The week of awareness of Climate Action in Culture & Heritage is at an end. Considering I did very little but tell a few sympathetic people to tweet & blog, and tweeted a lot myself, it generated quite a lot of interest.
It started with Tate Modern’s Age of Stupid screening and then their Royal Society climate futures symposium. Unfortunately I couldn’t attend, so couldn’t amplify and report them, and there was only one tweeter, the stalwart Susan Poupard. Given that there don’t seem to be any papers published or media reports (though please send any you know of), I wonder what impact this event had. Are we becoming tired of symposia on how artists can work with scientists to tackle problems like climate change? Do we need to broaden and enrich the discussion? What is the wider educational legacy of all these gatherings of great minds?
One event that was a key reason for holding the week was cancelled so there were fewer events to report from than hoped. However, I did present at Museum-ID’s event on Greener Museums, along with Rachel Madan and others.
The week concluded appropriately with Earth Hour at 8.30 on Saturday so at least it was bookended nicely, starting with a hard reminder of how stupid we’ve been, ending in a positive global action.
Despite the reduction in event attendance, there was plenty of news to report, for example, the ‘neutrality’ issue regarding the Science Museum’s new climate science galleries.
Also, Axis, RSA Arts & Ecology and the Ashden Directory all wrote articles and tweeted about them for #CACH. They were:
‘Eco-bling‘ by Lucy Gibson on Axisweb
‘The thing we shouldn’t be asking artists to do‘ by William Shaw on RSA Arts & Ecology
‘When science meets art…successfully’ by Kellie Payne on the Ashden Directory
One thing I noted here was that we have three articles from some of the leading UK networks or initiatives on art and climate change/ecology. There are no ongoing bodies or networked initiatives, at least none which responded in the same way, and none of the same breadth, from the museums and heritage sector.
Of course there is a bit of local and specialised activity in museums and heritage, and some of that can be seen in the #CACH tweets. Also, I hope that the CACH website and framework can start to fill that gap in pulling together culture and heritage on this issue.
One organisation that is trying hard to engage museums and galleries is the Visual Arts and Galleries Association. They are keen to support curators (in general). They used CACH to ask: What kind of ‘stuff’ would be useful for culture and heritage sectors in terms of climate action? Tools? Advice? Links? Seminars? That call out still stands so tweet (in 1st instance) Trevor Horsewood on @horsewoodcc or go to the VAGA website for more traditional contact details.
To finish with a few more highlights:
Tony Butler tweeted from a wellbeing & museums conference in Oslo and then from a conference of the Alde & the Ore Futures Project, which is looking at impacts of rising sea levels on all dimensions including heritage, tourism and the arts.
Tony also passed on some examples of coastal art projects such as Fly in the Face.
We published a guest post by Claire Adler on young people’s views on climate change and museums.
I learned that M-Shed (Bristol Museums) are working with Transition Bristol on involving the wider community in sustainable development. And, just in, here is a post by Tony Butler about how we can set up ‘transition museums’ or museums inspired by the Transition movement.
I learned that ACE restructuring means ‘letting go’ of their Arts & Ecology officer, John Hartley. However, he’ll not be letting go his interest in this and I look forward to seeing what he does next. I had a great conversation with him about the need to redefine the meaning of sustainability for the sector. I think that is a key next step for the taking forward the Framework for Climate Action.
And there was more…Please add a comment if you learned or did anything during the week, or if you have thoughts about what next.