What will the future of climate change feel and sound like?  How will people live, and how will they be affected by a climatically changed world?  How can stories from our possible futures help us to understand climate change in the present?  

As part of a global digital storytelling project about the effects of climate change, ONCA and University of Brighton Media Researchers are running FutureCoast Brighton and FutureCoast Youth – innovative projects that ask participants to imagine a range of possible futures through play. ONCA is also collaborating with the ARTS Project– an EU initiative hosted by SPRU at University of Sussex – on FutureRoots, capturing voicemails from people running extraordinary grassroots projects in Brighton.  Inspired by FutureCoast– an innovative online cli-fi game created by US-based experience designer Ken Eklund – players record their own ‘voicemails from the future’ via the FutureBooth – a specially modified phone booth (or simply call 07940 954541 to leave a message). The FutureBooth can be visited at ONCA in the weeks leading up to COP21 in Paris: there are plenty of opportunities for people to record and share ideas about the future.

FutureCoast Youth is a collaboration with Dorothy Stringer School, which aims to empower young people, and culminates in a Young People’s Climate Conference at ONCA on November 30th.

ONCA Festival of Climate Ideas: Understanding issues – making connections – engaging with solutions – celebrating positive action

Nov 30 – Dec 6 2015  

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Daily from noon in the gallery:

  • FutureBooth: What future will you imagine today? Visitors to the gallery are invited to make a call from the FutureBooth, and leave a message from the ‘cloud of possible futures’.
  • Climate Ideas Cafe: Drop in anytime to catch up with the latest from Paris. Tea and toast, newspapers, screenings, and live links to COP21 – news, analysis and artists in Paris. Celebrating grassroots transition initiativesin Brighton and Hove. Audio/ visual installation CASCADE, a initiative. Lounge around on the ASSEMBLE PROJECT collaborative sofa by Amelia Kidwell & Lois McKendrick.
  • Climate Chambers: In ONCA’s basement and crypt, artists Ellie Liddell-Crewe and Alexa Povey create spaces for the difficult feelings that climate change arouses.   The bedroom: Is the world that humans are making sometimes too frightening to face? Do you ever just want to make a den or hide under the duvet?   The altar: In a secular scientific culture, can prayer be a valid response to the climate crisis? What is it like to kneel and ask for help? This installation is part of Climate Chambers, a longer term investigation by Feral Theatre into climate change and mental health.
photo: Emily Cowan


Monday November 30th

From noon in the gallery: Climate Ideas Café/ Climate Chambers

11.30am -2.30pm:  Kicking off the festival, FutureCoast Youth participants will present their ideas in role as members of a conference delegation, to coincide with the COP21 UN climate convention in Paris, communicating with their audience their ideas and feelings about climate change, and what they believe should be done to address it. Futurecoast Youth climate delegation – 11.30am-2.30pm, with presentation to invited audience 1.30-2.30pm. Audio recording to be shared with Place To B, Paris.

6pm: Toll the Lost Species Bell. In a simple ritual outside the building, we will toll the newly-cast Bell on Remembrance Day for Lost Species.  For more info on this initiative see the Facebook event page. Followed in the gallery by a conversation on biodiversity and climate change.

Tuesday December 1st

From noon in the gallery: Climate Ideas Café/ Climate Chambers

6.30pm: ‘This Changes Everything’ dir. Avi Lewis. Screening by Brighton Radical Film Festival

Wednesday December 2nd

From noon in the gallery: Climate Ideas Café/ Climate Chambers

7pm: Duncan Blinkhorn, Time to Ride/ BrightonCAN in conversation with
Howard Johns, Energy Revolution.


Howard Johns, author of ‘Energy Revolution’ is an energy engineer, entrepreneur, business leader and activist. After a formative involvement in the environmental protest movement, he set about building solutions, eventually founding Southern Solar – a national solar energy company – and Ovesco, a locally owned renewable energy cooperative. He chaired the trade body representing the UK solar industry, once again becoming a campaigner around energy policy. Howard is convinced we have all the technology and money we need to implement the climate and energy solutions we need.    Duncan Blinkhorn is a Brighton-based cycle activist and founder of Brighton Critical Mass and the Bike Train movement. He will be going to Paris as part of Time to Ride. 

8pm: Film Screening – Just Do It.


For one eventful year, filmmaker Emily James gained unprecedented access to document the work of a group of environmental activists engaged in nonviolent direct action campaigns across England. Embedded in the activists’ clandestine activities, she captured the triumph, setbacks, secret planning sessions, and feverish passion of a group of remarkable characters. They blockaded factories, attack coal power stations, and glued themselves to the trading floors of international banks — despite the very real threat of arrest. Just Do It gives a thrilling inside look at direct action campaigns, showing how everyday people can use the tools of civil disobedience to make meaningful change.

Followed by discussion about the Climate Games/ COP21/ D12: how has the climate/ protest movement evolved since the making of this film in 2010-11? And, what are the implications of the November 15th attacks on Paris for the planned civil disobedience around the Paris summit?

Thursday December 3rd

From noon in the gallery: Climate Ideas Café/ Climate Chambers

6-8pm: Thrivability workshop with Bridget McKenzie. 


This event is part of FutureRoots.  Bridget McKenzie is a researcher and evaluator of cultural and ecological initiatives. If you get funding, you have to do evaluation. Even if you don’t get funding, evaluation is useful to help you reflect, improve and share what works. Bridget is frustrated by standard thinking about evaluation, which either assumes economic goals for success or seeks to show that you haven’t wasted public money. Come and help Bridget develop a new, more integrated and positive framework for evaluating cultural and ecological practice. The key concept of the framework is thrivability, aiming for more generative, biodiverse, mutual and creative communities. We will explore and play with words and pictures to help us define thrivability, and discuss how we can use evaluation to better advocate and spread our practice. How might you use this new framework? How could it be improved? How could it have an impact?   Bridget McKenzie, cultural consultant, more on

Please book your space here >>

8.30pm: Film Screening – Beasts of the Southern Wild (12A)

Faced with both her hot-tempered father’s fading health and melting ice-caps that flood her ramshackle bayou community and unleash ancient aurochs, six-year-old Hushpuppy must learn the ways of courage and love. Directed by Benh Zeitlen.

Friday December 4th

From noon in the gallery: Climate Ideas Café/ Climate Chambers

5-7pm: Collaborative Futures workshop with Ben and Annabelle Macfadyen.


This event is part of FutureRoots. If you are working towards sustainability, equality and social change, or simply holding a vision of something you care about, then this hands-on creative workshop is for you. There are many possible futures. How can we acknowledge both the challenging and the positive ones, and relate to them with creativity and resilience?  How do we move towards making the Brighton and Hove we want to see, and what can we learn from each other along the way?  In this collaborative workshop we will draw from Joanna Macy’s Active Hope process and use materials to inspire us in an exploration of positive steps we can take forward. Over the two hours, we will assemble a web of ideas across the ONCA gallery, creating connections and giving shape to our visions. Annabelle and Ben are collaborative artists using performance and visual art to build community and engage with themes of social change and sustainability.  They both trained as ‘Be the Change’ facilitators and bring their shared passion for creativity and positive change from across generations as mother and son.Please book your space here >>

8pm: Cosmo Sheldrake and friends.


Cosmo is a multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer whose work is concerned with play, nonsense and the sonorous environment. Cosmo composes for film and theatre and tours internationally, performing solo and with several bands including Johnny Flynn and the Sussex Wit, and the Gentle Mystics. Based in London, he has composed music for the Young Vic theatre and for children’s hospitals and hospices. He has released a single and an E.P. on Transgressive Records and is currently recording an album.Other acts include:

Keith Ellis and the Clarinet

Little Switch

Bar by local fermentation legends Old Tree Brewery.

Saturday December 5th

From noon in the gallery: Climate Ideas Café/ Climate Chambers

12-1.30pm and 2 -3.30pm: World Soil Day! Celebrating CCANW’s Soil Culture and Year of Soil Make a botanical garden out of cardboard. Free workshops for all ages.


Help artist Davide Di Tarantio transform the gallery into a cardboard botanical garden complete with flowers, insects and soil microbes in celebration of World Soil Day and all things soilish. As we cut and stick, we’ll talk about how healthy soils protect climate and are the foundations for flourishing ecosystems. Come with ideas for plants or creatures you would like to make.Spaces are limited so book yours here>> 

7.30pm: Somehow by this Darkness – a solo play without words by Rachel Porter.  Actor and director Rachel Porter co-founded Feral Theatre in 2007 and devises and directs with Feral.  She has created and toured two other solo shows: Papusza and Songs for Waiting.  In Somehow by the Darkness, sexuality is explored as an ever–present influence on the soma of popular culture. Codified movements are examined, magnified, expanded and pushed to extremes.  Shadowy aspects of the feminine are given permission to emerge. A woman is gradually pulled down from the lofty mantle of her heeled strut. What happens when she meets the ground – when the earth seeps in?  What happens when the goddess calls?

Followed by bar and post-show conversation with the artist.

Sunday December 6: Climate Change Theatre Action

From noon in the gallery: Climate Ideas Café/ Climate Chambers

4pm onwards: Climate Change Theatre Action performances.

 Harrietbreen, TrygghamnaIn collaboration with NoPassport, The Arctic Cycle, and Theatre Without Borders, ONCA is delighted to be part of Climate Change Theatre Action CCTA. This is a worldwide series of readings and performances intended to bring awareness to, and foster discussion around, climate change during the months of November and December 2015, supporting COP21.  The main goal of the project is to invite as many people as possible, who may not otherwise pay attention to this history-in-the-making event, to participate in a global conversation. CCTA draws on the expertise and resources of local artists, while being global in scope and uniting multiple countries and cultures around a common issue.  As Elaine Avila, one of the co-organizers, notes, “Coming together to tell stories is one of the best ways we have to organize and educate ourselves, to feel and to understand.”  The collection of 1-5 minute plays, poems and songs by 50 writers from all six livable continents, curated by playwrights Caridad Svich, Chantal Bilodeau, and Elaine Avila has been made available to collaborators worldwide.

The Festival of Climate Ideas is part of Coming of Age, a UK-wide programme of events and exhibitions by artists and arts organisations responding to the climate change discussions that are taking place in Paris this December.







Harrietbreen, Trygghamna


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