When you think about climate change and climate justice, what do you think of visually? Do you see images of floods and displaced people, do you see protests, or do you see individuals affected by storms, wildfires, and other natural disasters? Negative imagery dominates our minds when we think about climate change, and when we observe climate injustices around the world.
Now think about a future where we’ve changed the narrative on climate change; engendered hope and positivity, supported multidisciplinary collaborations, and inspired collective global efforts to achieve climate justice for all. What does that world look like, and how do we get there?
Two artists, Jon Cairns and Eve Greenwood, will work on a live, interactive art mural which will develop during the course of the World Forum on Climate Justice, which my team at the Centre for Climate Justice are hosting at Glasgow Caledonian University in Scotland on 19-21 June 2019.
We’d like you to take part by providing us with your images of what climate justice means to you, via Twitter #ClimateJustice2019 or via email, or by making suggestions in the comments on this blog post.
We hope the mural will present a powerful visual metaphor for what ‘changing the narrative’ on climate change might look like. The aim is for it to help us visualise a climate-just future, and show us where the conversation on climate change should be heading.
The idea came about during a climate change, climate justice and mental health knowledge exchange workshop which we held in March 2019.
During that workshop we started to think about art as an alternative, accessible way to communicate climate change messages. There was a lot of discussion around how we need to collectively move away from messages of negativity and blame.
Art has historically been used as a way to communicate tough messages, as well as to provide new perspectives and alternative narratives. It also happens to be a favourite hobby of mine – so the World Forum seemed to me like the perfect opportunity to put some of these great ideas about using art to communicate new messages into practice.
My hope is that this mural will inspire everyone who sees it to think about climate change and climate justice differently. We will see climate justice as an achievable reality, rather than yet another source of collective global shame over the climate crisis. Working collaboratively, being action-focussed, and changing how we communicate messages about climate change will all help us to achieve this climate just future.
Whether or not you’re able to attend the World Forum on Climate Justice, we’d like you to share your ideas as what climate justice looks like to you. We invite you to think about what climate injustices are? What is climate justice and what might a climate-just future look like visually? If we ‘change the narrative’ on climate change, what will that look like ten, fifty, a hundred years from now?
Delegates and attendees at the Forum can also share their ideas with the artists in person before lunch, just before the afternoon session on the 19th of June. If you’re not already signed up to attend the Forum, and are able to come along, there are still a few spaces…
I’m very excited to see all your submissions from around the world, and to find out what our collective vision of ‘changing the narrative’ on climate change looks like!