPawit (PJ) SethbhakdiSandra Henderson

Reader-submitted stories of the COVID-19 pandemic, in no more than 100 words. Read past stories hereSubmit your own here.


Out for a walk with friends by the ocean, having arrived in separate cars, we talk about our fears, and what precautions we are taking. But it is hard to hear what they are saying through my hat, my hood, the ocean’s roar, and the strange distance that we hold between us. My attempts at speaking are lost in the wind, unnoticed. It is hard enough to gain footing in conversations at the best of times, never mind this. I stop trying and feel myself slip away from them, as I focus my attention on the waves, and the ground.

— Jennifer MacLatchy (Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada)

(Top photo: The ocean’s roar.)

* * *


“So what are your thoughts on honey sticks?” I whispered as we lay in the grass on an oddly warm day in February. I didn’t even let you answer as I continued to mouth off about how I was going to bring you honey sticks and how fascinating bees are. I didn’t know that would be my last day with you. Soon enough I was on a plane back to California and living with my chaotic family for god knows how long. I watch the bees fly by my window. I think of us and what prom would’ve been like.

— Irie Cooper (Valencia, California)

Honey in a tube = a honey stick.

* * *


Three hours ago, I was the happiest man in the world. My fiance and I exchanged rings and flew together to our honeymoon in the Bahamas. I can vividly remember the first time we met. It was her smile. I was running my first flight and she was my flight attendant. Her smile kept me relaxed throughout the entire operation. Once we landed, I had the courage to ask her out, and we have flown together since. Sadly, our honeymoon ended prematurely, and I’ll never get to see her smile again if we’ll all be forced to wear white masks.

— Pawit (PJ) Sethbhakdi (Bangkok, Thailand)

Sadly, I have never been to the Bahamas, but I took this photo in Kok Kut, Thailand.

* * *


We meet with the midwife on the phone.

She answers our questions and we have that standard-issue conversation: how strange these times are, how we look forward to gathering, how certain we are that this is for the best.

The midwife cannot take my blood pressure or listen for the baby’s heartbeat, so I am left to trust that my body and its tiny resident are working as they should. We felt quite clever when we chose a clinic within walking distance of home, didn’t we?

— Sandra Henderson (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada)

20 weeks.


This series is edited by Thomas Peterson. One of the editors of Artists & Climate Change, he is also a theatre director and researcher whose work focuses on the climate crisis.


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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