Social Justice

People, Profit, Planet – Sustainability Programme at WSD2013


Exploring Sustainability in Creative Practice

Theatre is a process of reinvention, making and remaking. How do we consider the resources that go into bringing something to the stage? What is our responsibility to materials and energy? How do we create efficient spaces that house performance? How do we talk about this, both as artists and in our art? These questions are the focus for the Sustainability Programme at World Stage Design 2013. Join designers, architects, researchers and others who are focused on the intersection of sustainability and performance as we explore the future of our field as it relates to one of most vital issues of today.

You can view the full programme and book online for some events here.  More events will be added throughout the summer, so keep checking the website.

The People, Profit, Planet programme is supported by the Waterloo Foundation.

Who should attend?

These workshops and presentations are for anyone interested in considering the issues of sustainability within their work. Curious about how reused and eco-materials impact design and construction? Or the future of new energy efficient lighting technology? Intrigued by new work that explores issues of social justice and the environment? Interested in tools and best practices to monitor the carbon footprint of your facility or productions? Perplexed by how these tie together? Join us for a cross section of programming that highlights performances, place and interconnectedness in the wider world.

Sustainability Offerings at WSD2103

Thurs, Sept 5

Fri, Sept 6

Sun, Sept 8

Mon, Sept 9

Tues, Sept 10

Wed, Sept 11

Thurs, Sept 12

Fri, Sept 13

Sat, Sept 14

People, Profit, Planet – group leader
Ian Garrett - Assistant Professor, York University, Canada

The AWEinspiring Award 2013 to Platform

This post comes to you from Cultura21

372x521xAWE-inspiring-certificate-2013-620x869.jpg.pagespeed.ic_.oPzTg0xr8u-214x300The AWEinspiring (Art, Water & Environment) Award celebrates an artwork, project or artist, recognising their contribution to The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management’s (CIWEM) vision of putting creativity into the heart of environmental policy and action.Since its formation in 2007, the primary vision of CIWEM’s Art and Environment Network has been to put creativity at the heart of environmental policy and action. The Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World (CCANW) has joined CIWEM in creating the AWEinspiring (Art, Water & Environment) Award, giving it to The Harrisons in recognition of their unique contribution to public understanding of climate change through the vehicle of art and creativity, linked with science.

Formed in 1983, Platform have performed across the world, from the Tate to the Camp for Climate Action, from Glastonbury to Pittsburgh, and from Bristol to Nigeria. They hold exhibitions, write books, initiate research, and develop pioneering education programmes to promote radical new ideas that inspire change. About their work, they said : ”Platform, a London-based, innovative arts collective, was selected for its long-standing commitment to using the arts to open up spaces for transformation, inspiration and change in ecological and social justice. Platform aims to achieve long-term shifts that make alternative futures possible. They engage, support, challenge, and apply their art tirelessly to the most pressing issues of the day, notably focusing on the social, economic, environmental and cultural impacts of the global oil industry. Formed in 1983, Platform have performed across the world, from the Tate to the Camp for Climate Action, from Glastonbury to Pittsburgh, and from Bristol to Nigeria. They hold exhibitions, write books, initiate research, and develop pioneering education programmes to promote radical new ideas that inspire change.”

Platform is launching a new art work ‘Two Degrees: Oil City’, a piece of site-specific immersive theatre going deep into the underbelly of London’s oil economy, on 10 – 23 June 2013.

See also our earlier post :

Cultura21 is a transversal, translocal network, constituted of an international level grounded in several Cultura21 organizations around the world.

Cultura21′s international network, launched in April 2007, offers the online and offline platform for exchanges and mutual learning among its members.

The activities of Cultura21 at the international level are coordinated by a team representing the different Cultura21 organizations worldwide, and currently constituted of:

– Sacha Kagan (based in Lüneburg, Germany) and Rana Öztürk (based in Berlin, Germany)
– Oleg Koefoed and Kajsa Paludan (both based in Copenhagen, Denmark)
– Hans Dieleman (based in Mexico-City, Mexico)
– Francesca Cozzolino and David Knaute (both based in Paris, France)

Cultura21 is not only an informal network. Its strength and vitality relies upon the activities of several organizations around the world which are sharing the vision and mission of Cultura21

Go to Cultura21

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Sam’s Post #5: Keep Moving, It’s the American Way

NEWS FLASH! Sam Accepted at Edinburgh Fringe Festival  (details to follow)

Sam and other Cal Arts Actors to Showcase in NYC

Sam's 1951 Spartan Royal Mansion, viewed from a hill at Cal Arts. Photo credit: Scott Groller

My trailer, our trailer, which I inappropriately refer to as “The Mansion”, was acquired in August 2010, in Torrance CA. Shortly before, my mother– a one time filmmaker for the United Nations, once a Katrina refugee, currently a freelance journalist with a fervent passion for social justice and a newly developed interest in sustainable living – and I, a one-time private banker employed by philanthropist and all around jolly good guy, Mr. John Pierpont Morgan.

Well, my mom and I we’re on the phone..Truth is we’ve grown apart quite a bit over the last 10 years. More often than not we’ve been on opposite sides of the country, opposite sides of the Atlantic, sometimes unintentionally (and admittedly) sometimes with quite a bit of intention.

We’ve been through a lot, and it’s just the two of us. So, you know, tension ensues, occasionally, sometimes, often, whatever. So we’re on the phone, and the topic of this particular conversation is one that comes up every couple years.

It goes something like this:  “So, whaaaaaat’s next ?” You see, my mom’s been a nomad for a little while now. That tends to happen when a storm like Katrina hits an already fragile community like New Orleans.

But me? I’ve been in denial about my nomadic nature. I had a proper desk job for a couple years before coming here, a serious girlfriend. I had a PLAN, a checklist, which I adhered to methodically: a sequence of suit-and-tie jobs, then auditions, which eventually, allowed me to be here, right here, at this very moment.

At the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, 2010, Sam played Godzilla in Eric Ehn's adaption of the play. Here he hawks the production in the streets of Edinburgh.

The thing is, I’m about to graduate, as an Actor. (Did I mention that?) And my future is quite uncertain again. And so…

My mom and I are on the phone, my grandmother has passed away and left her a little bit of money, and she wants to buy a trailer and live in it.  And I have been wanting to restore a trailer – I want to MAKE something, something living, and useful to someone, something longer lasting than a two-hour play.   And that’s as far as my thought process went ..

So a month later we buy the trailer. And I park it on campus, THIS campus, tucked away behind the basketball courts and I start BUILDING and my mom starts BLOGGIN’ and we call it “Trailer Trash” because it’s a GREEN restoration, and we’re using recycled materials.

So after having grown apart over the years, here we are collaborating, truly collaborating, in a way that’s completely new to me. We’re collaborating on a project that’s very personal to both of us. We are building, in fact we are RE-building from old fragments, a new home that is both unconventional and yet, in the most American way, as conventional as can be.

I don’t know about building houses, or little. I don’t know about trailer living. I don’t know about doing all this while going to school full-time and sometimes feeling like I’m losing my mind!

This project has been a true experiment, from the beginning. The most amazing thing about embracing the experimental nature of this project has been to watch it grow and evolve. What began as a guerrilla building project has become–because of this place [Cal Arts] this faculty, this student body– a PERFORMANCE PIECE.  (Why the hell not?)  And it’s about building a HOME for a family that’s been without one for a while. About learning to work the system of a higher education establishment [to get permission to put the trailer on campus.] It’s about learning to become an artist- and not just a performer. Learning to put my thoughts into words (believe it or not this is not something that comes naturally.) It’s about figuring out what this project is, what it means to me, to us, and so this thing is THERAPEUTIC, baby.

I’m starting to ask myself, with no real expectation of reaching any answers: Why is it that I still haven’t unpacked my stuff after Katrina? And why do I still refuse to settle down and put pictures up on the wall?

…maybe it’s not just me…[he stops to address conference participants] If I were to stop and ask: How many of you in this room consider yourself in TRANSIT? How many of you have ever lost a home?

I realize that most artists are nomadic by nature. We have to be, to survive, to pursue our dreams, to make, to MAKE .. We gotta’ keep on moving. And if possible, we ‘gotta do it in STYLE.

It’s the American Way.

This post is part of a series documenting Sam Breen’a Spartan Restoration Project. Please see his first post here and check out the archive here. The CSPA is helping Sam by serving in an advisory role, offering modest support and featuring Sam’s Progress by syndicating his feed from as part of our CSPA Supports Program.

On The Subject Of Freedom

“On The Subject of Freedom” performed at the Arts In The One World Conference, 2011. Directed by Mersiha Mesihovic, Created with and performed by following: Lindsey Lollie, Amanda McNussen, James DiBrandon Lewis, Andy Robert, Etienne Rivera, Max Mendoza, Javier Gonzalez, Miriam Connor, Jahcobie Cosom and Matt Schumacher.

Growing up under a communist regime in the Former Yugoslavia, CalArts student Mierisha Mesihovic never really felt free. Her life became even more restricted when civil war broke out in her country.  Although her childhood may seem unimaginable to many of her fellow students at CalArts,  she thinks the gap between them is not all the wide.

Multimedia artist Mierisha Mesihovic

“Many of us struggle with being truly free.  We are afraid to express ourselves, to put ourselves in certain situations,” she says, explaining people often feel at war with themselves. “The conscious self confines us to what we should be and our subconscious self tells us to act on who we really are.”

Mierisha started out as a dancer at CalArts but switched her major to multimedia art in work with a broader palette. “As an artist interested in social justice, I felt I needed more tools than dance to express myself.”

A shared sense of community has helped her find her voice, take risks and break through boundaries.

“On the Subject of Freedom,” performed at Arts In The One World 2011 was a collaborations between Mierisha and fellow students. An exploration of the restraints on freedom, the piece combines dance, live music and projected images. It begins in a conflict zone with a duet about the oppressive atmosphere of war.  The dancers gradually learn to carry on their lives with dignity in spite of the fear and hate surrounding them.  They begin to confide in each other, questioning whether the war is just. The piece ends with liberation, resolution and peace.

Dancer and choreographer Lindsey Lollie

CalArts dancer Lindsey Lollie was one of the collaborators on the dance; she and Mierisha have been friends for three years. Lindsey says the piece is about some of the restrictions people face based on their nationality, gender, race, religion or personality.

“Not everyone is free to walk outside if they are in a war zone,” she writes in an explanatory note to the piece.  “Not everyone is free to speak up and address real issues. “We need to believe in something that is not forced upon us but discovered within our soul.  Everyone deserves to live in the comfort of their own thoughts…”

Mersiha seems clear about the direction she wants to take her art: “My wish is to make the audience part of my work.  I would like to inspire people to act. A sense of community can help us jump over boundaries.  We are many and we are stronger that the fear. The positive always prevails over the negative.”

This post is part of a series documenting Sam Breen’a Spartan Restoration Project. Please see his first post here and check out the archive here. The CSPA is helping Sam by serving in an advisory role, offering modest support and featuring Sam’s Progress by syndicating his feed from as part of our CSPA Supports Program.


We have roughly 1,000 days before the seventh billion human being joins the rest of us on Planet Earth. We do not know what country she will be born in, or who her family will be, or if she will be a she or a he.  But we do know this being will join the rest of us as a citizen of this world.  Working on a welcome message to our seventh billion fellow human being provides us with a rare but overdue opportunity for introspection as well as a frank accounting of the implicit responsibilities we have toward other human beings and future generations.  What would you like to tell her about this world, about life, about your story?  What would you like to show her about the world? The 7 Billionth Person Project aims to collect creative expressions from citizens from around the world.  Visual submissions are highly encouraged.  All media accepted.

Partners for the exhibition include The Arts Council of New Haven, Proof: Media for Social Justice, the Yale Program for Recovery and Community Health, and the Yale World Fellows Program.   Website:

Questions? Email Valerie Belanger at


The Earth Awards Launches a Global Search for Sustainable Innovations

From May 3rd to May 10th, submissions are open for the 2010 Earth Awards—an opportunity for innovative designers to win between $10,000 and $50,000. Awards will be handed out at a ceremony in London on September 16th, 2010.

Submissions will be judged by an illustrious panel that includes Yves Behar, Richard Branson, David DeRothschild, Bill McKibben, and TreeHugger Founder Graham Hill.

Designs must fit into one of six categories—Built Environment, Fashion, Products, Systems, Future and Social Justice—and will be judged on achievability,

scalability, measurablility, usefulness, originality, ecological value.

For more information, visit

The Earth Awards Launches a Global Search for Sustainable Innovations : TreeHugger.

THE FIRST INTERNATIONAL SUMMER SCHOOL Of Arts and Sciences for Sustainability in Social Transformation

Call for participants

in the framework of:


Of Arts and Sciences for Sustainability in Social Transformation

1. Overview

The International Council for Cultural Centers (I3C:, the International Network Cultura21 (Cultural Fieldworks for Sustainability: and the Latin American Network of Art for Social Transformation (Red-LATS: are organizing, in collaboration with the Center for the Study of Culture and Society (CSCS: the first international summer school of arts and sciences for sustainability in social transformation. The event is planned for early August 2010 in Bulgaria, in the beautiful Balkan mountains (Gabrovo).

We are seeking participants in the summer school! As the number of participants will be limited to a total of maximum 30 persons, you are encouraged to apply as soon as possible!

Are you an artist, a practitioner or an academic working for or interested in the advancement of sustainability and social transformation (i.e. goals of social justice, ecological awareness and environmental action, human rights and self- determination, cultural and biodiversity, among others)? Are you looking for inter-or trans-disciplinary methodologies, and for inter-cultural dialogues? Are you interested in the relationships of bodily movements and/or of other sensuous/sensorial relationships to local places? Do you want to explore how movement also relates to place and community development?

If you replied yes to one of the previous questions, the international summer school may be the right place for you! Read further:

The detailed program of the Summer School’s workshops, will be announced in early 2010 (at the latest on March 15) on the project’s wikipage:

Information about inexpensive accommodation near the location of the summer school will be provided to the selected participants.

The application procedure and conditions are described on the following page.

2. Application

To participate in the summer school, you must apply, providing us with the following documents:

  • Personal data: please indicate your name, gender, age, full address and contact details, country of origin, country of current residence, and educational/professional background (in a few words).
  • A Résumé or CV
  • A letter of motivation where you explain why the summer school appeals to you, what you are expecting to benefit from it (for your research, your art, your activities, etc.). Please mention what you hope to learn at the summer school, and what you may be able to bring/teach yourself, based on your prior experience.

Applications shall be sent by email to:

Deadline for application: March 20, 2010 (please apply as early as possible; preferably, do not wait until the date of the deadline!)

Selection procedure: The selection of participants will be made by the organizers (Cultura21, I3C, Red-LATS) according to the following criteria:

  • Date of application (the earlier, the better)
  • Country of origin (to ensure an international mix of participants)
  • Professional/educational background (to ensure an interdisciplinary mix of participants)
  • Personal motivation and relevance of the applicant’s domains of interests to the general field of the summer school, i.e. sustainability in social transformation through action-research
  • Notification of final decision: April 5th, 2010

3. Conditions

All participants at the summer school are required to participate to the entirety of the summer school.

No scholarships are available from the school’s organizers, but we can provide cover letters upon request (in case you are applying for financial support from a third party).

Accommodation and travel costs will be covered by the Summer School only for a very limited number of participants from non-European countries. If you are requesting support for your accommodation and travel costs, please include a request letter, with a costs evaluation. Please note that we recommend that you also look for funding near third parties, as we will be able to support only a very limited number of participants.

Call for participants assist2010

Call for Workshop Proposals Sumschool2010

People’s Palace Projects

People’s Palace Projects



People’s Palace Projects is looking for an exceptional and talented individual with passion, skill and a strategic mindset. Working with Artistic Director Paul Heritage, you will deliver collaborative, multi-faceted arts projects that respond to urgent contemporary issues, and produce a programme that integrates art, enquiry and debate.

You will play a key role in the local, national and international partnerships that are key to PPP’s success, including the implementation of a three-year programme in the UK with the Brazilian cultural warriors AfroReggae.

Based at Queen Mary, University of London – one of the UK’s leading academic institutions – PPP has an excellent record of innovative research and advocacy for art that advances social justice. 

You will therefore be able to bring your strategic, management and conceptual skills to academic, arts and social policy contexts.

Salary: c £40,000pa negotiable according to experience.

Deadline for applications: 18th June 2009

For application pack email: Rachel Sanger on`

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology