In December 2017, ENCATC has organised in Brussels a training on "Cultural Management and Environmental Sustainability." At the end of this event, the participants have asked ENCATC to explore the possibility to play an inspiring role for the cultural and educational industry by collecting and sharing stories of arts and cultural organisations that have successfully design and implemented a “green action plan”.
Inspiring the cultural and educational sector: Yes you can!
In March 2018, ENCATC has started a new strategic cooperation with Julie's Bicycle, a charity bridging the gap between environmental sustainability and the creative sector. Thanks to this cooperation ENCATC will be able to offer to educational and cultural operators in Europe and beyond a series of inspiring stories that should change our practices and allow us to transform our own office in a responsible environmental organization.
The first inspiring story was launched on 22 April 2018 in celebration of Earth Day. Below is the first article in a series called the Creative Climate Movement with the aim to empower our members, stakeholders and followers with cultural responses to climate and environment.
Seven Creative Climate Trends: Artwork
By Lucy Latham, Julie’s Bicycle
Arts and culture are not only responding to environmental challenges but
are trailblazing the way forward: creating new narratives, testing ideas, developing
interdisciplinary collaborations and reimagining what’s possible. Environmental
sustainability and climate action is being ingrained within the whole cultural
economy - from investment, strategy and operations, to creative programming, partnerships
and public engagement.
For over 11 years, Julie’s Bicycle has been tracking the creative
climate movement of change within arts and culture. Drawing from this
experience, we have identified Seven Creative Climate Trends - key communities of environmentally centered
practice that are leveraging significant cultural value. They are: Artwork, Activism,
Organisational Leadership, Design and Innovation, Collaboration, Path-finding,
and Policy Changing. This configuration of trends aims to demonstrate the full
breadth and diversity of creative responses to the environment, especially the
paramount issue of climate change, contextualizing them as a whole movement,
networked and moving in concert. Julie’s Bicycle is inviting all artists and
cultural practitioners inspired by - and working in alignment with - our
natural environment to situate themselves within these seven trends and tell
their stories of leadership on our new interactive map. This map is open to all and has been designed to make visible this
growing movement of change. Each month we will be putting into spotlight a
different trend starting with the first trend – artwork where some truly
inspiring and thought-provoking work is being created.
A spotlight on: Artwork
From Paleolithic cave paintings to Agnes Denes’ land art - from Keats’
poetry to Xiuhtezcatl Martinez’s indigenous hip hop - our natural world has
been reflected by generations of creatives from a multitude of artforms. Be it
music, poetry, film, literature, fashion, craft, or dance, creative work is
exploring the environment from all angles, from celebration and commemoration
to questioning and critiquing humanity’s relationship to it. These sensory engagements
plunge us into emotional and intellectual experiences beyond the surface of
everyday life, leading us to viscerally engage with climate and environmental change.
The examples are countless; work like Olafur Eliasson’s famous Ice Watch;
Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam Trilogy; documentaries like Chasing Ice and An
Inconvenient Truth, the architectural works of Ackroyd&Harvey.
The play ‘Myth’ by Kirsty Housley and Matt Hartley (first featured in
Royal Shakespeare Company’s Mischief Festival, 2017) is a comment on the
cultural amnesia embodied by so many of us regarding humanity’s influence on
the planet – we chose to look away, to ignore the warning signs. But as faced
by the play’s protagonists, the events of the world can’t be kept outside any
longer and this brings everything into question – how we live our lives, what
we value, how our societies are structured, how we work together. It is easy to
see something of yourself within the emotional responses of these everyday
characters and their navigation of this demanding, complicated and ultimately existential
threat. But it is the honest chronicling of this challenge that so brilliantly
demonstrates the power of art: to build bridges and foster empathy, to connect
us to our humanity, to create spaces for shared grief and fear, as well as hope,
determination and courage.