The most challenging part of the day was the open panel discussion (panel members listed above) where questions were opened up to the room. I was inspired by Jamie Driscoll and his socialist grass roots outlook on systems change and it was good to hear the opinions of and see some representation from some younger voices from Helder and Pascal. It was however, artist Aidan Moesby who really left an impression on me, following a day of discussing the reoccurring theme of systems change, he challenged that very concept by highlighting that there simply was not enough diversity in the room including race, gender, class, and neurological, after all the subject matter affects us all. He suggested that, “Too much gatekeeping happens in the arts and cultural sector, where funding goes, who it goes to, it’s like a cultural Kabal”. Aidan told the room that this top down approach is gatekeeping and individual artists who have the power to connect to people are not getting support or resources to work from the ground up. Aidans response was honest and challenging and for me ended the day on another reality check for the organisations in the room, I liked it when referring to the red tape and loops we often have to jump through to get a creative project underway he said, “At the bottom level change costs nothing, conversations are free”.
Reflecting on the day Anna-Lisa suggested that Greta Thunberg could have ‘wrapped up’ what we as a collective of creatives, academics, leaders, politicians and activists had discussed throughout the day into a few powerful words. The power of Greta’s climate change rhetoric is something that has grabbed the attention of the people on a global level, and we, as creatives should be talking note of the delivery of her message. Humans by their very nature love stories, this is how we learn and creatives, artists, writers, poets possess the skills to articulate and visualise complex narratives making them concise, engaging and provocative. In the words of CS Lewis we have the ability to “carry meaning in a way that rational truth tellers cannot”. What other story, narrative or meaning can be any more important right now than the demise of our planet?
Back at the studio I shared my experiences of the day with the team. We collectively agreed that we need to take a more active role and acknowledge our responsibility when it comes to the impact of climate change. We pride ourselves on close working relationships with clients, and know it’s instrumental for us (and other suppliers) to guide them to make ethical decisions. We are going to ensure this is an ongoing priority and discussion.
We are passionate about our creative work and self initiated projects are a good way to flex our creative muscles, and connect with likeminded people. We feel a climate change project could be in the pipeline…
Recommended reading taken from the day:
- David Wallace – The Uninhabitable Earth
- Rebecca Solnit – Whose Story is This?
- Mary M Talbot and Bryan Talbot – Rain
- Greta Thunberg – No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference