â€œCheck out the colorful banner that was painted by our team in Pakistan! And click LIKE if you believe that more art in the climate movement is a very good thing,â€ wrote the organisers of a climate activistsâ€™ summit on Facebook to highlight photos of participants bringing banners to the event.
While Istanbul in Turkey is in the news for its protests on Taksim Square andÂ Gezi Park, another kind of civil society mobilisation with a global perspective is currently taking place in one of the suburbs of the city.
500 members ofÂ Generation CÂ â€“ the climate generation â€“Â have travelled from 134 different countries to attend a youth climate activistsâ€™ conference in Istanbul. The American climate campaign organisation 350.org organised the event, which they call â€˜Global Power Shiftâ€™, in an attempt to build a global movement to solve the climate crisis.
And as the picture above shows, music and dance to centre stage right from the opening plenary on the first day, where the participants also stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the Warriors of the Pacific, when they sent a message that as the ocean waters rise around their island homes, they are not drowning â€“ they are fighting.
â€œUsing the power of music to transmit the message of environmental sustainability and behavior change in energy usesâ€ is a strategy which the 350.org Southeast Asia coordinators formulated and launched in their nationalÂ programme.
In Ho Chi Minh City on 20 June 2013, they hosted a music night in anticipation for the Global Power Shift campaigning where top Vietnamese singers and â€˜GPS Goodwill Ambassadorsâ€™ like Thanh Bui, Pham Anh Khoa, Sy Luan, Thuy Hoang Diem, and PiBand, pulled a crowd of over 400 young people.
â€œIf we want to change the world, we have to first change ourselves. I believe in the power of music because music is the best way to inspire and change peopleâ€™s perceptions about the Earthâ€™s problems,â€ singer and musician Thanh Bui shared with the crowd.
â€œOur special guests went beyond performing their songs to comment on their shared love of nature, humanity, and the country, revealing personal stories concerning climate change through improvised rap,â€ reported Nhi Thoi onÂ 350.org:
The Global Power Shift meeting in Istanbul is meant to be a launchpad for something much bigger â€“ national mobilisations throughout the world. In the next week,Â the organisers will start a planet-wide project to scale up the movement andÂ establish what they hope will become a new course for the global climate movement.
Mike Spine â€“ a singer, recording artist, and music teacher on a six-month global humanitarian music tour to six continents raising awareness for social, economic and environmental justice â€“ was quoted by 350.org as saying:
â€œIâ€™m very lucky to work with 350.org in the United States. Climate change is a huge challenge, and Iâ€™m very impressed to see young Vietnamese people respond strongly to 350â€™s movement. I hope to be able to bring this enthusiasm to the young communities in the countries where I pass through in my tour, and Iâ€™m confident that global youth are those who will make a change.â€
Culture|Futures is an international collaboration of organizations and individuals who are concerned with shaping and delivering a proactive cultural agenda to support the necessary transition towards an Ecological Age by 2050.
The Cultural sector that we refer to is an interdisciplinary, inter-sectoral, inter-genre collaboration, which encompasses policy-making, intercultural dialogue/cultural relations, creative cities/cultural planning, creative industries and research and development. It is those decision-makers and practitioners who can reach people in a direct way, through diverse messages and mediums.
Affecting the thinking and behaviour of people and communities is about the dissemination of stories which will profoundly impact cultural values, beliefs and thereby actions. The stories can open peopleâ€™s eyes to a way of thinking that has not been considered before, challenge a preconceived notion of the past, or a vision of the future that had not been envisioned as possible. As a sector which is viewed as imbued with creativity and cultural values, rather than purely financial motivations, the cultural sectorâ€™s stories maintain the trust of people and society.
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