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Requiem for a River: Operatic Reflections on the Euphrates

This Post Comes from HowlRound:

This week on HowlRound, we continue our exploration of Theatre in the Age of Climate Change with more urgency than ever. With the looming eradication of climate science data from US government websites and the appointment of Scott Pruitt as head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Trump has indicated in no uncertain terms that the health of the planet and its inhabitants are of no concern to him. As theatre artists, how do we respond? Dutch opera director Miranda Lakerveld reflects on the prominence of water imagery in traditional music dramas from the Middle East and on the connection between conflict and ecology. —Chantal Bilodeau

I am writing this article the day before the Dutch elections. Far-right populist Geert Wilders has been leading the polls, and Turkish-Dutch youngsters are marching the streets waving dramatically large Turkish flags. For the first time in my life, I see military police trucks (and water-tanks) drive past my window. CNN and Al Jazeera discuss the “situation” in the Netherlands. Unimaginable things are happening to my country.

I create operas as a platform for dialogue in a multicultural society. My artistic work stems from research on music dramas from around the globe. I was fortunate to be able to do research on a wide range of music- drama practices, for example Tibetan Opera at the Tibetan Institute for Performing Arts; passion play Ta’ziyeh in Iran; and the ancient Maya dance-drama Rabìnal Achi in Guatemala.

Ironically, I found the richest traditions in places where cultural identity is under pressure, especially after a history of violence. For example, one of the first official actions the Dalai Lama took when he arrived in India after fleeing persecution in Tibet, was to establish the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts to preserve Tibetan Opera. We might conclude that these music dramas can be extremely important in times of uncertainty and conflict.

jh Samira Dainan in Why Yemen Matters. Photo by Jan Boeve/De Balie


“Why does cultural identity create such conflict? And, how does the environment influence the dynamics between cultures?”


 

While I was doing my research, tensions between communities kept rising at home. Since 2014, my company World Opera Lab has been working mostly in the diverse neighborhoods of Amsterdam-West, applying the aesthetics of music dramas from Iran, India, Tibet, and Middle America to opera. The aim is to create a form of opera that reaches across cultures and artistic traditions.

In these creative dialogues between cultures, I have often wondered: what “makes” a culture? Even in the diaspora, what makes people attached to it? Why does cultural identity create such conflict? And, how does the environment influence the dynamics between cultures?

A series of debate operas on conflict in the Middle East, presented in collaboration with the Debate Center De Balie, has shone a new light on these questions. Why Yemen Matters, created in 2016, deals with the ongoing conflicts in Yemen and why the violence received so little attention in the West. The opera revolves around the story of the Queen of Sheba, who was originally from Yemen. Music from Händel’s oratorium Solomon, played on the Arabic ud and viola da gamba, was countered with traditional songs from Sana’a. The staging was created in dialogue with the work of Yemeni photographer Amira Al-Sharif, who also helped with finding appropriate traditional music. Interestingly, the traditional songs that “floated up” during the work had extensive references to water and its sources:

The leaf of the grape appeared
To collect water, she comes to source: Wadi Bamaa
Passing by me
Passing by me

I, oh my father, I
Glory, oh people, glory to the source, Wadi Amaan

“Ghuzan Al Qina” (Traditional song from Sana’a, Yemen)

Through these songs, I understood the importance of water sources in the region and how they affect conflicts. The songs also taught me how cultures are very much influenced by the environment. The environment shapes the culture, and consequently it shapes cultural identities.

Samira Dainan and Mireille Bittar in Why Yemen Matters. Photo by Jan Boeve/De Balie.


“The environment shapes the culture, and consequently it shapes cultural identities.”


 

A River Runs Through It
Requiem for a River picks up where Sheba left off. It is a new debate opera that will be presented in the spring of 2018, as part of the on-going collaboration between World Opera Lab and The Middle East Report in the Debate Center De Balie.

The Euphrates River is the main character in this opera, where religious stories about the iconic river are the point of departure. Currently the Tigris and Euphrates, the two main arteries in the Middle East, are rapidly drying up. According to a 2015 article published in Foreign Affairs, the mighty rivers that feed Syria and Iraq may no longer reach the sea by 2040.

The Euphrates, an important “figure” in religious texts, is featured in central stories on conflict in the region as well as in classical operas. After the destruction of Solomon’s Temple, Israelites are brought into exile in Babylonia and sing, mourning their lost homeland at the bank of the river. Psalm 137, in which this scene is depicted, inspired Verdi to write Va pensiero, the famous chorus from Nabucco. According to the Islamic hadith, the Euphrates will dry up and uncover a mountain of gold that will incite bloody conflicts.

In the Ta’ziyeh of Abbas, a Shiite passion play, the Euphrates River is occupied by the Sunni army, while the Shiites are on the losing side. General Abbas goes to the river to get water for the dying children in the camp. After gathering the water, Abbas is attacked and both his arms are amputated. Abbas continues to carry the water bag in his mouth. One arrow hits the bag and water pours out of it. This image of Abbas without arms, and the water sack in his mouth is iconic in the Shiite culture.

According to Iranian scholar Hamid Dabashi, the characters in Ta’ziyeh are metamorphic: “The metamorphic aspect of Ta’ziyeh characters makes them at once extremely potent allegories of cosmic significance, and yet instantaneously accessible to contemporary re-modulations.” In this way, Abbas becomes a potent symbol of the conflicts in the Middle East, drawing our attention to those who are suffering the consequences, and to major underlying themes such as water scarcity and ecological problems. Today in Karbala, Iraq, where this story takes place, farmers are in despair about water shortages.

We learn that water shortages have shaped our civilizations. The very first civilization emerged only when governments where able to provide access to water. Already in ancient times, city-states were cutting off each other’s water supply. And this still goes on today.

In Ta’ziyeh performances, the Euphrates is represented by a large bowl, in which the audience is invited to empty their water bottles. Stagehands then fill up the bottles with water from the bowl, and give them back to the audience. This water is now considered sacred and wholesome. This scene has an important lesson for us: it connects religious conflicts and cultural identity to ecology.

Ta’ziyeh of Abbas in Ziaran, Iran 2012. Photo by Miranda Lakerveld.

The River Reaches the Sea
I am editing this article a few weeks after the elections. For now, The Netherlands seems to have dodged the populist bullet and the eyes of the world are now on France’s elections. Spring has started, and the country is relieved. At the same time, the conflicts in the Middle East are erupting with renewed violence.

I am reading poetry from Iraq, and I am reminded again of how many water sources are shared across cultures. The Euphrates is the river that shaped the first civilizations. She runs through all of us. Or in the words of the Iraqi poet Badr Shakir al-Sayyab:

…The echo replies
As if lamenting:
‘O Gulf,
Giver of shells and death.
And across the sands from among its lavish gifts
The Gulf scatters fuming froth and shells
And the skeletons of miserable drowned emigrants
Who drank death forever
From the depths of the Gulf, from the ground of its silence,
And in Iraq a thousand serpents drink the nectar
From a flower the Euphrates has nourished with dew…

—from “Rainsong” (1960)

The Post Requiem for a River: Operatic Reflections on the Euphrates Appeared First on HowlRound. Visit Their Website Here. 

Create a Green Team: Glasgow Workshop

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

Tuesday 16 May 2017, 14:00-16:00

Venue: MANY Studios: 3 Ross Street Glasgow , G1 5AR (Google Map)

Being the sole Green Champion in any organisation can be a big job. Are you running out of ideas? Feeling like you are fighting a losing battle? Perhaps you have limited knowledge of how all the other departments work within the company?

Now is the time to form a Green Team. This FREE workshop will give you ideas on how to:

  • Build cooperation from the whole of your organisation
  • Include senior management of the organisation
  • Arrange dates and agendas for your green team meeings
  • Create a tailored environmental policy for your organisation
  • Report back on your work to your board and build support for your work

Bring along your ideas and questions. Refreshments supplied. Feel free to bring a packed lunch

This workshop will also run in Edinburgh on Tuesday 30 May

Register Here



The post Create a Green Team: Glasgow Workshop appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.



 

About 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

We Are the Climate

This post comes from HowlRound

At HowlRound, we continue our exploration of Theatre in the Age of Climate Change with more urgency than ever. With the looming eradication of climate science data from US government websites and the appointment of Scott Pruitt as head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Trump has indicated in no uncertain terms that the health of the planet and its inhabitants are of no concern to him. As theatre artists, how do we respond? Writer and director Katie Pearl discusses how theatre, climate, and politics are inevitably linked, and asks whether artists should bring more of their artistry into citizenry. —Chantal Bilodeau

The task here is to look at theatre and climate change within the context of the current administration. Yep, that administration. The one that is attempting to eliminate climate consciousness from the national narrative by removing the climate page from the White House website, threatening to slash the EPA by one-third, and green-lighting the Keystone Pipeline project in the face of enormous coordinated dissent. Yep, the one that favors entertainment—heck, the one that is entertainment—but is not at all interested in artworks activating complex, nuanced conversation around current issues, and proposed to eradicate the NEA and the NEH completely from the federal budget. Yep, that administration.

Well, shall we start the way we often do? Theatre is a storytelling, community-based phenomenon that manages to survive, if not thrive, on next to nothing and is the perfect means to effectively counter the current administration’s “alternative facts” and erasure, especially in these divisive times…blah, blah climate blah f*cking Trump blah Pruitt EPA zzz blah NEA slashed z zzzz Betsy DeVos zz zzz education zzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzz.

I’m sorry, I fell asleep.

It’s not the argument that’s wrong. It’s just exhausting. Theatre may be the perfect vehicle to keep necessary counter-narratives alive, but has never, under any administration I’ve ever known, been well-positioned to do so. Embedded in the familiar argument about theatre’s potential is the deeper argument about theatre’s worth. I’m tired of endlessly justifying on grant applications, in marketing campaigns, and in fundraising letters the relevance of what we do. On a federal level, our country just doesn’t believe in theatre’s worth. This feels especially true now under Trump, but even under administrations more friendly to liberal creative causes, theatre is rarely considered necessary to our national well-being. For a time, the NEA’s tagline was “Because a great country deserves great art”—an assertion I find problematic because it makes art seem like dessert, rather than something with actual value, like grains, meat, and vegetables.

The conversation amongst the theatre community about ways to keep (or make) our theatre relevant, equitable, and inclusive is ongoing. There is rigorous debate and concrete action, including the way so many of us—regional theatres, and independent artists, and companies—are putting more resources towards building relationships with the communities we work with and for. I’m also thinking of nation-wide actions like The Jubilee, The Ghostlight Project, and the wave of support for projects in Creative Placemaking, and other socially engaged work. But in light of the ongoing global climate crisis and the Trump administration’s policies, the conversation is ready to take another giant step, brought to a head, like it or not, by the sheer, audacious rebuttal of things that we artists and citizens know to be true and important.

Let’s talk about climate.

At the end of eight hours, the build team for HOW TO BUILD A FOREST (PearlDamour + Shawn Hall) extracts the last bit of breath from their forest ecosystem. Photo by Paula Court.

New Allies: Theatre and Climate
Imagine this: Theatre and Climate as allies, thrown together by the Trump administration as being two things it discredits, discounts, and largely disregards. Well of course! Both have power beyond the control of a single man or administration. Interestingly enough, both have that power because they’re situated outside the administration’s market-based lexicon. Environmental issues don’t sit easily within a profit-based model. Creativity—like theatremaking—doesn’t either. When the environment is forced to bend in order to “produce,” the effect can be similar to when theatre artists are pressured to produce—and when humans are seen only in terms of their use. The soul gets squished. Language gets co-opted and compressed.

When my company  PearlDamour was researching our piece HOW TO BUILD A FOREST, we met with people in the timber industry. They spoke to us of “product” instead of “trees.” On our tours, we often saw a field of trees planted around the same time in regular, mathematical rows just to be cut down for profit as soon as they matured, therefore, “product.” But calling trees product shifted both my perception of them and my relationship to them. It severed our connection as fellow living things. Words matter. What changes in our country when, as Toni Morrison notes, we go from being called “citizens” to being called “taxpayers”? When the new administration took down Obama’s climate policy page on the White House site and replaced it with the America First Energy Plan, a friend posted on Facebook: “Since when does ‘Energy’ mean ‘Fossil Fuel’?”

That word is being shut down, actually enervated, by being forced into a one-to-one relationship with oil. What does “Energy” really mean? So much more than solar versus petroleum. If we look at the word through a Theatre Lens, energy means: connections, interactions, and reactions. It’s powerful to remember that the only meaningful way to really understand climate and environmental systems is this way as well, via connection, interactions, and reactions. Energy in both the theatre and the climate is its dynamism, its process, its transformation. Energy is story.


Storytelling

I watch Trump as a storyteller and for the first time, I really understand storytelling’s power as a market-driving medium. Trump is a professional entertainer and racketeer, a storyteller who knows his audience and knows how to play to them. Where the climate is concerned, his stories affect the entire planet. He boils complex issues down to sound bites that sway mass markets, sell tickets, cement opinions, erase experiences, and win elections. And they have the advantage of being carried by every media outlet into living rooms, kitchens, car stereos, and ear buds across the country—an advantage our plays and performance works don’t have.

Can we compete? Our storytelling offers a different kind of narrative, driven by a different kind of energy—one that deepens thinking, expands empathy, introduces new worlds, explores imaginative possibilities, and rebuts current conditions. We could take it as our responsibility, our mandate, to keep using our storytelling to keep the realities of our climate in front of audiences, even as Trump’s cabinet is doing everything it can to make those same audiences believe those stories don’t matter.

Sure. We could do that. But the focus can no longer be on impactful storytelling. We can’t stop there because those stories aren’t reaching enough people. We can’t stop there because our current metrics of success, including getting reviewed in major publications, keep us from heading towards different kinds of performance work that might have a different kind of impact, and affect more change. We can’t stop there because as theatre artists, our power doesn’t merely exist in the plays we create and the stories we tell. It also exists in our creativity itself. It also exists in the way we move through and think about the world, as people, as artists, and as citizens.

In Lost in the Meadow (PearlDamour + Mimi Lien),climbers get ready to hoist a giant megaphone up a 60-foot towerso the meadow can speak directly to the audience. Photo by Katie Pearl.


The Artist Citizen is also a Citizen Artist

For years, I’ve responded to current events by making theatre about it. It made sense that as a theatre artist, I would do that: “Oh, I’ll do a performance about Hurricane Katrina…” or “I’ll write a play about the Dakota Pipeline, or building a wall, or the BP Oil Spill…” It was how I brought my citizenry into my artistry, and it led to some good work that many people saw and were affected by. But lately I’ve been thinking about those two words “artist” and “citizen” and wondering if I haven’t been giving myself—ourselves—enough credit. We spend so much time arguing about the power of theatre, and the importance of our product, that we’ve neglected the fact that we as theatre artists have power too. My provocation here is: how can we bring our artistry into our citizenry, rather than the other way around? How can our creative minds, our ability to make imaginative leaps, envision futures, and empathize and connect with others serve the communities that live outside of our theatremaking?

Perhaps we need to start showing up not only as people who make plays and performances about issues, but also as people who think deeply and have smart things to say and know how to say them well. We know how to tell a good story—do we only need to tell it on a stage? What about in board rooms? In Town Halls? At the Parent Teacher Association?

Inviting versus Welcoming
I’ve spent the past four years working in small towns named Milton across the US. One thing The Milton Project has taught me is the difference between “inviting” and “welcoming.” Over and over I hear, particularly from one racial community regarding another, “we invited them, but they didn’t come.” The lesson is this: inviting is very different than welcoming. Ironically, to welcome someone into a relationship with you, you often have to invite yourself to where they are. To their space. As theatre artists, a quality many of us share is a sense of adventure. We can use this quality to propel us not just towards new projects but towards new people. Towards new issues, new places. As this administration seeks to divide us both from one another and from our relationship to the natural world, we cannot wait to be invited to connect. Let’s welcome ourselves into civic, policy-making conversations about the climate and otherwise. Let’s welcome ourselves into conversations with political leaders, neighbors, disenfranchised communities, small town conservative communities, and business executives. And then, bam! Suddenly, our expansive, imaginative, and creative thinking is right in there, opening up possibility, creating connection, and making space.

Intersectionality
At the Women’s March in Washington, DC, California Senator Kamela Harris described a time when she arrived at a meeting and someone said, “Oh good, you’re here, we’d like to talk about women’s issues.” Kamela responded, “Oh good. Let’s talk about immigration. Oh good, let’s talk about climate. Oh good, let’s talk about race relations, about civil rights, about education, about health care, about poverty. These are all women’s issues because they are all issues.”

The Women’s Marches empowered us by shifting the idea of multiplicity from being something that diffused power to intersectionality—something that increases it. I started this essay proposing the alliance between theatre and climate, but as I finish, I want to widen our gaze. Alongside theatre and climate, there is an extensive network of phenomena sharing a debased status under the Trump administration. Rather than feeling drained by the fight to assert our relevance and importance, let’s feel empowered and energized by the new collaborations and cross-currents of our intersectionality! Here’s a partial list:

The dangers of climate change
The importance of theatre
The systems of racism
The realities of classism
The saturation of white privilege
The pervasiveness of xenophobia
The prevalence of misogyny

These phenomena aren’t just aligned by being maligned by the Trump administration. More interestingly, in terms of storytelling, they are deeply, dramatically linked. Issues of climate cannot be extracted from economics; economics cannot be separated from race and class; issues of race and class cannot be untied from white privilege, xenophobia, and misogyny. Can you tell a story about any one of these issues without involving the rest? Sure you could—many of us have. But the final provocation is: let’s not. Let’s welcome this intersectionality into our stories, performance structures, collaborative models, and visions of where we make work and who we work with. Let’s keep the climate foregrounded in both our artistic and our civic lives (and perhaps there will be less and less of a difference between them) by seeking out and acknowledging its connection to, and influence on every story we tell.

There is no us versus them when it comes to our climate because we aren’t just in relationship to the climate, we are the climate. And if that’s the case, then every story is about climate—no matter how loudly the administration argues otherwise.



The post We Are the Climate appeared first on HowlRound.



 

EVENT: CULTURE & CLIMATE CHANGE, FUTURE SCENARIOS

London, 14 JUNE 2017- 7.30pm. An evening of imagining possible futures in light of climate change predictions.  #2DegreesFestival 

A climate scenario is a collective act of imagining a possible future in systems involving both humans and nature. They have played a prominent role in climate research, policy and communication. However they tend to be dominated by the natural sciences and economics.

The Paris Agreement set a target of limiting average global temperature increases to 1.5°C. What does a climate scenario look like which takes this ambitious goal into consideration?

Join us for an evening dedicated to imaginative responses to Future Scenarios. Hear from the team who have developed the Climate Change in Residence programme and the four artists who embarked on the first experimental year-long networked residency on the topic of Future Scenarios. They are: Emma Critchley, Lena Dobrowolska, Teo Ormond-Skeaping and Zoë Svendsen.

You’ll be invited to consider a range of climate-changed futures and create your own best-case or worst-case future scenario.

This event is supported by The Open University OpenSpace Research Centre, The University of Sheffield School of Architecture, The Ashden Trust, Jerwood Charitable Foundation and the Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures.

£5 Entry. Book online through the event page.

Toynbee Studios
28 Commercial Street
E1 6AB
London, UK
T 020 7650 2350

Spring Into Action with Artichoke Dance Company!

It’s that time of year again! Spring is a season often associated with the celebration of life, sustainability and renewal. What better time to begin taking part in programs and initiatives dedicated to sustaining our great home hear on earth. Spring into action this year with Artichoke Dance Company


What’s On the Horizon?




What to do for Earth Day…and every day!

Refuse plastic bags. Bring your own instead, Here’s why.

Switch to green energy.

Sign up for an April 29 Climate March near your, or join them in DC!


We’ve got one earth! Now’s the time!


Artichoke Dance at Art Omi

Looking for a spring fling in the country? Join Art Omi in Ghent, NY on May 27.  ADC will be performing for the spring opening of the Art Omi Fields Sculpture Park.

Participatory workshop: 11:30am
Performance: 2:30pm


Global Water Dances on the Gowanus Canal

ADC is thrilled to announce their third collaboration with Global Water Dances.Throughout June, they are hosting free dance,drum, and costume-making workshops culminating in a performance, costume parade, eco-tour, and interactive educational exhibits on June 24. A community celebration not to be missed!



About Artichoke Dance Company:


Artichoke Dance Company , based in Brooklyn, NY, creates unique dance works, presents public performances and offers participatory educational experiences in dance and dance making by using the interactive, cooperative, and community building aspects of dance to develop physical, creative, and social skills and artistic and cultural understanding. They create, perform, and educate in ways that entertain, enlighten, and enrich the lives of their audiences and participants. Learn more about them here. 

Green Arts Initiative Report 2016

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

Creative Carbon Scotland is delighted to announce the launch of its 2016 Green Arts Initiative Report (PDF, 455kb).

The report demonstrates the continued growth of the GAI community itself and the valuable work being done by the 170 member organisations to measure and monitor the core environmental impacts of their work.

“Knowing that you are part of a network and a movement is immensely helpful, and being kept in the loop with other artists and arts organisations gives justification for our own actions” – North Edinburgh Arts, GAI Member

Key trends in 2016 included greater reporting of all forms of travel, including journeys by staff, performers and audiences.

Findings in the report include the numbers of member who are measuring and monitoring:

  • Energy use – measured by 63% of members
  • Waste – 83%
  • Water use – 31%
  • Staff travel – 69%
  • Performer travel – 44%
  • Audience travel – 11%

The report also found high numbers of members addressing sustainability in other ways, including:

  • Formal environmental policy – 73% of members
  • Public reporting of environmental efforts – 55%
  • Engaging wider staff team beyond green teams – 63%
  • Engaging artists and performers – 44%

A number of member organisations gave specific examples of their sustainability work, including:

“We had a ‘Leave Your Car at Home Day’: 15 people took part saving 167.8 miles, and reducing CO2 by 27.17kg!” – Dundee Rep, Dundee

“We introduced a paperless finance system this May and started using hot water bottles this winter instead of lots of extra heaters. Our office is very cold!” – Mischief La-Bas, Glasgow

“We delivered the Hebrides International Film Festival which presented recent world cinema on the theme of Islands and environment, programming significant documentaries and dramas focusing on global environmental issues.” – Rural Nations, Stornoway

The Report also looks ahead to the work planned and already underway in 2017, including commitments to sustainable domestic travel, development of more work relating to the natural environment, planning efficient touring schedules, and increasing public awareness of green work.

Read the full report by downloading the PDF here (PDF, 455kb)

Find out more about becoming a member of the Green Arts Initiative


The post Green Arts Initiative Report 2016 appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.


About 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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Art+Climate=Change, Upcoming Events in Australia



General Events:


EXIT: GLOBALISATION, CLIMATE CHANGE AND ARTIn a time of increasing anxiety about globalisation and its impacts, the installation EXIT provides a vibrant representation of some of the processes which link us, sometimes inextricably, planet-wide. In this forum, a panel of experts will discuss EXIT and the issues it raises.

Wed 26 April, 6.45pm
Carillo Gantner theatre, Sidney Myer Asia Building
University of Melbourne
Free, more info: https://www.artclimatechange.org/event/exit-globalisation-climate-change-art/


BIKE TOUR WITH SQUEAKY WHEEL: CITYSet your wheels in motion with an ART+CLIMATE=CHANGE 2017 bicycle tour! Starting at Fed Square, you’ll visit four festival exhibitions, hearing from the artist/curator at each stop. You’ll finish at EXIT at Ian Potter Museum of Art in Parkville.

Sat 29 April, 1.30pm – 4pm
Meeting at Federation Square
$10, bookings essential: https://www.artclimatechange.org/event/bike-tour-city/



Art+Climate=Change Keynote Events:


ED MORRIS (USA) – AVOWING THE POLITICAL: ART AND SOCIAL CHANGEArtist and co-founder of The Canary Project Edward Morris will discuss the diverse ways in which artists can contribute to social movements to address climate change. One half of the artist duo Sayler/Morris, Edward will draw on his own work creating and producing myriad projects – from the directly activist Green Patriot Posters to contemplative museum exhibitions – and also upon the work of other artists.

Mon 1 May, 6.30-8pm
The Carillo Gantner Theatre
Sidney Myer Asia Centre, The University of Melbourne
Free, bookings essential: https://www.artclimatechange.org/event/ed-morris/


FORMS OF RESISTANCEThree innovative Australian artists – filmmaker Alex Kelly, Quandamooka woman and artist Megan Cope, and Melbourne-based artist and researcher Amy Spiers – will come together for a panel discussion around Forms of Resistance. They will draw upon their work, influences and ideas around issues of environmental and social justice in a discussion about the different tactics that artists can use to incite social and political change.

Wed 3 May, 6-8pm
The Melba Spiegeltent
35 Johnston St, Collingwood
Free, bookings essential: www.artclimatechange.org/event/forms-of-resistance/ 


MEL EVANS (UK) – ARTWASH: BIG OIL AND THE ARTSMel Evans (UK) draws upon her extensive work and research about art and its relationship to corporate sponsorship in Artwash: Big Oil and the Arts. Evans is a member of Liberate Tate, an art collective exploring the role of creative intervention in social change and the author Artwash: Big Oil and the Arts, in which she argues how corporate sponsorships erase unsightly environmental destruction.

Fri 5 May, 6.30-8pm
The Carillo Gantner Theatre,
Sidney Myer Asia Centre, The University of Melbourne
Free, bookings essential: https://www.artclimatechange.org/event/mel-evans/ 

Crawl Arts: Bringing Art & Biodiversity to London

Recently created initiative, Crawl Arts, aims to create new stories for positive change in our environment through works in deliverying up-cycled, “activated” clothing and creative educational programmes. Working to “use creativity to engage a mainstream audience with climate related issues” through their clothing, they provide “narrative illustrations to weave environmental consciousness into the things we use and wear daily”- Gabi Gershuny ,Director Crawl Arts.

The concept behind their clothing is influenced by traditional Guatemalan garments, embellished with colourful stories that illustrate the peoples’ social and cultural history. They are worn with pride and form part of their idenity. If the same were true for many of the products that line the high street shops in the UK, their narratives would more likely give cause for concern.

At Crawl Arts, it is believed that the everyday things we wear and use should not only be sustainable, but active. As well as being reclaimed (“up-cycled”), or sourced from responsible UK manufacturing partners, their garments tell stories that provoke different ways of thinking for how to engage with our natural world.

Additionally, Crawl Arts has developed their first creative educational program, School of Crawl. Working in partnership with GiGL (Greenspace Information for Greater London) and the Royal Parks Foundation, they will be running it between 21st – 28th April at Thomas’s London Day School, Kensington.


Interested in learning more? Contact Crawl Arts Here:

07944489167

gabi@crawlarts.co.uk

i: @allthingsthatcrawl

t: @CrawlArt

f: facebook.com/allthingsthatcrawl

Call for Papers: III INSULA International Colloquium

Beyond Nature/Artifice

Funchal | UMa-CIERL

8 to 12 November 2017

Submissions deadline by 30th May 2017


“There is no singular ‘nature’ as such, only a diversity of contested natures; and that each such nature is constituted through a variety of socio-cultural processes from which such natures cannot be plausibly separated.” – Macnaghten, P. and Urry, J. (1998), Contested natures


In “Ideas of Nature,” Raymond Williams in 1980 emphasizes two issues that we call upon for the III INSULA International Colloquium- Beyond Nature & Artifice​: (1) the need to think the “natural” not just as a set of physical phenomena that exist in the world, but also as a plural concept, subject to historical and socio-cultural modelling with effective implications on how such a world is constructed; and (2) the need to rethink the human and the anthropological as parts of what is meant by Nature.

In this same line of thought that rejects a dogmatic character to the concept of “Nature”, Bruno Latour (1999) proposes the replacement of a singular “Nature” by plural Natures. This positioning therefore presupposes the existence of a denser, more elastic and articulated relationship between all the elements that constitute the world. A relationship that also integrates both the human or that which is (re)constructed by human, whether in the material, or in virtual or imaginary form.

If such issues gained relevance in the last decades of the 20th century, already marked by the dynamics of the contingency, of the transgressive and globalisation, as well as by the values of complex subjectivity, the simultaneous juxtaposition of the near with the distant or even of the empirical with the virtual, the first decades of the 21st century were to make them even more urgent, given the emergence or dissemination of phenomena such as cloning, transgenic industry, global warming, suspicions of the anthropocene or even the democratization of the access to technology.

Focusing our attention on island spaces, representations, narratives and discourses, the III INSULA International Colloquium. Beyond Nature & Artifice presents itself as a place of reflection where it will attempt discussions on the concept of Nature(s) in contemporaneity, now understood as part of a dialectic in which what conventionally is seen as “natural” articulates to what is conventionally understood as “artificial”, and/or cultural. As a result of the encounter, the contamination, the amalgam and / or hybridization of these differences, a different (concept of) Nature emerges, one that is more complex and expanded than the sum of the two traditional oppositions.

In this encounter between the real and the virtual, fiction, simulation and simulacra, where islands are both physical entities, conceptual devices and multi-dimensional artefacts that project us towards an expanded reality and an expanded concept of Nature (of/in islands):

  • Can insular spaces contain other Natures, or an expanded Nature, where elements of different dimensions encounter?
  • How may the “island” be represented in this context? And what discourses and practices then emerge?
  • What is the implication of this concept of Nature(s), in the way individuals perceive and recreate the “island” and its imaginaries?
  • In what way an expanded Nature implicates encounter, adaptation, transformation and/or actualization of material, artistic, cultural and political phenomena?
  • How can the Nature(s) of the insular spaces, the features and processes implicated in them, constitute samples that present themselves as opportunities for the understanding, development and management of other spaces?

III INSULA International Colloquium: Beyond Nature & Artifice welcomes proposals for presentation (20 minutes), in Portuguese, English, French and Spanish from all areas of Science, Arts and Humanities. ​The following topics​ are suggested (not restricted to):

  • Commodification of Nature(s);
  • Control, Resistance and Governance;
  • Environment and Humanities;
  • Ethics and Values;
  • Identity, Society and Culture;
  • Landscape and Creation
  • Mobility, Migration, Negotiation and Colonization;
  • Oneiric Universes, Imaginaries and Representation;
  • Reality, Simulation and Simulacrum
  • Sustainability;
  • Territories and Heritage;
  • The Expanded Nature(s) of Islands
  • Utopia, Dystopia, Collapse, Apocalypse, Conflict and Revolution;

Submission of Proposals

Proposals for paper or panel must be submitted by email to the coordination of the colloquium (insula3@mail.uma.pt) by 30.05.2017​. It should include the following information:

  • Title of the paper/panel;
  • Abstract/Summary up to 200 words. If presentation is on a language other than English, a summary in English is required;
  • Author(s) name(s), email address, affiliation and a short curricular note (up to 100words).

The organising committee will inform authors on the status of their submission by 31.07.2017

Download the Informational PDF Here:  Call for Papers_INSULA2017


III INSULA International Colloquium. Beyond Nature/Artifice ​stems from a partnership between UMa-CIERL​, Island Cities & Urban Archipelagos Conferences​ (ICUA) and Island Dynamics​.

+ info. ​INSULA 2017: ​http://www4.uma.pt/cierl/?page_id=1916

+ info. ​ICUA 2017: ​http://islandcities.org/icua2017.html

 

ART+CLIMATE= CHANGE 2017 program launched

CLIMARTE’s highly anticipated festival of provocative climate change related arts and ideas, ART+CLIMATE=CHANGE, has now launched the 2017 program. View the Program Here!

Running from 19 April – 14 May across venues in Melbourne and regional Victoria, ART+CLIMATE=CHANGE 2017 provides a platform for the discussion of the challenges, opportunities, impacts, and solutions associated with climate change. Printed copies of the program are available in their media partner Assemble Papers’ current issue and at participating galleries and museums.

These six exhibitions have already commenced.

Yhonnie Scarce, Hollowing Earth, 2016-17 (detail)
blown and hot formed Uranium glass

dimensions variable
Courtesy of the artist and THIS IS NO FANTASY + dianne tanzer gallery

TarraWarra Museum of Art in Healesville is currently hosting an exhibition titled Hollowing Earth by Yhonnie Scarce. Scarce was born in Woomera, South Australia, and she belongs to the Kokatha and Nukunu peoples. She is one of the first contemporary Australian artists to explore the political and aesthetic power of glass, describing her work as “politically motivated and emotionally driven.” Scarce’s new work Hollowing Earth examines the issues related to the mining of uranium on Aboriginal land.

18 February – 14 May
TarraWarra Museum of Art
311 Healesville-Yarra Glen Road, Healesville
https://www.artclimatechange.org/event/yhonnie-scarce-hollowing-earth/


Rebecca Mayo, Porous Borders, Impermeable Boundaries, 2017 (detail), hemp, wool, natural dyes, sand

In her installation Habitus at Heide Museum of Modern Art, Rebecca Mayo reflects on the history of the Heide site to create imagery for a series of cloth sandbags. Printed with dyes made from indigenous and introduced plants gathered locally by the artist, they are stacked to form a wall in the exhibition space, symbolising the crisis point of climate change and highlighting the cumulative impact of everyday and habitual activities.

4 March – 18 June
Heide Museum of Modern Art, Kerry Gardner & Andrew Myer Project Gallery Templestowe Road, Bulleen
https://www.artclimatechange.org/event/rebecca-mayo-habitus/


Ted Barraclough, Super Fruit Dove  2014, Acrylic on Pine

Over 250 of Ted Barraclough’s hand-carved Native Australian birds are currently exhibited at Chapter House Lane’s exhibition space in Melbourne’s CBD for the exhibition Birdman. Wrens, honeyeaters, magpies to the critically endangered Swift Parrot will take over the laneway windows, and offer the opportunity to critically reflect on the role of birdlife in the environment around us.

2 March – 29 April
Chapter House Lane
entry via Flinders Lane,
Melbourne
https://www.artclimatechange.org/event/ted-barraclough-birdman/


 Wesley Stacey, Burning forest remnant on the Monaro, 1981 chromogenic print

Monash Gallery of Art presents Wesley Stacey: the wild thing. Stacey is a living legend of environmental photography. In the 1970s he dropped out of city life and set up camp in the wilderness of the NSW south coast. Living close to the land for over 40 years, Stacey’s photographs offer a unique, immersive perspective on Australia’s complex ecology. The wild thing, curated entirely from the MGA’s own photography collection, surveys four decades of Stacey’s work. From his lively colour snapshots to his epic black-and-white panoramas, Stacey pays tribute to the wildness at the heart of our existence on Earth.

4 March – 28 April
Monash Gallery of Art
860 Ferntree Gully Road, Wheelers Hill
https://www.artclimatechange.org/event/wesley-stacey-the-wild-thing/


Anne Noble, Dead Bee Portrait #1, 2016

Internationally renowned New Zealand artist, Anne Noble, has developed a number of projects in recent years concerned with bees, global species loss and the revitalization of human relationships to complex living systems. No Vertical Song is a series of portraits of dead bees, installed as if populating an imaginary museum of the future from a time when the bee no longer exists.

24 March – 7 May
Centre for Contemporary Photography
404 George St, Fitzroy
https://www.artclimatechange.org/event/anne-noble-no-vertical-song/


The Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, in partnership with the Melbourne Friends, is hosting an exhibition of the astounding artwork featured in award winning children’s author and artist Jeannie Baker’s new book Circle. This beautifully illustrated story follows the 11,000km migration of the Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica baueri), the longest unbroken migration of any animal – traveling from Australia through Southeast Asia to its Alaskan breeding grounds and then back to Australia.

16 March – 14 May
Domain House, Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria
Dallas Brooks Drive, South Yarra
https://www.artclimatechange.org/event/jeannie-baker-circle/