Monthly Archives: June 2021

Conscient Podcast: e38 zenith

Art is the medicine that actually allows us to metabolize charge. It allows us to metabolize trauma. It takes the intensity that’s left in the system, and this goes all the way back to ritual. Art, for me, is a sort of a tributary coming off from ritual that is still sort of consensually allowed in this reality when the direct communication with nature through ritual was silenced. 

shante sojourn zenith, conscient podcast, May 4, 2021, Minnesota

Shante’ Sojourn Zenith is an animist somatic practitioner creating Edge Rituals to tend the wounds of her kin’s unmetabolized ancestral trauma and developmental dissociation from embodiment by re-enlivening relationship to elemental earth consciousness and initiatory process. She works both one-on-one and in group spaces to create emergent explorations informed by nervous system state shifting, metaphor-based symbolic modeling, constellations, intuitive voice and movement, grief tending, and earth-rooted ritual. Shante’ is currently germinating an art project called Long Body Prayers, a podcast, oracle deck, and pedagogical process for re-membering the relational root system of support each being is embedded in. 

Shante’ has asked to name that in this podcast she is speaking from an entangled root system of animist somatics that will have aspects of her teachers and collaborators voices in her own words. What she speaks is a transmutation of many voices, including Kris Nourse, Azul Valerie Thome, Francis Weller, Annemiek van Helsdingen, Susan Raffo, Liz Koch, Tada Hozumi, Dare Sohei, Larissa Kaul, Deb Dana, and Sarah Peyton. Specifically in this podcast, her understanding of the way the Peak Valley Recovery Pattern relates to cultural bodies is credited to Tada Hozumi’s essay What comes next? The dawn of a new era of cultural somatic activism (https://tadahozumi.com/what-comes-next-the-dawn-of-a-new-era-of-cultural-somatic-activism/).  Other influential beings in Shante’s unfolding have been the moon, a birch tree in Vermont, an oak tree in California, and the turtles of Bass Lake marsh on Dakota land in Mni Sota Makoce.

I first heard about Shante’s work through her Fruiting Bodies: Collapse as Medicine, Liminal Portals, Mycelial Entanglements essay in Dark Matter magazine. This sentence in particular caught my attention and stuck with me:

… we fear experiences of disintegration, breakdown, and collapse. But what if the collapse is also a part of the medicine? There are openings and cracks in these times of breakdown, windows into other worlds.

Her writing made sense to me, but I did not really understand how to relate he work to the climate emergency, so I asked her and was enriched by our conversation. It’s the kind of recording that is worth listening to twice to further retain nuance. 

As I did with all episodes this season, I have integrated excerpts from previous episodes in this case, from e19 reality in this episode. 

I would like to thank Shante’ for taking the time to speak with me, for sharing her world view, her practices, including the idea that ‘art is the medicine that actually allows us to metabolize charge’.

For more information on Shante’s work, see www.earthpoetedgeweaver.com.

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L’art est le médicament qui nous permet de métaboliser la charge. Il nous permet de métaboliser les traumatismes. Il prend l’intensité qui reste dans le système, et cela remonte jusqu’au rituel. L’art, pour moi, est une sorte d’affluent provenant du rituel qui est encore autorisé de manière consensuelle dans cette réalité lorsque la communication directe avec la nature par le biais du rituel a été réduite au silence. 

shante’ sojourn zenith, balado conscient, 4 mai 2021, Minnesota

Shante’ Sojourn Zenith est une praticienne somatique animiste qui crée des Rituels de Bordure pour soigner les blessures des traumatismes ancestraux non métabolisés de ses proches et la dissociation développementale de l’incarnation en ravivant la relation avec la conscience élémentaire de la terre et le processus initiatique. Elle travaille à la fois individuellement et en groupe pour créer des explorations émergentes informées par le changement d’état du système nerveux, la modélisation symbolique basée sur des métaphores, les constellations, la voix et le mouvement intuitifs, le traitement du chagrin et les rituels enracinés dans la terre. Shante’ est en train de faire germer un projet artistique appelé Long Body Prayers, un balado, un jeu d’oracle et un processus pédagogique pour se souvenir du système relationnel de soutien dans lequel chaque être est intégré.

Shante’ a demandé de nommer le fait que, dans ce balado, elle parle à partir d’un système de racines enchevêtrées de somatique animiste, et que certains aspects de la voix de ses enseignants et de ses collaborateurs seront intégrés dans ses propres mots. Ce qu’elle dit est une transmutation de nombreuses voix, dont celles de Kris Nourse, Azul Valerie Thome, Francis Weller, Annemiek van Helsdingen, Susan Raffo, Liz Koch, Tada Hozumi, Dare Sohei, Larissa Kaul, Deb Dana et Sarah Peyton. Plus précisément dans ce podcast, sa compréhension de la manière dont le Peak Valley Recovery Pattern se rapporte aux corps culturels est attribuée à l’essai de Tada Hozumi intitulé What comes next ? L’aube d’une nouvelle ère d’activisme somatique culturel (https://tadahozumi.com/what-comes-next-the-dawn-of-a-new-era-of-cultural-somatic-activism/ ).  D’autres êtres influents dans le déroulement de Shante’ ont été la lune, un bouleau dans le Vermont, un chêne en Californie et les tortues du marais de Bass Lake sur la terre des Dakota à Mni Sota Makoce.

J’ai entendu parler du travail de Shante’ pour la première fois par le biais de son article Fruiting Bodies: Collapse as Medicine, Liminal Portals, Mycelial Entanglements dans le magazine Dark Matter. Cette phrase, en particulier, a attiré mon attention et m’a marquée :

… nous craignons les expériences de désintégration, de rupture et d’effondrement. Mais que faire si l’effondrement fait aussi partie de la médecine ? Il y a des ouvertures et des fissures dans ces moments de rupture, des fenêtres vers d’autres mondes.

Son écriture avait du sens pour moi mais je ne comprenais pas vraiment comment relier son travail à l’urgence climatique, alors je lui ai demandé et notre conversation m’a beaucoup enrichi. C’est le genre d’enregistrement qui vaut la peine d’être écouté deux fois pour mieux saisir les nuances. 

Comme je l’ai fait pour tous les épisodes de cette saison, j’ai intégré des extraits d’épisodes précédents – dans ce cas, de la e19 reality – dans cet épisode. 

Je tiens à remercier Shante’ d’avoir pris le temps de me parler, de partager sa vision du monde, ses pratiques, et notamment l’idée que “L’art est le médicament qui nous permet de métaboliser la charge”.

Pour plus d’informations sur le travail de Shante’, voir www.earthpoetedgeweaver.com

The post e38 zenith appeared first on conscient podcast / balado conscient. conscient is a bilingual blog and podcast (French or English) by audio artist Claude Schryer that explores how arts and culture contribute to environmental awareness and action.

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About the Concient Podcast from Claude Schryer

The conscient podcast / balado conscient is a series of conversations about art, conscience and the ecological crisis. This podcast is bilingual (in either English or French). The language of the guest determines the language of the podcast. Episode notes are translated but not individual interviews.

I started the conscient project in 2020 as a personal learning journey and knowledge sharing exercise. It has been rewarding, and sometimes surprising.

The term ‘conscient’ is defined as ‘being aware of one’s surroundings, thoughts and motivations’. My touchstone for the podcast is episode 1, e01 terrified, based on an essay I wrote in May 2019, where I share my anxiety about the climate crisis and my belief that arts and culture can play a critical role in raising public awareness about environmental issues. The conscient podcast / balado conscient follows up on my http://simplesoundscapes.ca (2016–2019) project: 175, 3-minute audio and video field recordings that explore mindful listening.

Season 1 (May to October 2020) explored how the arts contribute to environmental awareness and action. I produced 3 episodes in French and 15 in English. The episodes cover a wide range of content, including activism, impact measurement, gaming, arts funding, cross-sectoral collaborations, social justice, artistic practices, etc. Episodes 8 to 17 were recorded while I was at the Creative Climate Leadership USA course in Arizona in March 2020 (led by Julie’s Bicycle). Episode 18 is a compilation of highlights from these conversations.

Season 2 (March 2021 – ) explores the concept of reality and is about accepting reality, working through ecological grief and charting a path forward. The first episode of season 2 (e19 reality) mixes quotations from 28 authors with field recordings from simplesoundscapes and from my 1998 soundscape composition, Au dernier vivant les biens. One of my findings from this episode is that ‘I now see, and more importantly, I now feel in my bones, ‘the state of things as they actually exist’, without social filters or unsustainable stories blocking the way’. e19 reality touches upon 7 topics: our perception of reality, the possibility of human extinction, ecological anxiety and ecological grief, hope, arts, storytelling and the wisdom of indigenous cultures. The rest of season 2 features interviews with thought leaders about their responses and reactions to e19 reality.

my professional services

I’ve been retired from the Canada Council for the Arts since September 15, 2020 where I served as a senior strategic advisor in arts granting (2016-2020) and manager of the Inter-Arts Office (1999-2015). My focus in (quasi) retirement is environmental issues within my area of expertise in arts and culture, in particular in acoustic ecology. I’m open to become involved in projects that align with my values and that move forward environmental concerns. Feel free to email me for a conversation : claude@conscient.ca

acknowledgement of eco-responsibility

I acknowledge that the production of the conscient podcast / balado conscient produces carbon. I try to minimize this carbon footprint by being as efficient as possible, including using GreenGeeks as my web server and acquiring carbon offsets for my equipment and travel activities from BullFrog Power and Less.

a word about privilege and bias

While recording episode 19 ‘reality’, I heard elements of ‘privilege’ in my voice that I had not noticed before. It sounded a bit like ‘ecological mansplaining’. I realize that, in spite of good intentions, I need to work my way through issues of privilege (of all kinds) and unconscious bias the way I did through ecological anxiety and grief during the fall of 2020. My re-education is ongoing.

Go to conscient.ca

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Wild Authors: Yaba Badoe

By Mary Woodbury

This book is told in beautiful, lyrical prose that swept me away … This book has great diverse representation and shows three girls standing up for what they believe in. This novel doesn’t lament what we have lost as much as teach us to stand up and fight for what remains.

Midnight Book Girl

Yaba Badoe is an award-winning Ghanaian-British documentary filmmaker and writer. A graduate of King’s College Cambridge, she has taught in Spain, Jamaica and Ghana. Her short stories for adults have been published in Critical Quarterly and in African Love Stories: An Anthology, edited by Ama Ata Aidoo. In 2014, Yaba was nominated for the Distinguished Woman of African Cinema award. Her first novel, True Murder, was published by Jonathan Cape in 2009. Her debut young adult novel, A Jigsaw of Fire and Stars, published by Zephyr, was shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award 2018 and has been nominated for the 2019 Carnegie Medal. Yaba is based in London.

I loved asking author Yaba Badoe questions about her novel Wolf Light (Zephyr, April 2019), a young adult fantasy which takes place in a few places in the world where this World Eco-fiction series had not yet traveled. One thing she said in our chat reflected the reasons I began this spotlight series: 

The climate crisis is global. To reflect on the scope of the challenge we’re facing, I wanted to create narrators from parts of the world I’ve visited that have fired my imagination. I chose a mountainous area of Gobi-Altai near the Gobi desert of Mongolia, the tropical forest region of Ghana in West Africa, and the stormy moors of Cornwall in England.

Born in wolf light – the magical dusk – in Mongolia, Ghana and Cornwall, Zula, Adoma and Linet are custodians of the sacred sites of their homelands. When copper miners plunder Zula’s desert home in Gobi Altai, and Adoma’s forest and river are polluted by gold prospectors, it is only a matter of time before the lake Linet guards with her life is also in jeopardy. How far will Zula, Adoma and Linet go to defend the well-being of their homes? And when all else fails, will they have the courage to summon the ancient power of their order, to make the landscape speak in a way that everyone will hear?

Rich in elemental magic, myth, and the mysterious magical dusk, Wolf Light is Yaba Badoe’s defiant call to protect our environment, to conserve our heritage, and to hear the ancient power that connects us.

CHAT WITH THE AUTHOR

When did you first start writing, and what and who were your early inspirations?

I’ve always loved listening to stories and reading them. So much so that I started writing my own stories before I was 10. My grandmother, my mother’s mother, was an early inspiration. Mame Soma used to tell me Ananse stories: Akan folktales of Anase, the spider-man, a cunning trickster who manages to wheedle his way out of trouble before hurtling towards his next adventure. I don’t think I’d have survived leaving Ghana to go to prep school in the depths of the Devon countryside without stories. Immersing myself in Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Greek myths, and tales from Robin Hood and the Merry Men saved my life.

How did Wolf Light come about? What sorts of things were you thinking about back then?

The climate crisis has been on my mind for some time, but when I started making a documentary film in 2016 for Womin – a South Africa-based NGO dedicated to social justice for African women impacted by mining and oil exploration – I saw first-hand how rural women in Kwa Zulu Natal struggled to find water. Open cast coal mining uses huge amounts of water, and when there’s an on-going drought at the same time, caring for family and livestock is almost impossible. I’m greatly indebted to women whose stories I researched while filming in South Africa and Uganda.  But what finally compelled me to tell the stories in Wolf Light was seeing photographs of galamsey – illegal gold mining – in Ghana. My cousin, an environmentalist and research scientist, Dr. (Mrs) Rose Emma Mamaa Ensua-Mensah showed me devastating images of ecocide: the poisoning and silting of rivers and the felling of trees for galamsey. If you think of the earth, as I do, as a living planet, seeing my cousin’s photographs was like witnessing someone you love have their eyes gouged out. Dreadful. Absolutely dreadful. So dreadful that I felt I had to write a novel about what we’re doing to the only home we have.

The story is a positive one for girls rising to power while tackling environmental crises. It’s wonderful to see this happening in reality as well as with literary heroes. Can you explain how you decided to create the characters Zula, Adoma, and Linet, who were all born in the wolf light?

The climate crisis is global. To reflect on the scope of the challenge we’re facing, I wanted to create narrators from parts of the world I’ve visited that have fired my imagination. I chose a mountainous area of Gobi-Altai near the Gobi desert of Mongolia, the tropical forest region of Ghana in West Africa, and the stormy moors of Cornwall in England. Zula’s father and grandmother are both shamans, Adoma’s grandfather is a priest of African traditional religion, and Linnet’s grandmother is a guardian of the Linet Lake on Bodmin moor. I hoped that by linking the girls to religious traditions that seek to care and partner with the environment as opposed to dominate it, I could explore alternative ways of sharing the planet with our fellow animals.

It’s wonderful to see these girls take to heart their sacred oaths to uphold their heritage, which includes their natural landscapes. In a world where authors are increasingly considering the natural world in their stories, can you talk more about these themes in your own fiction?

I’d like to think that as a writer the world my characters inhabit – whether it’s on land, in a city, or underwater in a lake or the sea – is an important part of the story I’m telling. Is there light or shade in a scene? Is it wet or dry outside? Is there a whiff of cooking in the air or the scent of neem tree blossom? Is the sun out? Will it be a full moon tonight? Does the character I’m writing about live in a desert or a forest? The natural world is a vital element in a writer’s toolkit. It can help you create a context for your character’s actions as well as generate tremendous drama. Is a storm brewing? Is the wind up? What effect is this having on trees and your character? For me, the challenge in writing is how best to capture the magic of the world we live in.

Have you read other recent novels that explore our natural world, and which ones engaged you? Is this something you foresee continuing to tackle in your own fiction?

In the past couple of years, I’ve read two novels which have had a huge impact on me. Funnily enough they have the same title: The Wolf Road.

The first, a literary thriller by Beth Lewis, tells a compelling, visceral story that roams the vast landscape of post-apocalyptic British Colombia but remains close and claustrophobic in its drama. I literally wolfed the novel down, so taken was I by the narrator’s voice. I shall never forget Elka and her story.

Richard Lambert’s The Wolf Road is a gut-punch of a story about Lucas and his struggle to readjust to life in the Lake District with his estranged Nan after he loses his parents in a car accident. It’s an astonishing exploration of love and grief and wildness rooted in the Cumbrian landscape, which heals Lucas as it reveals itself to him.

You’re also a journalist and filmmaker. I recently watched The Witches of Gambaga and felt that I learned quite a bit but was also horrified by what the women face. Your documentaries educate people on different facets of life in Africa. Do you have other such documentaries planned?

I don’t have any more documentaries planned at the moment as I’m concentrating on writing. But who knows how the future will unfold?

I am looking forward to all future work by you, and thank you so much for talking with me today about your amazing Wolf Light and the inspirations behind it.

This article is part of our Wild Authors series. It was originally published on Dragonfly.eco.

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Mary Woodbury, a graduate of Purdue University, runs Dragonfly.eco, a site that explores ecology in literature, including works about climate change. She writes fiction under pen name Clara Hume. Her novel Back to the Garden has been discussed in Dissent Magazine, Ethnobiology for the Future: Linking Cultural and Ecological Diversity (University of Arizona Press), and Uncertainty and the Philosophy of Climate Change (Routledge). Mary lives in Nova Scotia and enjoys hiking, writing, and reading.

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Artists and Climate Change is a blog that tracks artistic responses from all disciplines to the problem of climate change. It is both a study about what is being done, and a resource for anyone interested in the subject. Art has the power to reframe the conversation about our environmental crisis so it is inclusive, constructive, and conducive to action. Art can, and should, shape our values and behavior so we are better equipped to face the formidable challenge in front of us.

Go to the Artists and Climate Change Blog

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CREATORS: Interview with Holly Fay

In ALLCREATORS by McKenzie Prillaman

Which came first in your life, the science or the art?

My curiosity about the natural physical world and my desire to make and create have been unified since childhood. As a youngster, I spent much time exploring the outdoors and collecting natural materials. For example, I would gather up all the varieties of leaves I could find, then arranged my collections into notebooks. Trips to the library were treasured; I would carry an armful of natural science books home to pore over the pictures and diagrams. By good fortune, the public library also housed an art gallery. Consequently, each library expedition included a visit to the art gallery. The pull towards visual art grew stronger as my understanding of art broadened, which led me to study art at university and build a professional art practice.

Full circle—in 2015, I exhibited my work in a solo exhibition with that same gallery housed in the public library I visited as a child.

Floating Worlds series (2011) by Holly Fay, 38 x 56 cm, graphite on paper

Continue reading HERE

(Top photo: Current 4 (2021) by Holly Fay, 152.4 x 274 cm, graphite, ink on paper)

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ecoartapace was conceived in 1997 by Patricia Watts in Los Angeles. In 1999, Watts partnered with east coast curator Amy Lipton, operating as a nonprofit under the umbrella of SEE, the Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs in California. 2019 marked twenty years that Watts and Lipton have curated art and ecology programs, participating on panels and giving lectures internationally. Combined, they have curated over sixty art and ecology exhibitions, many outdoors in collaboration with artists creating site-specific works. They have worked with over one thousand artists from across the United States, and some internationally. Starting 2020, ecoartspace became an LLC membership organization based out of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

A project of the Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs since 1999

Go to EcoArtSpace

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Guest blog: Raising Futures – articles interpreting arts and culture as sustainable practices

Raising Futures is a collaborative publication between final year BA Culture, Criticism and Curation students at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London and climate change magazine It’s Freezing in LA! (IFLA!).

Raising Futures is a series of articles that interprets arts and culture as sustainable practices and how they can be used as tools for dissemination. Through its various pieces on architecture, fashion, art and culture, the publication elucidates the fragile state of our environment, whilst highlighting an urgent need for change through acts of sustainability.

We produced Raising Futures as part of our final year project at Central Saint Martins (CSM), known as the Degree Show. The Degree Show is an opportunity for students to work together and consolidate the knowledge gained throughout the course and demonstrate it to the wider audience of the University of the Arts London and those outside of it. To produce this creative yet insightful piece, we drew inspiration from IFLA!’s May 2021 issue, exploring similar themes of ecology and regeneration, whilst embodying our own skills and practices to generate an alternative outtake on the topic of climate change. By offering a varied scope on an ever-pressing subject, Raising Futuresembraces the importance of ecological acknowledgement as well as the very essence of our university: innovation.

To strive for sustainability is to allow us, as human beings, to evolve and adapt to meet the new and continuing challenges faced in everyday life. Our planet is already feeling the effects of climate change, threatening our existence as we lean closer and closer towards a potentially irreversible shift, and so we must prosper to protect it. A consequence that is often overlooked is what climate change could mean for our careers. From pilots to farmers, bankers to doctors, an increasing number of job industries are in jeopardy from its effects. But having a richer sense of community in conquering the continuous climate crisis of rising sea levels, elevated temperatures and melting glaciers is called for, now, more than ever for the sake of a foreseeable future.

To be a part of a project wherein we were able to produce a publication that raises awareness towards the importance of this was both an innovating and invigorating progress. The discussions we shared with IFLA! were constantly fascinating and a brilliant opportunity for us, as students, to dig into new ideas, insights and approaches to addressing climate change. We’re proud to distribute our work alongside the magazine’s most recent issue and hope that readers learn as much about the climate crisis as we have from this collaboration.

Raising Futures is currently available alongside IFLA!’s May issue and can be found on IFLA!’s website. More information on Central Saint Martins’ BA Culture, Criticism and Curation degree can be found on the University of the Arts London Central Saint Martins website.

Follow the work of CSM students on Instagram and Twitter.

The post Guest blog: Raising Futures – articles interpreting arts and culture as sustainable practices appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.

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Creative Carbon Scotland is a partnership of arts organisations working to put culture at the heart of a sustainable Scotland. We believe cultural and creative organisations have a significant influencing power to help shape a sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.

In 2011 we worked with partners Festivals Edinburgh, the Federation of Scottish Threatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network to support over thirty arts organisations to operate more sustainably.

We are now building on these achievements and working with over 70 cultural organisations across Scotland in various key areas including carbon management, behavioural change and advocacy for sustainable practice in the arts.

Our work with cultural organisations is the first step towards a wider change. Cultural organisations can influence public behaviour and attitudes about climate change through:

Changing their own behaviour;
Communicating with their audiences;
Engaging the public’s emotions, values and ideas.

Go to Creative Carbon Scotland

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Job: Broadway Green Alliance – Assistant Director

The Broadway Green Alliance is seeking a full-time Assistant Director to play a pivotal role in advancing the future of sustainability in the theatre community. The BGA operates at the intersection of theatre and the environment, and we are looking for someone with passion for both. Experience in each area is valuable but not required.

ABOUT THE ORGANIZATION:

The Broadway Green Alliance (BGA) is an industry-wide initiative that educates, motivates, and inspires the entire theatre community and its patrons to implement environmentally-friendlier practices.

The BGA, launched in 2008 in collaboration with the Natural Resources Defense Council, is an ad hoc committee of The Broadway League and a fiscal program of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

Core Principles:

  • It is impossible to be 100% “green” – we can only be greener. Each of us can begin by doing something to benefit our environment today, no matter the size of the action.
  • The climate crisis is the result of millions of decisions and it demands action – big andsmall – from each of us. Change results from the cumulative effect of our actions.
  • Climate neutrality is insufficient. In order to lessen the damage caused by climatechange and restore our climate to historically safe levels of atmospheric CO2, the BGAworks to promote climate positive action and commitments.
  • We must build an equitable and just climate movement and address the disproportionateeffect of environmental degradation on poor and BIPOC communities. There is no climate justice without racial justice.

OVERVIEW:

We are seeking a full-time Assistant Director to play a pivotal role in advancing the future of sustainability in the theatre community. The BGA operates at the intersection of theatre and the environment, and we are looking for someone with passion for both. Experience in each area is valuable but not required.

The Assistant Director will report to the Director. They will work closely together in a small team environment. Assistant Director responsibilities include maintaining day-to-day operations, planning and executing virtual and in-person events, managing our in-office recycling collections and Green Captain programs, developing social media content and email communications, and serving as a primary point of contact for queries from the community. To be successful in this role, you should excel in workflow management, project coordination, and people management skills.

All BGA staff and volunteers are expected to understand and embrace our mission statement and core principles, and share our commitment to justice and anti-racism in our operations and practices.

If you are a passionate self-starter who values friendliness, teamwork, diligence, tenacity, and humor – and is excited to join this growing organization at a critical moment for our planet – we’d love to hear from you.

More information

TO APPLY: 

Please send a cover letter and resume in PDF form to: jobs@broadwaygreen.com. Please include “BGA Assistant Director_Your Name” in the subject line.  

The BGA is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer and is committed to creating an equitable, inclusive, and accessible environment for all staff and members.  We are dedicated to building a culturally diverse work environment – women, non-gender-binary/trans individuals,  BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color), individuals with disabilities, and other underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply. 

Application Deadline: July 12, 2021 

Application Process: Applications will be reviewed as they are received. All applicants will receive confirmation of receipt and will be notified if they are selected for an interview. There will be 2-3 rounds of interviews. The first interview will be conducted by Zoom with subsequent interviews either conducted in-person at our Times Square office or remotely.

Art Spiel: Interview with Nicole Kutz

by Etty Yaniv for Art Spiel

The Nashville based artist and curator, Nicole Kutz, meditates in her paintings on life’s transience through handmade pigments and dyes. She frequently draws on the Japanese Wabi-sabi aesthetics, as well as the artforms of shibori and kintsugi, to create ethereal abstracted worlds, where you can find beauty in imperfections.

Tell me a bit about yourself and what brought you to art.

I was born and raised in Atlanta, GA in 1991. As a child, I was wildly creative and terribly nearsighted. My strong astigmatism caused me to look at things closely and my imagination used that to its advantage to recreate the world around me. My vision issues, coupled with my introversion, did not translate well to sports, but I found my community in afterschool arts programs. Art classes provided a whole new outlet for me, where I could hide behind my drawings and let the paper speak for me.

The arts were also in my blood: my Oma was an artist and owned a gallery in Atlanta in the 1980s. I grew up visiting my Oma and Opa’s time capsule of a home, their basement filled with pieces that never sold, and I looked up to my Oma’s beautiful stories and love of art. She passed when I was 11 from a stroke and shortly after, she visited me during my first experience with sleep paralysis. She made it clear that I was meant to be in the arts and that my spirit was guided with painting. I held on to her words and still call upon that memory any time I question what brought me to making art in the first place.

That memory fueled me through a BFA from the University of Georgia and a MFA from the Savannah College of Art and Design. I moved to Los Angeles after graduating in 2017 and felt that the change was a necessary shift in order for me to grow personally. I worked in several fields within the arts in hopes that working in tangent with my passion would satisfy my need to paint, but no matter how hard I tried to veer away from painting, it would always call me back.

The pursuit did however open my eyes to the business aspects of art. I worked as the Chief Curator to help build an online art streaming company, as a curatorial assistant for a fine art advisor and as a gallery manager for several galleries. These experiences shaped my approach to painting and emphasized time management as a key factor in my art, which I believe informed the majority of my material choices and love of process-based work. As cliché as it sounds, art has always been my therapy. Painting is how I process memory, past traumas, fears, and dreams. Every series has its own story but it all centers around my internal struggles and the ongoing goal of staying present.

Eastern philosophies seem to play a central role in your thinking about art. How is that expressed in making your paintings?

I have always resonated with Buddhist thought and wabi-sabi aesthetics are deeply ingrained into my process. Wabi-sabi is the truth that both life and art are beautiful not because they are perfect and eternal, but because they are imperfect and fleeting. I find this liberating not only in life, but also in how I approach making art. I have learned to embrace the flaws within a work, as well as materials that are unpredictable.

I also draw inspiration from meditation, Reiki therapy, moon cycles and how all of this plays into understanding my environment. Japanese culture views the moon as a symbol of the passage of time and as the guardian of mountains. The moon frequently finds its way into my work – be it subconsciously or planned.

For several years, I have attended Reiki therapy as an outlet to process trauma. Reiki is a form of alternative medicine that originated in Japan in the 1800s in which the healer administers treatment by accessing a universal energy through their palms. During multiple hours in this meditative state, I envisioned landscapes that resemble caves, glaciers, waterfalls or otherworldly structures. I channel these landscapes through painting as I attempt to recreate my subconscious spaces. With our thoughts, we create our reality, and through my art, I realized I could make this intangible energy, tangible.

Fera Space XXXVII, 2020, 21.5” x 22.5”, Indigo on paper with book binding thread, Photo courtesy of Nicole Kutz 

Read the rest of the article on Art Spiel HERE

(Top photo: Nicole Kutz in the studio, 2020, Photo courtesy of Nicole Kutz)

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ecoartapace was conceived in 1997 by Patricia Watts in Los Angeles. In 1999, Watts partnered with east coast curator Amy Lipton, operating as a nonprofit under the umbrella of SEE, the Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs in California. 2019 marked twenty years that Watts and Lipton have curated art and ecology programs, participating on panels and giving lectures internationally. Combined, they have curated over sixty art and ecology exhibitions, many outdoors in collaboration with artists creating site-specific works. They have worked with over one thousand artists from across the United States, and some internationally. Starting 2020, ecoartspace became an LLC membership organization based out of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

A project of the Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs since 1999

Go to EcoArtSpace

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An Interview with Editors Angie Dell and Joey Eschrich

By Amy Brady

In this month’s newsletter I have for you an interview with Angie Dell and Joey Eschrich, the editors of a new –and free – collection of climate fiction stories. Based out of Arizona State University, the editors have just released the third in their series, Everything Change

I spoke with Angie and Joey about what inspired their climate-fiction project, how this third collection differs from previous ones, and what they hope readers take away from the stories they publish.

Let’s start with some background. What are the Everything Change anthologies?
 
These free, digital anthologies collect the winning stories from our global Everything Change climate fiction contests, which we’ve been hosting every two years since 2016. They feature short fiction, in a wide range of styles and tones, from authors hailing from around the world. For example, this third anthology features fiction by authors based in Australia, Nigeria, the Philippines, and the United States. This book also includes stunning illustrations by João Queiroz, who is based in Brazil. We drew the title of the series from a quote by Margaret Atwood, who was our first special guest lecturer for the Imagination and Climate Futures Initiative at Arizona State University, back in 2014.
 
You just released your third anthology in the series. How does it differ from the earlier ones?
 
This time around, we centered our call for submissions on planetary boundaries, a framework created by researchers at the Stockholm Resilience Centre and the Australian National University. The boundaries, which include the climate crisis but also issues like pollution, land use, water resources, and biodiversity, together define a “safe operating space” for humanity on Earth. We asked our writers to imagine futures where human communities and societies actually respect and live within these boundaries, with special attention to how adapting to the climate crisis and living in more sustainable ways would reshape politics, culture, relationships, and identities – all of the messiness of human lives. We also invited authors to think about efforts to restore damage already done to the planet and its ecosystems, and to deliberate on issues of justice and equity.

Illustration by João Queiroz for the story “Field Notes,” by Natasha Seymour, in Everything Change, Volume III.

Did anything surprise you about the ones that you chose to include?

We were looking for stories that responded to the planetary boundaries theme and in some way presented a working future within the scope of drastic change, knowing that would be a challenge. And, as expected, many of the stories we received did not address the prompt directly, and instead emphasized the immense grief surrounding climate change without necessarily envisioning the solutions and systems needed to carry forward. What surprised us in this was how many of these stories offered a deeply compelling glimpse of a new normal, and how personal, individual experience still provided a clear vision for a wildly different and yet recognizable future. Instead of societal and natural landscapes, these stories were grappling with emotional landscapes in a way that was resonant and illuminating. In that way, they fit with our intentions for the theme while working outside of it, and felt necessary to include in the collection. 

What other themes emerged from this collection?

There were a number of themes that became clear in what was submitted and selected for inclusion. Bodies of water, and in particular the ocean, were common as a site of both mystery and anxiety. Similarly, oceanic creatures and humans navigating the water appeared often, representing the emergence of previously unseen impacts of climate change. In previous years, we read many stories that examine the responsibility and anxieties of childbirth, and while birth and motherhood continued as themes this year, it was again from the perspective of dealing with the repercussions – what life cycles become when renewal is no longer a part of the equation.

What do you hope readers take away from these stories?

We believe that fiction about the climate crisis can be a space for thinking beyond our immediate anxieties and daily challenges and exploring a variety of possible futures. Our decisions – especially those at the level of communities, societies, and our global civilization – will determine the kind of climate futures that we end up living in together. Climate fiction stories provide a panoply of snapshots of how it might feel to live in different futures shaped by our responses to the crisis, or our inaction, and they give us a chance to think through how our culture, styles of governance, and even ways of living daily life could be remade. And we hope that those literary experiences are a basis for conversation about climate action today and tomorrow, and an invitation for people to share their own stories and perspectives.

Climate fiction is also unique because it’s a style of storytelling that responds overtly to an unfolding global crisis, and one that is both multifarious and monolithic. The climate crisis looks different depending on where you are and who you are, what kinds of access to power and privilege you might have. But it’s also one big thing that we’re all living through together. We hope that reading these stories broadens people’s perspectives on the crisis and the effects it has on the lives of people whose experiences are quite different from their own. We’re going to need to connect our diverse experiences of climate stress and transformation if we hope to move fast enough, and with enough global cooperation and coordination, to prevent the worst consequences of climate change. We also need to grapple with how the climate crisis intensifies existing inequalities, entrenching power imbalances, with poor and marginalized people most vulnerable to climate chaos. So we hope that these stories are a small part of that project, to build global solidarity around the climate crisis, and to extend understanding and recognition across borders and staggering disparities of wealth, class, and status.

What role do you see climate fiction playing in our broader discussion of climate change?

We don’t imagine that climate fiction has the ability to change everyone’s minds, or to reach and influence audiences who choose to ignore the realities of climate change. But what it can do is stimulate the imagination into thinking through and coping with change in order to envision possibilities and solutions. This is why fiction is a useful tool for social and environmental justice – it can help us practice and imagine realities outside our own, whether through the experience of an individual wholly unlike ourselves, or the experience of a future that is radically different from the present.

Will there be additional contests in the future?

Since 2016, we’ve been hosting an Everything Change contest every other year, and publishing an anthology in the years in between. In 2021, we’ll be focusing on spreading the word about Everything Change, Volume III, working to get it out in front of as many readers as we can. We’re not sure yet, but we hope to host another contest in 2022. If we can pull it together, it will be fascinating to see how people are thinking differently about the climate crisis, and human responses to it, in the wake of the COP26 global climate summit, which will take place in November 2021 in Scotland.

This article is part of the Climate Art Interviews series. It was originally published in Amy Brady’s “Burning Worlds” newsletter. Subscribe to get Amy’s newsletter delivered straight to your inbox.

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Amy Brady is the Deputy Publisher of Guernica magazine and Senior Editor of the Chicago Review of Books. Her writing about art, culture, and climate has appeared in the Village Voice, the Los Angeles TimesPacific Standard, the New Republic, and other places. She is also the editor of the monthly newsletter “Burning Worlds,” which explores how artists and writers are thinking about climate change. She holds a PHD in English and is the recipient of a CLIR/Mellon Library of Congress Fellowship. Read more of her work at AmyBradyWrites.com at and follow her on Twitter at @ingredient_x.

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Artists and Climate Change is a blog that tracks artistic responses from all disciplines to the problem of climate change. It is both a study about what is being done, and a resource for anyone interested in the subject. Art has the power to reframe the conversation about our environmental crisis so it is inclusive, constructive, and conducive to action. Art can, and should, shape our values and behavior so we are better equipped to face the formidable challenge in front of us.

Go to the Artists and Climate Change Blog

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Conscient Podcast: e35 salas

I find that more and more artists are interested in understanding how to change their practice and how to adapt it to current circumstances. I really believe artists need help in this process. Like we all do. I’m not an environmental expert nor a climate expert, I’m just a very sensitive human being who is worried about what we are leaving behind for future generations. I’m doing what I can to really be more ethical with my work, but I’m finding more and more artists who are also struggling to understand what they can do. I think when in a conversation between curators or producers like myself and people like you – thinkers and funders – that we need to come together and to understand the current situation, to accept reality, then we can strategize about how we can put things into place and how we can provide more funding for different types of projects.

carmen salas, conscient podcast, april 30, 2021, Spain

I first learned about Carmen Salas’ work through her article What should we expect from art in the next few years/decades? And what is art, anyway?. It was the spring of 2020, and I thought her ideas were fresh and connected to our troubling times. She was raising many of the same issues that I will was thinking about, notably the evolving role of the artist and the value of community engaged arts. I read more of Carmen’s work on her website, https://carmensp.com/ and followed her curatorial work with the Connecting the Dots forum in Mexico. I was pleased when Carmen accepted to speak with me for a conscient conversation, which took place on April 30, 2021, remotely between Ottawa and Spain. 

Carmen asked me to include this quotation from neuroscientist Dan Burnett in the episode notes for context in relation to reality: 

The human brain, powerful as it is, can still be overwhelmed by the complex world we inhabit, so when it comes to creating mental models of how the world works, it operates a general “stick to what you know” policy. As such, things that are different or unfamiliar, especially if they’re confusing and uncertain or introduce an element of perceived threat or danger, are met with suspicion, doubt, dismissal and so on. All are defence mechanisms, in a way; it’s the brain saying ‘this is NOT how the world is meant to work, so I must dismiss this challenging new information.’

Carmen also suggested a link to this article : https://www.theguardian.com/science/brain-flapping/2018/may/15/mental-health-awareness-is-great-but-action-is-essential. Also, during our conscient conversation Carmen mentioned Gilberto Esparza’s Nomadic Plants project and her Shifting Paradigms article.

As I did with all episodes this season, I have integrated excerpts from e19 reality.

I would like to thank Carmen for taking the time to speak with me, for sharing her deep knowledge of curation and the arts and her insights on how the arts can reinvent themselves.  

Gracias. 

For more information on Carmen’s work, see https://carmensp.com/

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Je constate que de plus en plus d’artistes cherchent à comprendre comment changer leur pratique et à mieux l’adapter aux circonstances actuelles. Je crois vraiment que les artistes ont besoin d’aide dans ce processus. Comme nous en avons tous besoin. Je ne suis pas un expert en environnement, ni un expert en climat; je suis juste un être humain très sensible qui s’inquiète de ce que nous laissons aux générations futures. Je fais donc ce que je peux pour être plus éthique dans mon travail et je trouve de plus en plus d’artistes qui luttent également pour comprendre ce qu’ils peuvent faire. Je pense que lorsqu’il y a des conversations entre des commissaires ou producteurs comme moi et des gens comme vous, – penseurs et des bailleurs de fonds – afin de se réunir, de comprendre la situation actuelle, d’accepter la réalité, et d’élaborer une stratégie sur la façon dont nous pouvons mettre les choses en place et comment fournir plus de financement pour différents types de projets.

carmen salas, balado conscient, 30 avril 2021, Espagne

J’ai découvert le travail de Carmen Salas grâce à son article intitulé What should we expect from art in the next few years/decades? And what is art, anyway?. (Que devons-nous attendre de l’art dans les prochaines années/décennies ? Et qu’est-ce que l’art, d’ailleurs ?). C’était au printemps 2020, et je trouvais ses idées fraîches et liées à notre époque troublée. Elle soulevait bon nombre des questions auxquelles je réfléchissais également, notamment le rôle de l’artiste et la valeur des arts engagés avec la communauté. J’ai lu davantage sur le travail de Carmen sur son site web, https://carmensp.com/ , et j’ai suivi son travail comme commissaire pour le forum Connecting the Dots au Mexique. J’ai été ravie lorsque Carmen a accepté de s’entretenir avec moi dans le cadre d’une conversation consciente, qui a eu lieu le 30 avril 2021, à distance entre Ottawa et l’Espagne. 

Carmen m’a demandé d’inclure cette citation du neuroscientifique Dan Burnett dans les notes de l’épisode pour le contexte : 

Le cerveau humain, aussi puissant soit-il, peut toujours être dépassé par le monde complexe dans lequel nous vivons, donc lorsqu’il s’agit de créer des modèles mentaux de la façon dont le monde fonctionne, il opère une politique générale de “s’en tenir à ce que vous savez”. Ainsi, les choses différentes ou peu familières, surtout si elles sont déroutantes et incertaines ou si elles introduisent un élément de menace ou de danger perçu, sont accueillies avec suspicion, doute, rejet, etc. Ce sont tous des mécanismes de défense, d’une certaine manière ; c’est le cerveau qui dit ‘ce n’est PAS comme ça que le monde est censé fonctionner, donc je dois rejeter cette nouvelle information difficile.’ 

Carmen a également suggéré un lien vers cet article : https://www.theguardian.com/science/brain-flapping/2018/may/15/mental-health-awareness-is-great-but-action-is-essential

Au cours de la conversation, Carmen a mentionné le projet Nomadic Plants de Gilberto Esparza et son article Shifting Paradigms

Comme je l’ai fait pour tous les épisodes de cette saison, j’ai intégré des extraits de e19 reality dans cet épisode.

Je tiens à remercier Carmen d’avoir pris le temps de s’entretenir avec moi, de m’avoir fait part de ses connaissances approfondies en matière de commissariat et d’art et de m’avoir fait part de son point de vue sur la façon dont les arts peuvent se réinventer.  

Gracias. 

Pour en savoir plus sur le travail de Carmen, consultez le site https://carmensp.com/ . 

The post e35 salas appeared first on conscient podcast / balado conscient. conscient is a bilingual blog and podcast (French or English) by audio artist Claude Schryer that explores how arts and culture contribute to environmental awareness and action.

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About the Concient Podcast from Claude Schryer

The conscient podcast / balado conscient is a series of conversations about art, conscience and the ecological crisis. This podcast is bilingual (in either English or French). The language of the guest determines the language of the podcast. Episode notes are translated but not individual interviews.

I started the conscient project in 2020 as a personal learning journey and knowledge sharing exercise. It has been rewarding, and sometimes surprising.

The term ‘conscient’ is defined as ‘being aware of one’s surroundings, thoughts and motivations’. My touchstone for the podcast is episode 1, e01 terrified, based on an essay I wrote in May 2019, where I share my anxiety about the climate crisis and my belief that arts and culture can play a critical role in raising public awareness about environmental issues. The conscient podcast / balado conscient follows up on my http://simplesoundscapes.ca (2016–2019) project: 175, 3-minute audio and video field recordings that explore mindful listening.

Season 1 (May to October 2020) explored how the arts contribute to environmental awareness and action. I produced 3 episodes in French and 15 in English. The episodes cover a wide range of content, including activism, impact measurement, gaming, arts funding, cross-sectoral collaborations, social justice, artistic practices, etc. Episodes 8 to 17 were recorded while I was at the Creative Climate Leadership USA course in Arizona in March 2020 (led by Julie’s Bicycle). Episode 18 is a compilation of highlights from these conversations.

Season 2 (March 2021 – ) explores the concept of reality and is about accepting reality, working through ecological grief and charting a path forward. The first episode of season 2 (e19 reality) mixes quotations from 28 authors with field recordings from simplesoundscapes and from my 1998 soundscape composition, Au dernier vivant les biens. One of my findings from this episode is that ‘I now see, and more importantly, I now feel in my bones, ‘the state of things as they actually exist’, without social filters or unsustainable stories blocking the way’. e19 reality touches upon 7 topics: our perception of reality, the possibility of human extinction, ecological anxiety and ecological grief, hope, arts, storytelling and the wisdom of indigenous cultures. The rest of season 2 features interviews with thought leaders about their responses and reactions to e19 reality.

my professional services

I’ve been retired from the Canada Council for the Arts since September 15, 2020 where I served as a senior strategic advisor in arts granting (2016-2020) and manager of the Inter-Arts Office (1999-2015). My focus in (quasi) retirement is environmental issues within my area of expertise in arts and culture, in particular in acoustic ecology. I’m open to become involved in projects that align with my values and that move forward environmental concerns. Feel free to email me for a conversation : claude@conscient.ca

acknowledgement of eco-responsibility

I acknowledge that the production of the conscient podcast / balado conscient produces carbon. I try to minimize this carbon footprint by being as efficient as possible, including using GreenGeeks as my web server and acquiring carbon offsets for my equipment and travel activities from BullFrog Power and Less.

a word about privilege and bias

While recording episode 19 ‘reality’, I heard elements of ‘privilege’ in my voice that I had not noticed before. It sounded a bit like ‘ecological mansplaining’. I realize that, in spite of good intentions, I need to work my way through issues of privilege (of all kinds) and unconscious bias the way I did through ecological anxiety and grief during the fall of 2020. My re-education is ongoing.

Go to conscient.ca

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Art and the World After This

In Art and the World After This, Metcalf Innovation Fellow David Maggs outlines four interrelated disruptions faced by Canada’s non-profit arts sector and identifies the unique value art brings to society. As an artist, academic, and sustainability scholar, Maggs brings a unique perspective to the subject of disruption and transformation. The report is informed by consultations and conversations with numerous arts workers, funders, and academics from across the country and beyond.

Collectively, we are facing the disruption of activity, stemming from COVID-19; the disruption of society, emerging from ballooning social unrest; the disruption of industry forced by the digital revolution; and finally, the disruption of world, rooted in the existential threat of the climate crisis. Maggs explores how the arts can serve a more applied and accountable role in society as a catalyst for meeting the profound challenges we face. The report makes the case for how this must be done not by instrumentalizing the arts, but by the arts doing that which only the arts can do.

To proactively tackle the world’s complexity, Maggs argues for a shift towards a system-approach across the arts sector that can enable innovation and learning through a direct relationship to research and development (R&D). He introduces us to the idea of the complexity economy and asks us to consider three questions:

  1. What are we doing here anyway? To prepare for deep transformative change, this first question attempts to identify the arts sector’s essential value proposition.
  2. Is this an ecosystem or a zoo? The shift from a paradigm of ‘production and presentation’ to innovation will require adopting an integrated systems-approach.
  3. Can we learn our way out of this? This question considers the broad issue of the arts sector’s capacity to learn, especially through the lens of R&D.

Driven by a sense of urgency and optimism, Art and the World After This makes the case for grounding the arts firmly in action as a powerful force for creating a better world.

The report can be downloaded here.

Opportunity: NYT Climate Hub open house

The New York Times Climate Hub is calling for proposals for an Open House Day on Sunday 7th November.

The Climate Hub, which will be located on the site of SWG3 in Glasgow throughout COP26, is planning an Open House Day where they hope to provide a platform specific to Scottish voices and climate initiatives, accessible to all. Open House Day will showcase how the people of Scotland are working together to fight Climate change.

The ask: They’re keen to hear your ideas of how they can use the space to highlight Scottish projects, installations and initiatives. If you have a suggestion, please fill in this form by Friday 25th June.

If you have any questions, please contact Louise Hunter: louisehunter@summerhousemedia.com

The New York Times Climate Hub is an expansive event dedicated to sparking vital conversations about the most pressing climate issues of our day and making actionable plans for what’s ahead.

The post Opportunity: NYT Climate Hub open house appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.

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Creative Carbon Scotland is a partnership of arts organisations working to put culture at the heart of a sustainable Scotland. We believe cultural and creative organisations have a significant influencing power to help shape a sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.

In 2011 we worked with partners Festivals Edinburgh, the Federation of Scottish Threatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network to support over thirty arts organisations to operate more sustainably.

We are now building on these achievements and working with over 70 cultural organisations across Scotland in various key areas including carbon management, behavioural change and advocacy for sustainable practice in the arts.

Our work with cultural organisations is the first step towards a wider change. Cultural organisations can influence public behaviour and attitudes about climate change through:

Changing their own behaviour;
Communicating with their audiences;
Engaging the public’s emotions, values and ideas.

Go to Creative Carbon Scotland

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