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Guest Blog: Thoughts on a nation in flux (part 2)

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

Contemporary artist and researcher Sonia Mehra Chawla writes about the research she undertook in Aberdeen in June 2018 to inform an upcoming residency with Edinburgh Printmakers.


India’s struggle with climate change and the battle to balance economy, energy and environment


 

On the frontline of climate change

India’s climate is warming up at a very fast rate.  Already one of the most disaster-prone nations in the world, India is at the frontline of nations expected to be worst affected by the adverse effects of climate change.

India will soon become the most overpopulated country in the world. Lifting hundreds of millions of people out of poverty remains the priority of India’s policy. In addition, the country is embarking on one of the fastest rural-to-urban transitions in human history, and as infrastructure develops, energy demands will escalate intensely in the years to come. At the same time, there are still critical gaps in the provision of water and energy infrastructure, housing, sanitation, safety and jobs.

Detail from Sonia Mehra Chawla’s work, ‘(Under) Currents & Crosswinds’. Image credit: Sonia Mehra Chawla.

The impacts of climate change and environmental degradation are already deeply and acutely felt in the country. Unchecked global warming will hit India hard, intensifying extreme weather conditions, extreme heat waves, and the floods that claim thousands of lives every year, and brutally affecting the monsoon upon which Indian farmers depend. The vulnerable and poor communities of India are worst affected.

The rising Agrarian crisis in India is a broad and complex phenomenon linked to inefficient government policies and management. Suicides of nearly 60,000 Indian farmers can be linked to climate change as crops fail. According to experts, future climate change will negatively affect crop production, increasing the risk of food insecurity for vulnerable communities and the poor.

There are still severe issues in the country related to water and air pollution, management of plastic and solid waste, felling of trees and rampant deforestation at alarming rates, along with unabated and unrestricted ground water extraction and over-exploitation. India’s rivers are dying, and the National Green Tribunal is flooded with cases related to the cleansing and rejuvenation of important rivers Yamuna and Ganges.

The challenge India faces is to come up with dynamic measures to cut the nation’s high carbon footprint, while not endangering its economic growth prospects. India’s energy sector is a substantial contributing factor. India relies on coal for over 60 percent of its total electricity generation, and fossil fuel remains an important element in the country’s energy strategy. India is the third largest carbon polluter in the world, and emissions are likely to double as its economy grows and develops. The country therefore, needs to ensure that it generates as much of that energy as possible from renewable sources. This would be crucial to limiting catastrophic global temperature rise.

The crucial question- How can India bridge the challenges of development and climate change mitigation?

To diversify its energy mix and reduce its reliance on coal, the Indian government has been actively promoting renewable power sources and advancing strategies, and ambitious targets have been set. India is emerging as a key player in the global renewables market. There are signs of hope driven by astounding drops in the prices of renewable energy in the past few years. In fact, last year, renewable energy became more cost competitive than conventional power.

The last two years will be remembered as a watershed period in the history of energy sector reforms in India. India is running one of the largest and most ambitious renewable capacity expansion programs in the world. The goal for India is to ultimately source forty percent of its electricity from renewables and other low-carbon sources by 2030.

The Indian solar sector has massive potential. One of the world’s largest solar power park is located in the Kamuthi, in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Spread over 10 sq. km, it consists of 2.5m solar panels, and is estimated to make enough power for 750,000 people.

The Solar Energy sector has got more than half of the funds allocated for centrally sponsored renewable energy schemes and projects in the 2018-19 Budget. However, it is clear that there is a temporary loss of momentum in this area, and future targets will not be met if efforts are not accelerated. According to Mercom India, ‘the new budget for the coming financial year has, in most parts, turned out to be disappointing for the renewable energy sector. To the industry’s dismay, no specific incentives, subsidies or grants were announced for the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).’

In spite of these hurdles, what is clear, is that renewable energy in India has a bright future ahead of it. Short term obstacles and challenges still remain for the growing green energy sector, which needs improved and enhanced frameworks, and the government’s continued and unfailing commitment. On a positive note, the Indian state of Karnataka recently became the leading Indian state in green power, overtaking leading nations like Denmark and Netherlands. What made this possible was record low bids for renewables’ tenders and policy support from the State Government.

Grave economic issues make measures to reduce emissions extremely complex, and the path India takes is likely to be paved with harsh challenges, and, in spite of several compelling reasons for India to follow a green path into the future, severe hurdles remain.

Details from Sonia Mehra Chawla’s work ‘(Under) Currents & Crosswinds’. (2018) Project collaboration & support: Khoj International Artists’ Association + Wellcome Trust UK/ DBT India Alliance. (Department of Biotechnology, Government of India). Image credit: Sonia Mehra Chawla.

The artistic project at Edinburgh Printmakers (2018-2020)

I was invited to undertake the research arm of an artistic project with Edinburgh Printmakers in Aberdeen in June 2018. This research will inform an intensive print residency at Edinburgh Printmakers in spring 2019, and the outputs from this residency will be presented as part of a solo exhibition at Edinburgh Printmakers beautiful new home at Castle Mill in 2020.

Edinburgh Printmakers will transform the former North British Rubber Company HQ- Castle Mills, into a vibrant new creative hub opening to the public in 2019.

Choosing focus areas

I hope this artistic project will serve as a platform and starting point for dialogue and conversations around some of the significant and pressing issues of our time such as the future of energy, the future of our oceans and marine life, society’s dependence on fossil fuels, just transitions, the global challenges of energy transitions, carbon reduction goals, as well as the human dimension of crisis.

National Green Tribunal Act, 2010, is an Act of the Parliament of India which enables creation of a special tribunal to handle the expeditious disposal of the cases pertaining to environmental issues. It draws inspiration from the India’s constitutional provision of Article 21, which assures the citizens of India the right to a healthy environment.

Ministry of New and Renewable Energy or MNRE is a ministry of the Government of India. The Ministry is mainly responsible for research and developmentintellectual property protection, and international cooperation, promotion, and coordination in renewable energy sources such as wind powersmall hydrobiogas, and solar power. The broad aim of the ministry is to develop and deploy new and renewable energy for supplementing the energy requirements of India.


End of Part II


 

Sonia Mehra Chawla is a contemporary Indian artist and researcher. She completed a Master’s Degree in Fine Arts from College of Art, New Delhi in 2004-05. Her artistic practice explores notions of selfhood, nature, ecology, sustainability and conservation. Sonia works in a variety of media including photography, printmaking, drawing, painting and video.

Sonia is a British Council India & Charles Wallace India Trust (CWIT) scholar, and was invited to the United Kingdom in 2014 for a research based project in printmaking. She is currently the recipient of an International ‘Art+Science’ Grant Award, instituted by Khoj International Artists’ Association India & the Wellcome Trust UK/DBT Alliance for 2017-18. She has recently been awarded a Fellowship from the Akademie Schloss Solitude in Germany for the Art, Science and Business Program for 2019-20. Sonia’s works have been exhibited at the Institut Fur Auslansbeziehungen, Germany (Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations, IFA), Tate Modern, London, Essl Museum of Contemporary Art, Austria, Museum of Contemporary Art, Yinchuan, China, Goethe Institut, Mumbai, India, CSMVS Museum, Mumbai, India, ET4U Contemporary Visual Art Projects, Denmark, and Today Art Museum, Beijing, China.

The artist lives and works in New Delhi, India.

____________________________

Acknowledgements

I am grateful for conversations and interactions with Dr. Prof. M S Swaminathan, Prof. Colin Moffat, Dr. Leslie Mabon Sass, Alison Stuart, Erik Dalhuijsen, Nicola Gordon, Dr. James Howie, Gemma Laurence and Dr V.Selvam.

I am grateful to Edinburgh Printmakers. I extend my warmest thanks to Sarah Manning Shaw, Alastair Clark, Judith Liddle, and the brilliant team of Edinburgh Printmakers for their unfailing support, and look forward to a significant and meaningful collaboration over the next two years.

Further reading and information:

The artists’ official website: http://soniamehrachawla.in/

Edinburgh Printmakers: https://www.edinburghprintmakers.co.uk/

On Turning Toward: ‘Critical Membrane’ by Sonia Mehra Chawla, Heather Davis looks at the work of Sonia Mehra Chawla, as part of her look into Four Figures of Climate Change, July 2017

http://theo-westenberger.tumblr.com/post/162458052219/on-turning-toward-critical-membrane-by-sonia

Down To Earth, https://www.downtoearth.org.in/

‘The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable’, Amitav Ghosh. Published by Penquin India.

‘Everybody Loves a Good Drought’, P.Sainath. Published by Penquin India.

‘Ecology without nature: rethinking environmental aesthetics’, Timothy Morton. Published by Harvard University Press.

‘Soil, Not Oil: Environmental Justice in an age of Climate Crisis’, Vandana Shiva. Published by Penguin Random House.

‘From Green to Evergreen Revolution: Indian Agriculture, Performance & Challenges’, Prof. M S Swaminathan. Published by Academic Foundation.

‘In Search of Biohappiness: Biodiversity and food, Health and Livelihood security’, Prof. M S Swaminathan. Published by World Scientific.

‘Oil Strike North Sea’, Mike Shepherd. Published by Luath Press.

‘The Klondykers’, Bill Mackie. Published by Birlinn, Edinburgh (2006)

‘Old Torry and Aberdeen Harbour’, Rosie Nicol & Particia Newman. Published by Stenlake Publishing Ltd, UK.

Contact:

soniamehrachawla.in

soniamehrachawla@gmail.com

admin@edinburghprintmakers.co.uk

 


The post Guest Blog: Thoughts on a nation in flux (part 2) 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

Opportunity: ArtRoots Fund

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

A community fund for artistic and aesthetic improvements to the National Cycle Network in Scotland.

The ArtRoots fund is a community fund for artistic and aesthetic improvements to the National Cycle Network in Scotland.

The fund enables and empowers communities to make improvements to the National Cycle Network (NCN) for the benefit of place quality, enjoyment and active travel.

2018 is the Year of Young People and this year the ArtRoots fund will target schemes that encourage opportunities for young artists. The fund supports local enterprise and culture, whilst also showcasing talent, intergenerational co-operation, expression, and creating a platform for youngsters to be heard through their arts. It also encourages young people to participate in shaping their local environment and increase their levels of physical activity.

Who can apply for a grant?

This fund is for constituted community groups based in Scotland. We will also consider applications from non-constituted groups.

How much can be applied for?

Grants of up to £5,000 are available.

How do you apply?

Completed expression of interest forms should be submitted by Monday 5 November 2018 at 17:00. The closing date for full applications for the current funding round will be Monday 19 November 2018.

Find out more on the ArtRoots fund web page.

____________________________________

Main Image: An ArtRoots awarded project in the Highlands saw the creation of this fantastic artwork which is both beautiful, intriguing and practical. This artwork made of wood was commissioned to mark the 300th anniversary of the bridge in Carrbridge, the oldest stone bridge in the Highlands

 


The post Opportunity: ArtRoots Fund 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

News: Launch of the Library of Creative Sustainability

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

We’re excited to announce the launch of the Library of Creative Sustainability during Climate Week 2018: a new digital resource showcasing best practice examples of collaborations between sustainability partners and artists seeking to make the world a better place!

New library on the block

The Library of Creative Sustainability is a new digital resource for people working to address the challenging issues of environmental sustainability and climate change, demonstrating the benefits of collaborating with artists and cultural approaches to help achieve their aims.

Taking its inspiration from the work of American civic artist Frances Whitehead and the Embedded Artist Project, and many other contemporary and historic examples, the library presents case studies highlighting the range of skills, expertise and practices which artists have contributed to bringing about positive change in society – addressing social, environmental, economic and cultural sustainability.

In developing the Library of Creative Sustainability we aim to:

  • Provide a very practical resource for non-arts organisations and arts practitioners to support working with ‘embedded artists’ over extended periods to develop new policy and practice
  • Showcase a selection of inspiring and innovative examples that engage organisational leaders in the potential of working with artists to help achieve their aims

In developing the Library we have spoken with users working in diverse fields including energy, local government, natural heritage and forestry to help us develop content relevant and applicable to the interests and needs of non-arts sectors, and have researched case studies with the aid of many of the featured artists and organisations.

Explore the library!

What is an Embedded Artist?

“Frances Whitehead is a civic practice artist bringing the methods, mindsets, and strategies of contemporary art practice to the process of shaping the future city” – A Blade of Grass

Credit: SLOW Clean-UP, Frances Whitehead

It is widely recognised that artists across all artforms can bring new insight and alternative perspectives to non-arts contexts. This is shown in exhibitions and performances, and also in artists’ processes working with organisations and communities. Artists can bring the perspective of the ‘stranger’, being able to see with fresh eyes and question things often taken for granted.

Some of the key principles of the Embedded Artist role highlighted by case studies include:

  • Working within non-arts institutions over extended periods – this requires organisations to be comfortable with ambiguity and not starting with fixed outcomes. It was important to allow time for the ideas to develop.
  • Bringing different ways of thinking and working to bear on challenging projects such as large-scale regeneration of post-industrial sites. Creating artworks is not the focus of projects, although may be an aspect of the outcomes.
  • Highlighting an integrated approach, ensuring that environmental and social sustainability are considered alongside economics.
  • Facilitating wider public participation and breaking down professional, departmental and disciplinary boundaries.

Launching the Library

“We wanted to put the power of creative thinking in the hands of community organisations and give people a chance to think positively in the face of climate change.” – Eve Mosher

Credit: Eve Mosher, HighWaterLine

We’re excited to launch the first five library case studies celebrating national and international examples of creative sustainability during Scotland’s 2018 Climate Week:

  • SLOW Clean-UP civic Experiments: tackling abandoned petrol stations through phytoremediation and community involvement (Chicago, USA)
  • WATERSHED+: a strategic long term programme embedding artists in the work of the Calgary City Utilities and Environmental Protection Department (Calgary, Alberta, Canada)
  • HighWaterLine: drawing a line on the cityscape to open up community dialogue on climate change and the impact of flooding (New York, USA; Miami, USA; Bristol, UK)
  • The Stove Network: a membership based arts-led project contributing to the regeneration of Dumfries (Dumfries, Scotland, UK)
  • Sutton Tidal Attenuation Barrier and Falkenham Saltmarsh Tidal Management Scheme: Estuarine protection works that involve artist Simon Read working with communities of inhabitants, landowners and public agencies (Suffolk, England, UK)

Keep an eye out on TwitterFacebook or Instagram for the latest updates and help to share case studies with your networks!

A Growing Resource 

This is just the beginning! We will continue to research and regularly publish new case studies with another round of examples on its way very soon.

We are actively seeking suggestions for new case studies from sustainability and arts practitioners about projects you are involved in or are aware of that could become part of this growing resource. We would also love to hear about your experience of using the library so that we can continue to make improvements to its functionality.

Please get in touch with Gemma Lawrence, culture/SHIFT Producer, Creative Carbon Scotland.

Project partners

The Library of Creative Sustainability has been developed in collaboration with Senior Researcher Chris Fremantle (Gray’s School of Art, Robert Gordon University) with the support of Allison Palenske, Elly White, and Niamh Coutts.

We are grateful to all of the artists and organisations who have kindly contributed their time to the development of library case studies.



The post News: Launch of the Library of Creative Sustainability 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

Guest Blog: The joy of the present and the great unknown of the future

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

Here’s the second in a series of blogs from playwright Lewis Hetherington about his work with Glasgow cycling charity Bike for Good and Creative Carbon Scotland. Lewis is working embedded with Bike for Good for two years to document their VeloCommunities project and contribute to their activities widening access to cycling and helping Glasgow to become a more sustainable city.

In my first blog I leant into the idea of cycling as a path to joy, freedom and empowerment. Nothing could have captured these ideas better than the recent trip I was lucky enough to go on with the Bike for Good team and some of the brilliant young people who come along to the after-school clubs. We went to Bute, we cycled, we ate chips, we laughed. We had one day out of life.

Joining me for the ride was the fantastic, inimitable and mega filmmaker Geraldine Heaney so we could start to introduce the filmmaking component of the project to the group.

From the moment we all gathered at Queen’s Park station, with some of our number about to ride on a train for the first time, we could tell that this would be a day to remember. We all piled in, the excitement at fever pitch even though we were still only minutes away from our own front doors.

We swapped trains at Central station and headed out to Wemyss Bay and from there onto the ferry. There was sweets, hot chocolate and more excitement. We saw dolphins playing in the water, a fitting salute to our arrival. Bute was enshrouded in mist, but even that couldn’t mute us as we pushed the bikes out from the car deck and got ready for our cycle.

All the while I’m thinking, “This is so easy. Why are we all not leaping on the ferry to Bute whenever we get the chance?”. But then here I am now, two weeks later, and I’ve not been back. That said I am in the park with the dogs four times a day, and the trip reminded me what a privilege and a pleasure it is to get out into green space. What I am trying to say is that as we all took in the sea air and the rolling hills I thought “If this is planting seeds in these young folks of a sense of connection to the outdoors, then something is going right”.

We cycled across the island and just as in all the best life-affirming buddy movies the sun suddenly burst through the clouds and we were drenched in light. We arrived at our destination, a beach with white sands stretching out and turquoise waters rippling. So of course we all went for a swim.

Playing in the sea on Bute – Credit: Geraldine Heaney

Gently rolling waves, the dramatic silhouette of Arran in the distance, golden light flooding us, the only sounds the squeals of delight from adults and children alike as we leapt into the ice-cold water…

…followed by lunch, football, gymnastics and more. It was a pretty special day.

As I said, Geraldine had brought her camera along, as well as having bought a brand new GoPro for the occasion. Geraldine and C assembled the new camera on the train out, so C got to attach it to his helmet and collect footage from the moment we arrived on Bute.

A young filmmaker – Credit: Geraldine Heaney

T was so enthusiastic about taking photos we were worried that he’d use up all the memory space and battery life just taking pictures of the inside of the train carriage. Thankfully however there were plenty of photos taken on the island which you’re seeing through this blog taken by either Geraldine or the young people. They really embraced the idea that they should choose where to shoot, what to focus on, where to direct our lens and our interrogation.

___________________________________________

This artist in residence is part of Bike for Good’s VeloCommunities Project, which is funded by the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund. We’ll keep you posted of updates and developments on this bi-monthly blog, and please get in touch with any questions or ideas!

 


The post Guest Blog: The joy of the present and the great unknown of the future 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

Opportunity: Evolving the Forest (call for participation)

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

We are seeking the most engaging people and ideas to take part in Evolving the Forest

art.earth, our partners The Royal Forestry Society and Timber Strategies and our academic partner Science Walden @ Ulsan National Institute of Science & Technology (UNIST) invite proposals to an international forum: Evolving the Forest.

This is a three-day international forum bringing together creative thinkers and doers to explore physically and figuratively our relationship with wood, trees and forest over the past hundred years, and imagining that evolving relationship over the next 100.

The event takes place June 19-21, 2019 at Dartington Hall, Devon UK.

We particularly welcome submissions that challenge conventions of the academic conference: in what senses may we approach in our behaviours, our speech, our work, our ideas and ethos, the notion of voicing the forest? We invite you to explore participatory workshops, discursive formats (interviews, on-stage conversations, etc.), artist presentations, and performative disturbance and/or interventions.

The deadline for submissions is November 19 2018 (22.00 GMT). All proposals must be submitted online at https://evolvingtheforest.uk/proposal-form

For full details visit https://evolvingtheforest.uk

Evolving the Forest Lead Convenor is Prof. Richard Povall. Please address any questions to research@artdotearth.org



The post Opportunity: Evolving the Forest (call for participation) 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

Sustainability rising at the Edinburgh summer festivals

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

Our Digital Communications Officer, Mike Elm, looks back at how sustainability was right across the festivals in Edinburgh this August.

What was your highlight of the Edinburgh festivals this August?

For me it was the signs that sustainability – which the festivals have been doing to a greater or lesser extent even before they helped found the Green Arts Initiative – is growing in the minds of the organisers and participants at the festivals! (Ok there was also some really good and interesting theatre, comedy, visual art, magic (did you see how it was a common theme this year? What’s up with that?), spoken word, dance and even some clowning)

Participants

One of the breakout ‘acts’ of this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe was the Sustainable Fringe campaign, which Creative Carbon Scotland has been promoting as a concept for a number of years but was this year led by members of the Poltergeist Theatre group who were up running a show of their own. It offered a great example of how the sector is taking on looking at its impact and using its reach to inspire others to take action on theirs.

“Over the month, the Sustainable Fringe campaign rallied over 100 production companies and individuals on twitter around three challenges – to reduce plastic, paper and material waste. The support from performers, press and Green Arts groups shows that not only are many people ready for a greener festival, but they are prepared to make changes that are vital for the transition.” 

             -Alice Boyd, #SustainableFringe

The campaign got coverage from the local: The Student Newspaper, to the national: Sky News! It also attracted praise from prominent voices in the sustainability world – Keep Scotland Beautiful, Terry A’hearn the CEO of SEPA – and the arts world – renowned theatre critic Lyn Gardner.

Critics

Now everyone knows, a review can make or break your time at the Edinburgh Festivals and they don’t come much impact-ier than Lyn Gardner. She wrote in her new column for The Stage about the environmental issues facing the festivals, but also warmly about the solutions such as the Sustainable Fringe campaign and the Fringe Swap Shop, run by Fringe Central

It’s all good

News: Fringe Swap Shop praised by Zero Waste Scotland

Zero Waste Scotland Edinburgh Festival Fringe Swap Shop Visit

The Fringe Swap Shop also caught the eye of the national body for waste reduction, Zero Waste Scotland. Iain Gulland, the Zero Waste Scotland Chief Executive, came down himself to check out the weird and wonderful items that had been brought to be used again. He praised the initiative saying:

“Edinburgh Festivals are leading the way in making better use of our resources – with exciting projects like the re-use swap shop.” 
– 
Iain Gulland, Chief Executive, Zero Waste Scotland

And we’re reliably told that the story even popped up in the Metro! To continue building on this work the festivals will be taking part in a Circular Economy workshop later this year with Circular Edinburgh to identify opportunities and develop a business case for developing a circular economy approach within the festivals – maximising re-use and recycling opportunities across the events.

They’re International festivals

Though only one is called ‘The Edinburgh International Festival’, they’re all international in reach and appeal. This year at the Fringe World Congress, our Director Ben Twist and Catriona Patterson (in her Festivals Edinburgh role) spoke at a session on environmental sustainability and festivals that was being held at the Congress. Delegates from Fringes from Amsterdam, Orlando and Adelaide were among those who participated in the session, demonstrating there’s a leadership role for what we’re doing in Scotland.

The international interest in the intersection of arts & sustainability was further demonstrated by our Director meeting with delegates on the British Council’s “Momentum” programme including representatives from Canada’s cultural sector and Washington D.C.’s Chief Resilience Officer.

Sharing is caring

The Edinburgh International Festival took the opportunity of allowing our Catriona (in her Green Arts Manager role) to write an excellent blog linking one of their flagship shows – Waiting for Godot – with the role of the arts in tackling climate change, and why it’s no time for waiting! The blog highlighted some of the International Festival’s sustainability work including embedding sustainability in all their staff training.

The Edinburgh International Book Festival are certainly well read when it comes to sustainability and this year, alongside having drinking water taps everywhere, creating an excellent bike lane to maintain active travel access along George Street, they also allowed their Green Team to tell their story on Instagram.

Others were more modest. Low-key sustainability leaders Assembly, were also keeping the support for active travel with their bike lane around the George Street , recycling like it mattered to their lives (though somewhat discretely) and using not one but two (at least) “lifesaver” electric cargo bikes from the Sustrans Bike Library to ferry all sorts of equipment and supplies around town.

And this year also saw the return, or the continuation, of the Bobby Niven’s Palm House in the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Johnston Terrace wildlife garden as part of the Edinburgh Art Festival. This year alongside bringing people into this beautiful green space in its own right and to sample pizzas from the oven, it also played host to magic. Marxist magic. Ruth Ewan’s “Sympathetic Magick” commission for the Art Festival saw magicians work-shopping and performing on how magic tricks can integrate social issues close to the magician’s heart.

A time for magic.

The summer festivals in Edinburgh are magic. They’re a unique (and sometimes wild!) point of mixing and experimentation in the world’s cultural calendar and so it’s only right that there should be some fantastic work going on across them to support environmental sustainability. There’s clearly an appetite for this and room to do more.

This year the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the biggest arts festival in the world, have put out the call in “The Fringe Blueprint”  for collaborators to help them innovate and lead on sustainability and also released a new Sustainability Toolkits for Venues and a Sustainability toolkit for performing companies.

It was an undoubtedly excellent summer of festivals (is there any other kind) and we’re looking forward to seeing how this world-leading collection of cultural events can continue to develop as pioneers in environmental sustainability.

__________________________________

Main image: Drinking water tap at Edinburgh International Book Festival by Michael Thomas, Festivals Edinburgh.

 


The post Sustainability rising at the Edinburgh summer festivals 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

News: Grassroots Storytelling in Gardens Across Scotland

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

See gardens with new eyes hearing local stories of creation, history & interaction with environment

Scotland’s Gardens Scheme, in association with the Scottish International Storytelling Festival, was delighted to host four garden storytelling sessions in the summer months, heralding the Storytelling Festival’s theme of Growing Stories for its 30th year, with two sessions for autumn still to come!

Families strolled through some of Scotland’s finest gardens to explore the stories they’ve kept hidden for hundreds of years. From Poolewe to East Lothian there was lots to uncover, and garden visitors were guided by the most intrepid of tale miners: storytellers.

Parents were pulled through the small gate to Dr Neil’s Garden, Edinburgh by impatient little hands looking for the storyteller. “You’ve found her” cried Nicola Wright. They set off down the well-worn picturesque paths and stood in awe at the monkey puzzle tree. Young and old left the session beaming, warmed by the May sunshine and the whittled tales of medieval medicines, feisty fairies and giants. “I can’t believe this is a thing” exclaimed one dad of two. “Where’s the next one?”

Tim Porteus spun wonderful tales from the history of Tyninghame House and The Walled Garden, East Lothian. Ancient footprints have traced the grounds at Tyninghame from lost villages and ruined churches, which Tim explored from a cosy picnic rug, exclaiming to the gathering:

“Stories do not die if told and retold, and what better place for their telling than the ground upon which they were lived and worn.”

It was a hot and busy day at Culzean Castle when Alison Galbraith brought the gardens to life, and visitors learnt about the intriguing tale of the slave Scipio who earned his freedom and some property at Culzean. Imaginations were also left to run wild with fairy bedtime tales – pssssttt, fairies love tulip petal bedding!

Visitors to Inverewe Gardens got a treat as Heather Yule regaled them with storytelling and harp playing, immersing them in folklore and music from the Poolewe area.

Two More Garden Adventures This October

There are still two chances to see gardens with new eyes, hearing local stories about their creation, history and interaction with the environment.

As leaves turn from green to golden, and t-shirts are replaced by woolly jumpers, autumnal sessions will warm the soul in arguably the most picturesque time of year for nature, with two magic in-situ storytelling sessions still to come.

At the stunning Fingask Castle in Perthshire on Thursday 11 October, storyteller Lizzie McDougall presents fascinating insights to the garden’s rich history, including story walks around the grounds, appropriately starting by the Dragon Steps!

Then explore the majestic Dalswinton House in Dumfriesshire on Sunday 21 October with storyteller John Wheeler, who will delight with insights into the maiden voyage of Britain’s first steamboat, alongside story walks exploring the garden’s plants and wildlife.


The post News: Grassroots Storytelling in Gardens Across Scotland 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

Get Your Tickets for Green Arts Conference!

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

Get your tickets for the Green Arts Conference: Culture Change, the conference on how and why Scotland’s cultural sector is creatively approaching environmental sustainability, organised by Creative Carbon Scotland.

You can get your tickets for the Green Arts Conference: Culture Change which will be held on Wednesday 7 November in Edinburgh.

“Sustainability is EVERYONE’s responsibility”Green Arts Conference 2017 participant”  —  Theme for ’18

The Green Arts Conference, now in its fourth year, is this year themed around ‘Culture Change‘. Climate Change will change culture, and changes in culture are needed to mitigate and respond to climate change. This theme marks how far we have come as a cultural community, showcasing the best examples of positive changes in the sector, and looking towards how the impacts of climate change will have direct consequences for the artistic and operational work of cultural organisations.

In a year which has seen extreme snow and extreme heat (and still a dreich August!), a plastic revolution following Blue Planet 2, and a new Climate Change Plan for Scotland, climate change and environmental sustainability are higher on our societal agenda than ever before. And as our wider culture changes, so too does our cultural sector: becoming greener and more engaged with sustainability.

New for 2018

With sustainability and climate change rising up the agenda, this year will see a Board Briefing for trustees and others working at the strategic level. There will be limited spaces so snap up a place if you’re a trustee and your Green Champion is attending, or if you’re a Green Champion make your board aware!

Book your ticket now for the Green Arts Conference

A big part of saving the world is also leading by example, and sharing your actions with your different audiences. This year we’re taking learning from the first ever #GreenArts day held in March 2018 – which many Green Arts members were involved in – to help you take the initiative to communicate your sustainability work throughout the year.

We’ll also make the connection between sustainable practice and affecting sustainable change as artists, with a session on our Culture/SHIFT programme of work.

The Classics

“Always really useful to hear what other organisations are doing – really enjoyed the show & tells” — Green Arts Conference 2017 participant

Following on from the success of previous years we’ll be hearing directly from prominent figures working directly in sustainability on the major developments in climate change and environmental issues, the implications for the cultural sector, and hear how they can support us in our work.

Carbon Management Planning was announced at the Conference in 2017 and now with plans due to be submitted by all Regularly Funded Organisations on 5 October, we’ll have sessions to feedback on the plans and understand the ambition of the sector.

Our popular Green Arts Community sessions – lo-fi, quick, show & tells – will be making a come back to provide the opportunity for Green Arts Initiative members to share the projects they’ve been imagining, creating and working on.

Who’s it for

“It was valuable to see examples demonstrating that the whole organisation can be involved in sustainability”  — Green Arts Conference 2017 participant

The Green Arts Conference attracts over 100 participants from a range of cultural and sustainability backgrounds. It is aimed primarily at those working within the cultural sector, we also welcome participants from outside the cultural sector looking to learn how the sector is tackling climate change, and looking for opportunities to work together towards a better Scotland.

Book your ticket now for the Green Arts Conference

We encourage those across all different art forms, and in a variety of different roles from programming, facilities management, marketing, administration, and development – and all those doing any (or all!) of the above – to attend.

Whether you’re completely new to being a Green Champion, or are already heading up a Green Team, the conference will provide an opportunity to learn, share, create and develop your work.

“Although I am not in a senior management position, there are things I can do!” — Green Arts Conference 2017 participant

Hot Ticket

To enable as many cultural organisations to attend as possible, we have created a range of ticket options for this years Green Arts Conference, with Early Bird tickets available until 1st October 2018 and tickets for the Board Briefing pre-conference session for Board Members now available. We have also created a concession ticket for freelancers, students and those between jobs or working in organisations with turnover less than £50,000 per year. You can find all the tickets on the Green Arts Conference: Culture Change event page.

You can find out more about previous Green Arts Conferences including conference reports and the map of where delegates travelled from in 2017.

We look forward to seeing you there for a great event!

“It was valuable to learn that there are people like myself, working to create change” — Green Arts Conference 2017 participant

 


The post Tickets launched for Green Arts Conference! 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

 

Opportunity: Green Tease Open Call

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

Are you interested in harnessing the imagination and influencing power of the arts for a more sustainable Scotland? We are seeking proposals to run Green Tease events connecting arts and sustainability across the country. Read on to find out more about the Green Tease network and how to apply!

The Green Tease Open Call is a funded opportunity which supports sustainability practitioners and artists to exchange knowledge, ideas and practices with the aim of building new connections between their areas of work and widening understanding of the role of arts in influencing a more sustainable society.

*We are currently seeking proposals to run events for up to March 2019*

What support does the Open Call offer?

  • Budget to run your event to help cover speaker fees, travel expenses, venue hire and refreshments. In many cases, costs are shared by Creative Carbon Scotland and the event partners and organisers
  • Event shaping, planning and facilitation support to ensure the event is relevant to the Green Tease network, accessible and inclusive
  • Event promotion to the Green Tease network
  • Event evaluation

Looking for ideas and inspiration?

Green Tease started in 2013 with cups of tea and biscuits around a table in the Briggait in Glasgow and has continued to support a growing community of sustainability practitioners and artists interested in working together to tackle climate change. Past events taken the form of:

  • Talks from artists, climate change and sustainability practitioners
  • Events running in tandem with wider conferences, exhibitions, festivals etc.
  • Hands-on, practical workshops
  • Film screenings
  • Focus group discussions
  • Panel discussions
  • Pecha kucha presentations
  • Site visits and walking tours
  • Occassional day-long events (such at the Abernethy Nature Reserve with RSPB Scotland)

Have a read through our events archive and Green Tease reflection blogs to find out more about past events.

Info on the Green Tease network

In a recent survey, network members highlighted that:

  • Evenings are the preferred time for events
  • They value the chance to meet people working across different sectors, exchange knowledge and gain inspiration for new, creative approaches in their work
  • They are interested in a wide range of artforms with particular focus on multi-artform, community arts and visual arts
  • They are interested in all of the goals addressed in the UN Sustainable Development Goals with some focus on sustainable cities and communities, climate action, energy, and responsible consumption and production

Proposal guidelines

Event proposals will be selected on the basis of quality of content, inclusivity and the addressing of the connections between arts and sustainability to appeal to a wide audience. We’re particularly keen to hear from practitioners working in sustainability and climate change related-roles who we don’t know (yet!)

Find out more about how to apply or contact our culture/SHIFT Producer, Gemma, on gemma.lawrence@creativecarbonscotland.com to discuss your ideas.

 


The post Opportunity: Green Tease Open Call 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

News: New wildlife photo exhibition on show in Edinburgh

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

A public photo exhibition, showcasing images of wildlife and scenery on the National Cycle Network has gone on show in Edinburgh.

The Go Wild exhibition, showcasing stunning images of wildlife and scenery on the National Cycle Network in Scotland, has gone on show along the Union Canal in Edinburgh.

The free exhibition, which showcases submissions from photographers of all abilities as part of Sustrans Scotland’s Go Wild photography competition, will be displayed at Lochrin Basin until 30th August.

Greener Greenways

Go Wild is part of Sustrans Scotland’s Greener Greenways project, which is part-funded by Scottish Natural Heritage, and aims to improve and enhance biodiversity on traffic-free sections of the Network that are home to a variety of animals and plant species.

The shortlisted photos range from a playful stoat to scenic shots highlighting breath-taking views along National Cycle Network routes in Scotland.

Sustrans Scotland Volunteers Coordinator, Laura White said: “We hope these photos will inspire and encourage more people to explore their local area by foot or bike, and enjoy the fantastic scenery and wildlife the National Cycle Network has to offer.”

“The National Cycle Network plays a vital role in supporting and promoting a wide variety of wildlife in Scotland and is a fantastic place for people to experience some of the rich biodiversity that Scotland has to offer.”

See the exhibition

You can visit the exhibition at Lochrin Basin, EH3 9QD, along the Union Canal in Edinburgh during the month of August. Visit www.sustrans.org.uk/scotphotocomp18 for more information.

There are approximately 2,371 miles (3,815 km) of National Cycle Network routes in Scotland, including 644 miles of traffic-free routes which use a mix of railway path, canal towpath, forest road, shared-use path, segregated cycle lanes and re-determined rural footways. It plays a vital role in helping people to travel by foot, bike or public transport for more every day journeys and can act as a green corridor for wildlife.

 


The post News: New wildlife photo exhibition on show in Edinburgh 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