I am soon to be assigned to a guest house in Copenhagen by the remarkable New Life Copenhagen art project. For five days people I don’t know, who don’t know me, will put me up durng my stay in Copenhagen.
Everything I hear from them, while I wait, makes me more and more admiring of this enterprise.
The Danes feel they have a reputation for being an unhospitable place. New Life Copenhagen has decided to turn this reputation on its head with a phenomenal act of generosity, opening the doors of their homes to 3,000 activists, NGO workers and delegates who are arriving in Denmark over the coming weeks to attend the pivotal COP15 conference. It’s a spirit of openness you can only hoped will be matched by the governmental delegates.
In this act alone, Woloo.org’s Sixten Kai Nielsen and Martin Rosengaard, who created New Life Copenhagen may have already created the most significant artwork to align itself with the COP15 process:
The explain themselves: Instead of inviting artists to contribute art for a traditional museum exhibition, we have chosen to utilize hospitality and the human encounter as an exhibition platform. The purpose of the festival is to create a breeding ground for alternative ways of living together. Individual solutions are not enough. In order to stop climate changes, we have to rethink our way of life collectively.
The artists Superflex, Signa and Marisa Olson are also creating work as part of New Life Copenhagen. Olson will host a live event at Copenhagen’s City Square, Signa are going to produce a guest book in which we can all evaluate each others’ lifestyles, and Superflex are going to ask all of us to commit to a climate-friendly burial in the case that we die during our visit to Copenhagen.
Which is one of those committments I kind of hope I’m not going to have to live up to.