Monthly Archives: December 2018


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Arts Feminism Queer (CUNTemporary) is now accepting proposals for ‘Deep Trash: Eco Trash’ & ‘Queer-feminist Ecocriticism in Live Art & Visual Cultures’, which will be part of the larger programme ‘EcoFutures’, taking place in (London, UK) in April 2019.

The programme will explore urgent topics ranging from ecological disasters and their impact on climate refugees; plastic/toxic waste and the contamination of aquatic and human bodies; the relationship between increasing air toxicity and human and animal diseases; high-speed capitalist consumption and the ungovernable production of trash and techno-waste; from neo-colonialist soil exploitations to indigenous land reclamations and green economies; the rise of temperature and sea levels and their direct effects on the environment, with a focus on the Global South / Majority World.

Artists, activists and theorists are invited to engage with these topics through feminist, queer and decolonial approaches to provide alternatives that draw from situated knowledges, eco-sustainable modes of living, non-exploitative human and animal relations within ecosystems, as well as speculative scenarios of imagined futures, nature-based spirituality, earth magick, feminine powers and ecosexuality. 

Calling for: 

  1. Performances, videos, installations, prints and other 2D/3D and time-based media artworks for the multi-disciplinary exhibition and performance club night ‘Deep Trash: Eco Trash’ on Friday 19 April 2019 at Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club.
  2. Theoretical output and (performative) lectures to be presented during the 1-day conference ‘Queer-feminist Ecocriticism in Live Art & Visual Cultures’ on Saturday 13 April 2019. This will be hosted by the Department of Drama at Queen Mary University and will include contributions by guest speakers Gaia Giuliani (University of Coimbra, Portugal), Shela Sheikh (Goldsmiths University, UK) and João Florencio (Exeter University, UK); screenings of works by Adelita Husni-Bey and Wangechi Mutu; with more special guests from Europe and the US to be announced soon.
  3. Written contributions (articles, write-ups, interviews, short essays, cross-genre, creative writing…) for an editorial piece to be published online at

Your proposal may include, respond to, be affected by, but not restricted to:

  • Indigenous and native two-spirited/trans responses to land expropriations and natural destructions.
  • Connections between toxic masculinity and ecotoxicology
  • Creating sustainable micro-economies against capitalist exploitation/new forms of labour from a gendered perspective.
  • Hysteria and Nature: historical representations and contemporary subversions of the association between untamable femininity and environmental disasters.
  • Climate change and the impact on the Majority World and the ecosystems: from the rise of water levels to the Sixth Mass extinction of species.
  • Projections of monstrosity and alienation: how climate refugees face increasing racism and xenophobia.
  • Environmental disasters, alien/monster attacks and post-apocalyptic events wiping out the white, able-bodied, nuclear heteronormative family (and associated values).
  • Afrofuturist connections to botanic healing and eco-spirituality.
  • Plastic pollution in water and the ecosystems: eco-destructions and creation of new forms of water bodies’ resistance in speculative fiction scenarios. 
  • Politics of DIY and bio-hacking experimentation: cyborg organisms and non-human to human hybridisation.
  • Trash and techno-waste as resources for post-porn activism.
  • Transspecies relationality and hybridity: from animal to geological and water alliances.
  • How animal sexualities resist normative ideas of sexuality and gender and the perception of ‘natural/deviant’ in human discourses.
  • Ecology without nature or ‘dark ecology’: symptoms of ecological catastrophes and dystopic visions of ‘non-human’ worlds and societies.
  • Feminist critiques of (m)Anthropocene theories.
  • Ecosexuality as a form of resistance to heteronormative relationality and anthropocentrism.
  • Critiques and reflections on meat consumption and queer-vegan standpoints.
  • Meat, flesh and cannibalism: radical approaches to human and non-human body politics.
  • Anarchic and anti-speciesist utopias.
  • Transexuality and queer genealogies in plant and animal domains.
  • Affective Xenopolitics: anti-systemic struggles for the emergence of new alliances in bio- and ecological territories beyond the rhetoric of (nationalist and other) belonging.
  • Eco-rituals ranging from neo-paganism, wicca, green witches, radical faeries, pansexual communities and menstrual magick.
  • Shamanism and the practice of curanderas: the power of healing with herbs and channeling supernatural dimensions.
  • The impact of colonialism, globalisation and capitalist-industrial development on the ecological demise of the colonised territories and periphery countries.

To apply, please fill in the form you can find at the link below (on our website) by Sunday 20 January midnight (UK time) >>

Watch: “Improve Scotland” the winning entry from Levenmouth Adapts’ Creative Minds competition

“Improve Scotland” is the captivating winning entry from the “Creative Minds” competition held in November 2018 which saw Creative Industries students from Fife College set a 48-hour challenge to produce imaginative creative works responding to climate change impacts in Levenmouth.

In the film, Improve Scotland’s intrepid reporter Chris Peacock takes to the streets – and shore and local amusements arcade – of Levenmouth to ask the locals what they think of Levenmouth, its river and climate change. The video tackles the big issues: How can we adapt to the future impacts of climate change? And are there polar bears in Fife?

Creative Minds competition

The Creative Minds competition was held as part of Levenmouth Adapts, an eight-month project promoting climate ready decision making and the value of creative approaches to bring about change.

The competition involved 1st year Creative Industries students from Fife College being taken for a field trip which included visits to the Levenmouth seafront, River Leven and the CLEAR Buckhaven orchard (a community-led regeneration and food growing initiative). They then had 48 hours to develop a creative work which addressed the themes of place, future and climate for Levenmouth in a thought provoking way.

Four teams each worked through the day (and night in some cases) to produce their entries which were put to a  judging panel of Natalie Taylor (project artist), Joe Hagg (Adaptation Scotland), Carolyn Bell (Resource Efficient Solutions, Fife Council), John Wincott (Environmental Services Coordinator, Fife College), Vikki Wilson (Fife College), Dougi McMillan (Director of Creative Industries, Fife College) and Gemma Lawrence (Producer, Creative Carbon Scotland). The judges were impressed by all four entries, but were particularly taken with the winning entry, which received a £200 prize. Funding for Creative Minds workshop was donated by the Fife Council Communities and Neighbourhoods department.

In the next stages of the project students will be invited to share their work and perspectives on the future of the area with partners including the Fife Environment Partnership. The Levenmouth Adapts project sees Nathalie Taylor working across different aspects the project as an embedded artist, with the Creative Minds competition being a key aspect of the work that she is involved with.

Levenmouth Adapts

Levenmouth Adapts is run in partnership with Adaptation Scotland, Creative Carbon Scotland and Fife Resource Solutions/Fife Council. The project is funded by the Scottish Government’s Adaptation Scotland programme which is delivered by sustainability charity Sniffer.

Find out more about the project on the Adaptation Scotland website.

The post Watch: “Improve Scotland” the winning entry from Levenmouth Adapts’ Creative Minds competition appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.


Creative Carbon Scotland is a partnership of arts organisations working to put culture at the heart of a sustainable Scotland. We believe cultural and creative organisations have a significant influencing power to help shape a sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.

In 2011 we worked with partners Festivals Edinburgh, the Federation of Scottish Threatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network to support over thirty arts organisations to operate more sustainably.

We are now building on these achievements and working with over 70 cultural organisations across Scotland in various key areas including carbon management, behavioural change and advocacy for sustainable practice in the arts.

Our work with cultural organisations is the first step towards a wider change. Cultural organisations can influence public behaviour and attitudes about climate change through:

Changing their own behaviour;
Communicating with their audiences;
Engaging the public’s emotions, values and ideas.

Go to Creative Carbon Scotland

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Our Renewable Energy Series: Two Years Old and Going Strong

With this post, I celebrate my fourth anniversary writing for Artists and Climate Change, this diverse online community of passionate artists using their collective voice to shift the global climate change conversation from despair to hope, from apathy to action. It has been a wonderful experience – both personal and professional – especially for a photographer like me who lives far from a major cultural center.

Two years ago, I proposed my idea to Chantal Bilodeau, the indefatigable founder of Artists and Climate Change, to write a monthly series that focuses exclusively on renewable energy art and artists. She promptly agreed; it would be the first of its kind on the Internet.

My inaugural post in January 2017 was about the multimedia artist Nayan Kulkarni who transformed the historic center of Hull, England, with the installation of “The Blade”, a massive 28-ton, 75 meter-long (250 feet) offshore wind turbine blade built at the nearby Siemen’s manufacturing plant. Attracting more than one million visitors during its 10-week residency in Hull’s Queen Victoria Square, The Blade seems to have had an incredible impact and stimulated lively debate on the definition of art in Hull and beyond.

At the time I wrote that first post, I wasn’t sure whether I would be able to find enough artists experimenting with this new genre to sustain a monthly series beyond the first year, much less a second!

But what I discovered in the process is encouraging: artists all over the world are embracing renewable energy as an art form. While renewable energy art is not yet mainstream, it is definitely headed in that direction, thanks in large part to the Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI), whose tagline Renewable Energy Can Be Beautiful speaks for itself. LAGI’s work is bold and inspiring; I have profiled them several times in the first two years of this series.

Book cover for one of LAGI’s publications: New Energies (2013).

Over the last two years, I have had the privilege to interview dozens of artists – poets, architects, sculptors, musicians, stained glass artists, textile designers – who are exploring and experimenting with renewable energy in myriad ways. Looking back, I realize that these artists can be grouped into one of three categories:

  1. Artists who use renewable energy to create their art, such as Croatian architect Nikola BaÅ¡ić’s Zadar Sea Organ and American Anthony Howe’s hypnotic kinetic sculptures;
  2. Artists whose art produces electricity from renewable energy, such as Canadian stained glass artist Sarah Hall and the thousands of architects from more than 60 countries who have submitted proposals to LAGI’s biennial competitions;
  3. Artists who are inspired by renewable energy, such as British poet Matt Harvey who sings renewable energy’s praises better than anyone I know, and Dutch graphic designer Hansje van Halem who invented a whole new text font called WIND. Who would have thought? Not to be overlooked: Berlin-based The Beam‘s genius Solar Art Panel Art Series that sources recycled solar panels for invited artists and then sells the painted panels to benefit Studio Olafur Eliasson‘s Solar Kids School Program in Rwanda.

And let’s not forget the incredible Museo della Bora, the world’s first museum dedicated 100% to the wind! I am proud to confirm that the Museo della Bora has recently acquired six of my wind energy photographs, which were on display in an international art exhibit during the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale. Thank you Rino!

One thing I have observed while researching and writing this series: architects are at the forefront of this global trend to reinterpret renewable energy as a new form of artistic expression. As Project Drawdown’s founder Paul Hawken recently said, “Never has there been a better time to be an architect.”

I am not talking about slapping solar panels or wind turbines onto the roofs or walls of buildings, almost as an afterthought. No, renewable energy is becoming the primary design driver for a growing number of architectural firms. Readers of this series will know that my favorite, hands down, is Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM)’s Pertamina Energy Tower, currently under construction in Jakarta, which I have written about here.

I’m also fond of Stockholm-based Belatchew Arkitekter‘s concept for an urban wind farm of the future. See video below. Strawscraper is quiet, does not disturb wildlife, and can operate at low wind velocity. This simple technology, using a large number of thin straws attached to the side of both old and new buildings, can transform existing buildings into clean power plants. Imagine the possibilities!

Looking ahead to 2019: I plan to profile the self-described archibiotect Vincent Callebaut whose ambitious vision – to create energy-saving, carbon-absorbing cities that will help reverse global warming – draws inspiration from nature. His signature bioclimatic designs – several of which are currently under construction – incorporate renewable energy and living walls that provide natural ventilation, sequester carbon dioxide, generate clean electricity and produce food. According to Callebaut, La cité de demain sera autosuffisante (Tomorrow’s cities will be self-sufficient). Below is his inspiring vision for Paris in 2050, a smog-less fertile mégapole full of vertical gardens and suspended orchards, and futuristic spiral buildings that produce more energy than required (wind, solar, biomass, geothermal). 

Notre projet #ParisSmartCity2050 à la Une de la Tribune pour des Villes qui Respirent. #BreathingArchitecture #Green #Smart #Sustainability #VincentCallebautArchitectures #Paris


Artists and Climate Change’s Renewable Energy series is now two years old. I am so proud of what we accomplished to date, and I look forward to our next two years! I hope our readers have learned and been inspired as much as I have on this journey. Thank you for all your comments and feedback. In January, I have a little surprise from Belarus to share with our readers – stay tuned! In the meantime, let me wish all of you Meilleurs vœux from Québec.

(Top image: Close-up photo of the spoilers along the edge of a wind turbine blade, by Joan Sullivan.)

This article is part of the Renewable Energy series.


Joan Sullivan is a Canadian renewable energy photographer. Since 2009, Joan has found her artistic voice on the construction sites of utility-scale wind and solar projects. Her goal is to help others visualize – to imagine â€“ what a post-carbon world will look like. Joan is currently working on a photo book about Canada’s energy transition. She also collaborates with filmmakers on documentary films that explore the human side of the energy transition. Her renewable energy photographs have been exhibited in group shows in Canada, the UK and Italy. You can find Joan on ElloTwitter and Instagram


Artists and Climate Change is a blog that tracks artistic responses from all disciplines to the problem of climate change. It is both a study about what is being done, and a resource for anyone interested in the subject. Art has the power to reframe the conversation about our environmental crisis so it is inclusive, constructive, and conducive to action. Art can, and should, shape our values and behavior so we are better equipped to face the formidable challenge in front of us.

Go to the Artists and Climate Change Blog

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New film ‘The Carbon Farmer’ paints a bright future for UK Peatland conservation, agriculture and climate action.

In their current state the UK’s peatlands are a source of around 20 million tonnes of CO2 (equivalent) per year – this is the same as the yearly emissions from electricity use in two and a half million homes. A new short film premiers possibilities for achieving a brighter carbon future.

The Carbon Farmer – a sci-fi mocumentary, set roughly 100 years from present day – follows the story of a man whose family have been working the same upland farm, based on peat soils, for generations and have radically evolved in the face of climate change. In a world where tax payer’s money is used to subsidise work to maintain the health of peatlands for numerous public benefits, he and his granddaughter show what could be possible in future – what we could gain, and what we could manage not to lose. Concepts that are, at present, no more than ambitions of conservationists are shown together with plausible advances in technology and agriculture – such as hover bikes and ‘blue’ rice.

Richard Lindsay, Head of Environmental and Conservation Research at the University of East London said: “The Carbon Farmer reveals a whole new avenue of opportunity for farmers of the future. Farming for carbon means that wet agricultural land which has traditionally been regarded as ‘difficult’… is instead transformed into prime carbon farmland which also provides multiple benefits for the whole of society”

Collaborative approach

A collaboration of organisations, including: IUCN Peatland Programme; The Wildlife Trusts; the National Trust for Scotland; The National Trust; Moors For The Future Partnership and Beadamoss® Micropropagation Services, supported independent Filmmaker and Ecologist Andy Clark to present a best-practice concept to share through this film.

Stuart Brooks, Head of Conservation and Policy for the National Trust for Scotland, said: “We hope the Carbon Farmer provides food for thought for our policy makers and heralds in a new era of sustainable peatland use. The national governments of the UK have all committed to peatland conservation and support the IUCN UK Peatland Strategy. This is very encouraging and makes the prospect of the Carbon Farmer more fact than fiction.”

The film release follows the recent Committee on Climate Change report that acknowledged the magnitude of greenhouse gasses currently released from the UK’s degraded peatlands, and also called for reductions in the production and consumption of UK beef and lamb – something which reportedly angered British farmers. The Carbon Farmer suggests a positive future for sustainable agriculture – both in upland peatlands and in the lowlands. The film supports the ideas of ‘payments for ecosystem services’ as a basis for environmental management – a proposed alternative to the current Common Agricultural Policy – and explores alternative cropping solutions for lowland peatland agriculture (referencing (the currently fictional) ‘British Blue Rice’) alongside traditional grazing.

The film ends with the call to action: “Climate Change is not science fiction; our policy on it should not be either. The UK’s peatlands are currently so degraded, they are a source of around 20 million tonnes of greenhouse gasses annually. Prioritise peatland restoration for climate, and provide a cascade of public benefits.”

Main image credit: Andrew Clark

Share your news!

This story was posted by The Top of The Tree. Creative Carbon Scotland is committed to being a resource for the arts & sustainability community and we invite you to submit news, blogs, opportunities and your upcoming events.

The post News: New film ‘The Carbon Farmer’ 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

Powered by WPeMatico

Annual Year in Review Part 2: Space for Healing

This year, I had the chance to see many resonant theatrical presentations take the New York stage (see more in Part 1). To send off 2018, the Persistent Acts series looks back at the intersection of performance and contemporary issues, and how these particular productions held space for complexity and spurred reflection. You can revisit my 2016 and 2017 years-in-review, which have sparked my Persistent Acts series.

Heidi Schreck’s What the Constitution Means to Me at New York Theatre Workshop has been one of my most impactful theatrical experiences this year. Heidi performs her own play, based on her time debating the US Constitution at American Legions for prize money to pay for college. This play is deeply personal and political. It weaves Heidi’s family history to trace the history of women’s rights in the US, all under the framework of one of her high school Constitutional debates. The audience is cast as members of the American Legion (who are mostly middle-aged white male veterans), and Heidi’s presentation is set up by actor Mike Iveson, playing a moderator. Throughout the play, we bear witness to the Constitution’s fraught history, to how this document has been used, or not, to uphold the rights of disenfranchised people, namely women.

Rosdely Ciprian and Heidi Schreck in What the Constitution Means to Me. Photo by Sara Krulwich.

Toward the end of the play, Heidi introduces a high school debater, either Thursday Williams or Rosdely Ciprian, depending on the performance. They debate the question: Should we abolish the US Constitution? We’re instructed to root and cheer at the points we like, and boo and hiss for the points we don’t. After a couple of rounds and rebuttals, the young debater asks an audience member to name a winner. Rosdely (or Thursday) is positioned to win, as she makes the case that the Constitution has expanded rights for more people than originally intended, because of the way it sets up for amendments and Supreme Court rulings. As I saw this eloquent and poised young woman state her case to maintain our current Constitution, I couldn’t help but be filled with hope. The show ends with Heidi asking Thursday (or Rosdely) where she wants to be in twenty years. Having spent the previous eighty-five minutes on a tumultuous journey with Heidi, it was refreshing to hear a completely different voice – one that doesn’t have Heidi’s life experience, but is deeply aware of today’s inequities and where they come from.

Thursday Williams, Mike Iveson, and Heidi Schreck in What the Constitution Means to Me. Photo by Joan Marcus.

I saw the show in the midst of the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings, and despite that disgusting reality, I left the performance with a buoyant sense of possibility. Even though I didn’t say a word during the show (except for cheers during the debate), I felt heard – I felt my voice has a place. This forum for debate and constructive conversation that Heidi and her team open up is vital. We need reminders that we all belong. We need reasons, like the future that Rosdely and Thursday represent, to continue the work for equitable systems.

Another forum I had the privilege to participate in this season was Antigone in Ferguson at Harlem Stage. Theater of War Productions, in collaboration with residents of Ferguson, Missouri, presented a reading of Sophocles’ Antigone for modern times, amplified by original songs performed by a gospel choir. This event was conceived in the wake of Michael Brown’s death in 2014, and has been two years in the making. As noted by the creators, “the performance is the catalyst for panel and audience-driven discussions on race and social justice.”

The company of Theater of War Productions’ Antigone in Ferguson at Harlem Stage. Photo by Gregg Richards.

After the reading, key players led the discussion. We started by talking about the play itself and its relevance to today. A point that stuck with me is how the power dynamics in Antigone reflect the dynamics between Black people, police officers, and the society we live in. When a Black person is murdered by police, media jumps on the story and the characters involved. If and when the officer in question goes to trial, mainstream media flurries again, and said trial ends in acquittal, like the case with Michael Brown. In this way, white supremacy asserts its power, and Black people are retraumatized and silenced. The dialogue opened up to the root of the event’s conception – the specific murder of one Black man by police – and how the experience has evolved over two years of development and touring. When I went to this show, the Kavanaugh hearings were still going on. New Yorkers in the audience and Ferguson residents in the cast shared grief over the silencing of women and the continued killing of Black people. Women of color led the conversation, and offered responses to a racially diverse room. Young people shared their perspectives. If a comment came into the room and didn’t quite reach the mark of inclusive language, someone offered a more complex perspective. Everyone – through an unspoken agreement – held space for others.

Theater of War Productions’ Artistic Director Bryan Doerries. Photo by Gregg Richards.

The final theatrical experience I want to recap this year is The Movement Theatre Company’s What to Send Up When It Goes Down. Written by Aleshea Harris and described as an offering, a ritual, What to Send Up is unlike anything I’ve seen in the theatre. In the lobby, where the walls are covered in posters of murdered unarmed Black people, performers tell us that this is a show for Black people. Everyone is welcome, but The Movement Theatre has come together, as artists and people of color, to respond to the deaths of Black people, and offer modes for coping, resisting, and moving forward. After an introduction from one of the performers, we circle up (well, form two layers of circles) in the theatre. We each say our names. We each say how we’re feeling. Everyone listens to everyone else. We set up the ritual. We write a note of affirmation and love to Black people. We sit to watch the rest of the offering, which unfolds as a series of vignettes “highlighting the absurdity of anti-blackness in our society.” Each step of the ritual is an invitation to participate. By the end of the deeply moving performance, Black folks are invited to stay in the theatre for the final part of the ritual. The rest of us move out into the lobby for a final moment together. We are invited to consider our accountability. I felt my privilege, and found new ways to participate in society as a white woman. We need these offerings, these spaces specifically for healing.

The cast of What to Send Up When It Goes Down. Photo by Sara Krulwich.

These plays are not about climate change. These plays confront deep issues of our time, in ways that hold space for and amplify marginalized voices. These plays are about sexism and racism and systemic violence, and they are each powerful because the people who created these performances and experiences are not only reacting to the unjust world we live in, but offering pathways for healing and alternatives to the oppressive status quo. The forces behind racism and sexism are the same disgusting, greedy oppressive forces that led us to our current climate situation. As I reflect on my year at the theatre, I feel more equipped than ever to receive the offerings of these experiences. I’ve collected more tools to heal my own turmoils, and therefore have more tools to stand up, speak out, and hold space in the path toward a more sustainable and equitable society.

(Top Image: What to Send Up When it Goes Down. Photo by Ahron R. Foster.)

This article is part of the Persistent Acts series which looks at the intersection of performance, climate, and politics. How does hope come to fruition, even in the most dire circumstances? What are tangible alternatives to the oppressive status quo? The series considers questions of this nature to motivate conversations and actions on climate issues that reverberate through politics and theatre.


Julia Levine is a creative collaborator and vegetarian. Originally from St. Louis, Julia is now planted in the New York City downtown theatre realm. As a director, Julia has worked on various projects with companies that consider political and cultural topics, including Theater In Asylum, Honest Accomplice Theatre, and Superhero Clubhouse. She is the Marketing Manager at HERE and is Artistic Producer of The Arctic Cycle. Julia writes and devises with her performance-based initiative, The UPROOT Series, to bring questions of food, climate, and justice into everyday life.


Artists and Climate Change is a blog that tracks artistic responses from all disciplines to the problem of climate change. It is both a study about what is being done, and a resource for anyone interested in the subject. Art has the power to reframe the conversation about our environmental crisis so it is inclusive, constructive, and conducive to action. Art can, and should, shape our values and behavior so we are better equipped to face the formidable challenge in front of us.

Go to the Artists and Climate Change Blog

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Open Call: Scene on Sustainability

Download the call for papers, deadline 15 January 2019.

Scene invites submissions for it’s special issue on: Scene on Sustainability – from any angle covered by the UN SDGs. ( and the
intersections of arts, design, performance and any aspects of the
creative and cultural industries.

The Sustainable Development Goals are the blueprint to achieve
a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the
global challenges we face, including those related to poverty,
inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, and
peace and justice. The Goals interconnect and in order to leave no
one behind, it is important that we achieve each Goal and target
by 2030.

Deadline: 15 January 2019.

Papers are invited for Scene, the journal from Intellect which explores all aspects of design contexts for live and recorded performance, giving special attention to the shaping of artistic vision, aesthetic sophistication, critical thinking and craft. Our remit covers the following: cinema, television, commercials, theatre, opera, musical, interior design, lighting design, costume design, theme parks, scenography, architecture, visual special effects, visual arts, virtual sets, multivision, location sets, games design and virtual environments, modes of spectating.

The journal incorporates investigations into the development of new technologies and modes of operating, distribution of content and profiles of design for film, television, theatre and events, as well as new platforms such as gaming and virtual environment design. We explore the understanding that the designer’s multifaceted contribution to a production involves much more than providing a visual background.

We also welcome reviews of new work, scholarship, criticism and exhibitions. We invite submissions of articles of 4,000-8,000 words from any discipline related to the topics outlined above.

Submissions are welcome from scholars and practitioners. Contributors are encouraged to approach design for entertainment from any discipline and to turn their attention to practices from all countries and in all languages.

• Article submissions: please send a 300-word abstract and include the word ‘Article’ in the subject heading. Please indicate the intended word count of the article. All submissions will be peer-reviewed
• Papers must be submitted in English 
• Reviews of publications and exhibitions: please include ‘Review Exhibition’ in the subject heading
• Creative submissions: please include the word ‘Creative’ in the subject heading

Please send all submissions to Christine White.

Download the Notes for Contributors here

All articles submitted should be original work and must not be under consideration by other publications.

Journal contributors will receive a free PDF copy of their final work upon publication. Print copies of the journal may also be purchased by contributors at half price.

Call for Papers Special Issue for December 2019: “Water”

Theatre Journal is delighted to announce two upcoming special issues: “Theatre and the Nonhuman” and “Water” with deadlines in January and February 2019. Please contact individual issue editors with questions. We welcome your submissions.

The 2011 appointment of an emergency manager to take over the city of Flint, under Michigan’s controversial “Emergency Manager” law had disastrous consequences for the safety of Flint’s water and the health of Flint’s residents. The water crisis reverberated through the state, as water shut-offs began in Detroit, and protestors sought to block the state from allowing Nestlé to withdraw more water from its well in central Michigan. At the same time, climate change has brought about an increase in extreme weather patterns, leading to more frequent and more intense hurricanes and longer and more severe droughts. It also brings a rise in sea level, that threatens archives and architecture in Venice, and devastates communities such as the Ninth Ward in New Orleans. While water covers three-quarters of the planet, less than 1% is available for use. The United Nations predicts that by 2025, nearly two billion people will not have access to clean water.
We invite scholars to submit essays that examine the relationship between water and performance, broadly defined. Essays might cover a wide range of water topics, including: Desiree Duell’s A Body of Water, Fire on the Water by the Cleveland Public Theatre, plays on water rights in the Global South such as Water! by Komal Swaminathan, Mary Zimmerman’s Metamorphoses, the Vesturport Theatre’s underwater finale to their production of Woyzeck, Juliana Snapper’s performance in the underwater opera You Who Will Emerge from the Flood, drama-in-education and Theatre for Development water projects, creative protests for clean water, the act of water boarding, and water performance as a representation of community identity. What is an ethical use of water in performance and in spectacle? How might theatre be used as a tool for agitating for water justice? What is our relationship to water as artists, theatre scholars, and as human beings?

This special issue will be edited by Theatre Journal co-editor E.J. Westlake,

More information:

Submissions (6000-9000 words) should be e-mailed to managing editor Bob Kowkabany, no later than 1 February 2019.

Julie’s Bicycle Creative Green Awards 2018: Meet the Winners!

Julie’s Bicycle announce the winners for the 2018 Creative Green Awards

Julie’s Bicycle is proud to announce the winners of the second Creative Green Awards celebrating the many outstanding organisations taking action on climate and the environment. With over 300 Creative Green certificates awarded, the awards are a moment for the sector to showcase their leadership in climate action.

The awards are supported with sponsorship from First Mile, Seacourt Printing and Pilio with Good Energy also sponsoring the award for Highest Achievement for Improvement. We have partnered with environmental solution providers as they are innovative in the sector able to best support arts organisations turn their ambition and commitment into reality for reduction environmental impacts and engage their audiences in climate action.

The Awards were hosted last night at the Roundhouse, with contributions from Baroness Lola Young, artist Michael Pinsky and Matthew Bourne of New Adventures. 

Categories and shortlist:

Outstanding Achievement

Festival Republic

Highest Achievement for Commitment

Shambala Festival

Highest Achievement for Understanding

Universal Music

Highest Achievement for Improvement (sponsored by Good Energy)


Best Festival

Reading & Leeds Festival

Best Museum and Gallery

Discovery Museum

Best Cultural Venue

Young Vic

Best Newcomer

Siamsa Tire

Best Creative Programming

V&A Museum

Best Campaign

Lyric Hammersmith

Best Creative Group

Curzon Cinemas

Green Champions

  • Jordan Bedding – Curzon Cinemas
  • Jackie Bland – Tyne & Wear Archives and Museums
  • Vikki Chapman – Festival Republic
  • Paul Josefowski – National Theatre

Creative Green Pioneer

New Adventures

Alison Tickell, Director of Julie’s Bicycle on the awards:

“These awards  show the outstanding quality and progressive leadership on climate and the environment from the UK’s cultural community.  With energy and imagination the sector continues to drive down emissions and power up sustainable change.”

Sir Matthew Bourne, Artistic Director, New Adventures on the awards:

“New Adventures is thrilled to be the first touring company to be working in partnership with Julie’s Bicycle on a Creative Green Touring certification. As the UK’s biggest and busiest touring Dance company, we visit theatres across the world and travel to very picturesque settings. I believe that it’s important to conserve the natural beauty around us and it is something that we’re very passionate about. We hope that our Green Adventure with Julie’s Bicycle will help us to spread the word to our wonderful presenting venues and audiences around the globe about how to lead more sustainable lifestyles, so that generations to come can continue to enjoy all that our planet has to offer.”

“New Adventures is delighted to be awarded the Creative Green Pioneer award in recognition of our work with Julie’s Bicycle over the past 18 months. We are now very excited to see what we can achieve in the future, particularly on our UK tour of Swan Lake.”

Wild Authors: Kim Stanley Robinson

Kim Stanley Robinson is an award-winning author of literary and science fiction; he is widely known for his realism in fiction since he bases his stories on modern scientific theories. He is also known for carefully researching climate and other sciences while planning his stories. His academic research and credentials, and his fiction writing, go back decades; you’ll find themes of ecological, social, and economic justice in his literature. Robinson is also one of the pioneers among fiction writers dealing with human-caused global warming.

Before anyone ever came up with a way to label climate change in fiction, he and others had long been tackling it. In fact, scientists knew, and came to a consensus in the 1970s, about global warming. According to the American Institute of Physics (AIP), in 1977, “Scientific opinion tends to converge on global warming, not cooling, as the chief climate risk in next century.” Writers of earlier science fiction had already been speculating about long-term climate change, but finally we had scientists convey what was happening in our world.

I read a good article by Marie Myung-Ok Lee recently in Quartz Media titled “Here are the books you need to read if you’re going to resist Donald Trump,” and while the list focuses more on dystopian outcomes in fiction, if we stay on this path we’re on (Robinson was not mentioned due to it being quite a short list). One quote stuck out to me from the article: “Artists are like deer: They sniff the winds of change long before the rest of us.”

For decades, such writers have warned us of predicaments in which we are now finding ourselves. They warned us in science fiction, other times in literary fiction. And Robinson, among such great storytellers as Ursula K. Le Guin, Ernest Callenbach, Octavia Butler, John Brunner, J.G. Ballard, David Brin, and many other speculative fiction authors, blazed the path for those of us who came later, who are younger but who now see climate change in front of us, along with some of the dystopian themes predicted in early science fiction. Paying homage to those before us – in many cases they are obviously still here – seems to be a worthy cause in this day and age, and one of the reasons I felt this series needed to come alive.

See Wikipedia for a complete bibliography of Kim Stanley Robinson’s books and short stories. Unlike other authors I’ve spotlighted here who may write one iconic book on climate change, Robinson is way more prolific, so this profile will lack the focus on one work in particular.

Because he so often deals with ecological resources, sustainability, and environmental justice (which also go hand in hand with political, social, and economic events), his books about climate change have made a big impact. However, climate change is not one event. It is a hyperobject, as previously alluded to in this series. It is a massive object, tough to write about, and hard to explore in its totality. Global warming is made up of many pieces, and all the pieces are subject to exploration in fiction, including in many of Robinson’s stories.

Robinson said, in an interview with The Atlantic, when asked about using science fiction to portray climate themes:

Science fiction can be regarded as a kind of future-scenarios modeling, in which some course of history is pursued as a thought experiment, starting from now and moving some distance off into the future. The closer to the present the work of science fiction stays, the more obvious it is that it is a way of thinking about what we’re doing now, also where we may be going, and, crucially, where we should try to go, or try to avoid going. Thus the famous utopian or dystopian aspects of science fiction.

Whether Robinson’s stories explore climate change set on Earth (such as Buddhist-environmental themes in Science in the Capital series, what I like to think of as Orange County in three fated acts, the Three Californias trilogy, or in the upcoming New York 2140), or outer space (such as in his Mars trilogy, the moon colonization novel Aurora, and 2312), it is clear that Robinson is both deeply concerned about our existence and is greatly talented at building worlds in fiction. His concerns about the fate of humanity often stake our good intentions against our imperfections, and model our fates. His approaches are diverse, from pure hard science fiction to literary fiction.

The New Yorker asked if Kim Stanley Robinson was our greatest political novelist and stated, referring to the Mars trilogy:

Robinson argues that, now that climate change has become a matter of life and death for the species, it’s time for scientists to abandon their scrupulous neutrality and enter into the messy arena of politics. Essentially, Robinson attempts to apply scientific thinking to politics, approaching it less like pure physics, in which one infallible equation / ideology explains and answers everything, than like engineering – a process of what F.D.R. once called “bold, persistent experimentation,” finding out what works and combining successful elements to synthesize something new.

Another great deer sniff on the upcoming wind, wasn’t it? For now, just over three years after this article came out, we are presented with a new president who is promoting fossil fuels and doesn’t believe in or care about climate change or any other environmental issue. And scientists are becoming more political (such as with the Alt National Park Service and the upcoming March for Science on Earth Day 2017).

Robinson’s newest novel, New York 2140, coming next month, is set in New York City after sea levels have risen enough to drown the city – yet the metropolitan area still seems to thrive, with canals rather than streets. The novel may be fairly sobering… just a warning.

As always, I think that fiction and the arts have a unique place in the narrative about global warming. Fiction writers such as Kim Stanley Robinson are important in using the arts to convey our humanity’s identity in an exponentially changing world. How do we deal with the extinction of an ever-increasing amount of species? How do we find the wilderness again (when any idea of “pristine wilderness” is questionable since we have already altered the planet too much)? How do we cope with recent changes in government that seem to be dystopian and dangerous? How do we deal with a natural world that is dramatically changing to the point our constructed worlds are threatened by sea level rise, long-term climate change, ocean acidification, food security, and so on? How do we ensure stability in the world when a host of changes result in violent terrorism and large refugee crises? Are we coming to a tipping point wherein we’ll lose natural identity and find a fugue state?

I like the saying, “It’s better to light one candle than curse the darkness,” which is a quote attributed to many but more likely was an old Chinese proverb. To me, fiction and the arts can be the candles in a seemingly darkening world, especially fiction that is based upon science and realism, which guides us, well, as realistically as possible (with hope or with warning).

Robinson has spent a lifetime writing and speaking about humanity. His fiction knowledgeably considers our cultural aspects – environmental sustainability, technology, economy, polity, and ideology – and artfully helps us find our identities, sense our fates, reflect on our mistakes, and learn how to prepare for the future.

(Photo by Stephan Martiniere. Downloaded from Phoenix New Times.)

This article is part of our Wild Authors series. It was originally published on on February 9, 2017.


Mary Woodbury, a graduate of Purdue University, runs and, sites that explore ecology in literature, including works about climate change. She writes fiction under pen name Clara Hume. Her novel Back to the Garden has been discussed in Dissent MagazineEthnobiology for the Future: Linking Cultural and Ecological Diversity (University of Arizona Press), and Uncertainty and the Philosophy of Climate Change (Routledge). Mary lives in the lower mainland of British Columbia and enjoys hiking, writing, and reading.


Artists and Climate Change is a blog that tracks artistic responses from all disciplines to the problem of climate change. It is both a study about what is being done, and a resource for anyone interested in the subject. Art has the power to reframe the conversation about our environmental crisis so it is inclusive, constructive, and conducive to action. Art can, and should, shape our values and behavior so we are better equipped to face the formidable challenge in front of us.

Go to the Artists and Climate Change Blog

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This Sentence: How Do We Comprehend the Effects of Climate Change?

Like you, I read thousands of words in a day, online, in books, on my social media feeds. I’m both a writer and a devourer of words: does that make me a cannibal? I love words, can’t get enough–

Yet, I can’t get through this sentence. You try.

Wild animal populations dropped by 58 percent between 1970 and 2012, and we will likely lose two-thirds of all species by 2020 if nothing is done to prevent the decline.

Yeah. No. Hang on, let’s try again.

Wild animal populations dropped by 58 percent between 1970 and 2012, and we will likely lose two-thirds of all species by 2020 if nothing is done to prevent the decline.

Here it is in shorter form. Less numbers, fractions, timelines.

We face a global mass extinction of wildlife.

No, still can’t read it. I can’t at my desk. I can’t on my phone. I can’t in my feed.

Maybe I can face it in the theatre.

In the theatre we have Time and Space and Each Other. And, by God, we are gonna need all three if we are going to get through that.

Or this.

“We ignore the decline of other species at our peril—for they are the barometer that reveals our impact on the world that sustains us,” says Mike Barrett in a recent report from World Wildlife Federation. Be assured that local rates are on par with the global ones. Given the current rate of biodiversity loss, we are facing a future with no assurance of our local ecosystem’s stability to support us.

I gotta sit down for a minute. There. Come sit with me. Come close. There you are. We are at the theatre together. What are we seeing tonight?


Slime is a play by Bryony Lavery about the impact of climate change on the animals that make the ocean their home. You join one hundred animals, seven young translators, scientists and suits, and step with them just slightly in the future at a fictional conference on marine extinction. Seated amongst the conference delegates, you might hear an otter swimming down an aisle, a dolphin whistling at your elbow, or a seabird over your shoulder: animals too have something to say. Join the animals to face an insatiable creature, Slime, which, like facebookslime or googleslime, is taking over. Ask yourself, “who is coming to save us?”

It’s a play, so we can take that question.

Slime features scenes, many scenes, of animals speaking in their own languages, which their young translators understand. Our Slime actors became conversant in many languages—polar bear, seal, cormorant, sea lion, dolphin, and a small frog called Atelopus Bomolochus, among them. We hired an animal language librarian to translate the roles written in animal into their languages, and the actors worked and worked and worked to learn them.

We must learn them. If we are to share this great blue-green earth with animals, this is the time…we must listen. And we must understand what to do next.

We previewed the show in June 2018 in Banff, Canada to Alberta audiences. At the Calgary airport, behind the check-in desk I saw a sticker stuck to the drawer that said “I [heart] Oil and Gas.”

The Alberta audiences treated the play as fiction, set in the future, in a world other than their own. There is no ocean that touches Alberta. There is no Albertan polar bear.

The Polar Bear with Teo Saefkow and Sophia Wolfe in Slime. Puppet design by Shizuka Kai, photo by Donald Lee.

On our way to Vancouver to open the show to our home crowd, news hit that the Kinder Morgan pipeline had been pushed through by our liberal Prime Minister. You know the one who created a cabinet position, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, and appointed a capable woman, Catherine McKenna, to that position? If that sentence gives you cognitive dissonance, steel yourself for the next one. Kinder Morgan Pipeline (which is still in play) not only supports the tar sands of Alberta, the most energy inefficient way to extract oil from land, but it also turns the British Columbia coastline in Canada into an oil export central, and along the way it decimates marine environments. Especially orca.

You know those guys, right?

You know Tahlequah, from the endangered Southern Resident pod, who gave birth to the first live orca calf in three years? The baby orca died and the orca mother wouldn’t let go of that calf for seventeen days. That activist orca, yeah, her. Well the tanker noise that will result from the Kinder Morgan pipeline spells death for that orca pod, even before the oil inevitably spills…

Phew, that is a whole unreadable paragraph, we are getting behind.

With this Pipeline prologue, we opened Slime in Vancouver. For Vancouver it wasn’t fiction, and it wasn’t future. It was raw and real. When the show was over we saw audiences touch each other, an arm around the shoulder, a hand clutching a knee, a hug.

The animal translators from Slime. (l-r) Sophia Wolfe, Mason Temple, Teo Saefkow, Anais West, Pedro Chamale, Lisa Baran, Edwardine van Wyk. Photo by Donald Lee.

Slime isn’t long. Maybe eighty-eight minutes. But it makes time for the absurdity (come into the smoking area and let the polar bear bum a ciggy, the absurdity is right there). It makes time for the grief (hear the testimony of the bump-headed parrot fish, it’s there). Or be silent and upstanding for creatures who have ceased to exist this year (hear the last words from the O’o bird, it’s there). Stay with it. You can’t click away. It makes time for seven young animal translators, the future leaders, who listen in a new way, as one animal among many…

In eighty-eight minutes of potent theatre, I think we get that one sentence about wild creatures. It has time to land in our hearts, which is where that creature lives that is wild and free in each of us. That we hold dear. That we claim as our own.

Theatre does that. And we do theatre. I do. With a brave team of artists. With a fierce playwright giving us words. One sentence at a time.

(Top image: Edwardine van Wyk and the Seal in Slime. Set and puppet design by Shizuka Kai, photo by Donald Lee.)

This article was originally published on HowlRound, a knowledge commons by and for the theatre community, on September 17, 2018.


Kendra Fanconi is a theatre creator of original, often site-specific work. She has created plays in swimming pools, treetops, on working waterways a mile wide, and in a theatre built of snow and ice. Kendra is the Artistic Director of The Only Animal, a decade-old company that is uniquely dedicated to theatre that springs from a deep engagement with place. She specialized in ambitious theatricality. Selected Credits for directing/writing: Nothing But Sky, a living comic book (Jessie winner for Significant Artistic Achievement), NiX, theatre of snow and ice, at the 2010 Cultural Olympiad and Enbridge Festival, Alberta Theatre Projects 2009, (Nominated Betty Mitchell Awards and Vancouver’s Critic’s Choice Award for Innovation); dog eat dog, 2007, (Nominated Jessie:  Outstanding New Play), Other Freds produced by The Only Animal, 2005, (Winner Jessie Award: Significant Artistic Achievement). She is currently developing the Pulitzer-Prize winning novel, Tinkers, into a sited show in an old-growth forest.


Artists and Climate Change is a blog that tracks artistic responses from all disciplines to the problem of climate change. It is both a study about what is being done, and a resource for anyone interested in the subject. Art has the power to reframe the conversation about our environmental crisis so it is inclusive, constructive, and conducive to action. Art can, and should, shape our values and behavior so we are better equipped to face the formidable challenge in front of us.

Go to the Artists and Climate Change Blog

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