SOS Gulf to Gulf is a virtual model for the role of art in creating resilience

For Immediate Release: December 16, 2009

Contact: Aviva Rahmani 646 403 7130

Asger Jorn Room, Bella Center, Copenhagen

ghostnets@ghostnets.com www.ghostnets.com

Art can help build the capacity and facilitate adaptation needed at COP15;

SOS Gulf to Gulf is a virtual model for the role of art in creating resilience

Protestors world wide see COP15 as a conflict between money and legalisms. This press conference asserts that is why art needs to be at the table, “ [supporting] [assisting] [enabling] all developing country Parties, particularly the most vulnerable, in undertaking adaptation measures.” Art is how people express their experiences. Millions of artists have another approach to environmental issues.

Artists can help COP15 communicate between parties

  • The media can convey how art can enable adaptation and implement climate justice
  • Contemporary and indigenous art practices provide relatively low-cost, uncontentious models for adaptation and mitigation that can contribute to long term cooperation and capacity building. Art is a vehicle to express what words and numbers can’t.
  • When we take “aspirational goals” seriously for the Least Developed Countries (LDC), we see that the arts in each culture and between cultures are a means to express aspiration, sustain it’s people, bridge communication gaps and be a container for important historical information, including indigenous environmental knowledge. Art is the glue holding societies and cultures together, under stress, means to intimately connect people.
  • In the 21rst century, art can create ways for technology transfer and development to translate and protect bodies of cultural knowledge, because artists are innovative.
  • Ecological art is a recognized practice that embraces an ecological ethic in both its content and form/materials, embracing collaborative opportunities.

SOS Gulf to Gulf is an example of how an ecological art practice can help

  • SOS Gulf to Gulf developed in virtual collaboration to reduce carbon emissions
  • Artist Aviva Rahmani and scientist Dr. Jim White, director of the Institute for Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR), University of Colorado at Boulder, initiated a cross-disciplinary virtual collaboration, addressing the international global warming crisis in gulf regions.
  • The story reveals parallels between Bangladesh, the Gulf of Mexico, the Gulf of Maine, the Gulf of Aden and the Persian Gulf connecting water, war, pirates, fisheries, education and migrations.
  • SOS Gulf to Gulf was inspired by the Trigger Point Theory of environmental restoration developed by Rahmani
  • Presentation Credits: dialog is between artists Aviva Rahmani and Peter Buotte, curator Tricia Watts, Ecoartspace, Marda Kirn, director EcoArts Connection, Dr. Jim White, INSTAAR, Dr. Ed Maibach, George Mason University, Dr. Eugene Turner, Louisiana State University, Dr. Michele Dionne, director of Research at the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve, Wells Maine and Tuku Ahmed, a New York City taxi cab driver and immigrant from Bangladesh.

If COP15 and the UNFCCC desire just allocation of resources to deal with climate change. Why then, has art, which has so much to contribute to that goal, been absent from all discussions of adaptability?

  • TEXT IN COP DOCUMENTS DESCRIBE THE NEED:

Report of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention on its seventh session, held in Bangkok from 28 September to 9 October 2009, and Barcelona from 2 to 6 November 2009; chosen because it bears equally on human needs for ethics and culture.

  • Key words and phrases:

build capacity and facilitate adaptation, Ecological art, adaptation and mitigation, aspirational goals, technology transfer and development, Resilience, Vulnerability, “[the level of adaptation][adaptation needs]”, “[framework] [programme]”

  • Key document text that illlustrates why art can become a partner:
  • pg 54: “Adaptation is a challenge shared by all countries; …. in order to reduce vulnerability, minimize loss and damage and build the resilience of ecological and social systems and economic sectors to present and future adverse effects of climate change [and the impact of the implementation of response measures]. (reference content of non-paper no.41 (5 November 2009)”
  • pp 61: “identifying sources of adaptation;

(b) Strengthening, consolidating and enhancing the sharing of information, knowledge, experience and good practices, at local, national, regional and international levels, consistent with relevant international agreements, through creating forums where different public and private stakeholders can discuss concrete challenges;”

  • Additional considerations
  1. Gender issues relate to questions of art and culture. Disproportionately, artisans in indigenous cultures are often women. Their practices often preserve the, “[land use, land-use change and forestry sector]”; (and represent how to) p. 92 “respect the knowledge and rights of indigenous peoples[, including their free, prior and informed consent,]  Deforestation is often a consequence of the cultural disruption that displaces gender roles.
  2. Art and humanities foster creativity through out all sectors of society. In transition periods, creative problem-solving is as essential to survival as financial or regulatory support.
  3. The costs of sustaining cultural communities in relation to other ecological costs is not only minimal but has historically transferred wealth, in a variety of forms back into an economy. This will help cultures in transition maintain identity and independence, a response to the need to, “develop low-emission [high growth sustainable] development strategies.”

Films by Aviva Rahmani with discussion afterwards will be viewed at 5: PM December 16: Farumgade 4-6, 2200 Kbh N (Nørrebro) http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=203108274870#/pages/FIT-freie-internationale-tankstelle/60219692736?ref=ts (via shareaholic)

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