Culture’s role in environmental change

This post comes to you from Culture|Futures

The British newspaper The Guardian asks: What have the cultural and creative industries got to do with climate change?

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“Climate change is not just about the climate – it will have huge knock-on effects on human rights, economics, democracy, equality and social and civil justice landscapes.The cultural and creative industries already make work that reflects implicitly and explicitly on these issues listed above. We already stir the imaginations, minds, emotions, spirits and souls of audiences on these subjects. So why is environmental sustainability the topic so often missing from the list? The window for averting climate change is narrow. If we want to choose our own path, not have one forced upon us, we need to take responsibility and act now. We must have the courage to programme much more work about environmental issues…”

Guardian Culture Professionals Network – 15 July 2013:
Culture’s role in environmental change The live and digital work of the cultural and creative industries is key to a low carbon transition and future, says Hannah Rudman

Guardian Culture Professionals Network’s Facebook page

Newsletter from The Guardian Culture Professionals Network
Date: 16 July 2013
Subject: Culture’s role in environmental change | Sustainability should be at the heart of our artistic vision 

What have arts and culture got to do with climate change?

“As a sector we are a powerful collective imagination and a trusted voice” – so starts consultant Hannah Rudman in her piece for us on the role the culture sector must play in making positive environmental change. “We must tell stories of hope and warning about what the future holds.”

There’s no doubt about the capability of the arts to create life-changing experiences — and life will change quite significantly if we don’t look after our planet.

The facts and figures might speak for themselves, but the arts can make them speak louder. “Our disruptive, audacious thinking can get people engaged,” adds Hannah. “Our stories about ecological sustainability and greener living will be essential to preparing us all for a new ecosystem. Statistics cannot motivate us in the same way stories can.”

And for more stories on sustainability in the arts, read these from director of Julie’s Bicycle, Alison Tickell: why sustainability should be at the heart of our collective artistic vision; and

why reporting data will give the arts confidence to act.

Matthew Caines | Journalist | matthew.caines@guardian.co.uk

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Culture|Futures is an international collaboration of organizations and individuals who are concerned with shaping and delivering a proactive cultural agenda to support the necessary transition towards an Ecological Age by 2050.

The Cultural sector that we refer to is an interdisciplinary, inter-sectoral, inter-genre collaboration, which encompasses policy-making, intercultural dialogue/cultural relations, creative cities/cultural planning, creative industries and research and development. It is those decision-makers and practitioners who can reach people in a direct way, through diverse messages and mediums.

Affecting the thinking and behaviour of people and communities is about the dissemination of stories which will profoundly impact cultural values, beliefs and thereby actions. The stories can open people’s eyes to a way of thinking that has not been considered before, challenge a preconceived notion of the past, or a vision of the future that had not been envisioned as possible. As a sector which is viewed as imbued with creativity and cultural values, rather than purely financial motivations, the cultural sector’s stories maintain the trust of people and society.

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