Creative Carbon Scotland

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PhD candidate, Emma Hall, joins Creative Carbon Scotland

Back in June 2020, Creative Carbon Scotland announced a successful PhD funding proposal to the Scottish Graduate School for the Arts and Humanities, in collaboration with the University of Glasgow.

Applications were invited and interviews for the position were conducted in late July. Now, it is with great pleasure that we announce Emma Hall, a recent Masters graduate, has begun working with us as a collaborative doctoral researcher. To update you on the project, we thought we would ask Emma a few questions:

CCS: Emma, congratulations on your studentship! First, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

EH: Thank you, I’m so pleased to be working on the project! I grew up in Birmingham, but I’ve always had a love of the outdoors and spent as much time as possible with my grandparents in Snowdonia, Wales. My favourite hobbies were running, climbing and hiking – until I injured my ankle! Now, I lead a more laid-back lifestyle and enjoy reading, cooking or swimming in my spare time. Having moved to Glasgow in September, I’ve loved getting out into the hills on the weekends and will be exploring all the art galleries and museums once they open again.

CCS: And what is the project you’ll be working on? 

EH: The project is titled ‘Assessing arts-based interventions for sustainable practice’ and, my role will be to reflect critically (and constructively!) on a range of Creative Carbon Scotland’s cultural projects, with particular focus on activities in the culture/SHIFT programme. Over the next three years, I’ll be evaluating the success of the interventions at engaging communities and motivating sustainable change. The overall aim of the project is to develop an open-access framework that cultural organisations and funders can use to make informed decisions when designing or assessing arts interventions.

CCS: What interests you about the project?

EH: I’m interested in this project because it is so interdisciplinary and collaborative. Initially, I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature before transitioning to work as an environmental policy advisor back home in the West Midlands. I subsequently retrained abroad in Gibraltar with an MSc in Marine Science and Climate Change, undertaking fieldwork on marine protected areas and citizen engagement in the Mediterranean. The research I’ll be conducting in this project spans all my interests – from the arts to the sciences to climate policy – enabling me to reconcile my rather unusual mix of academic interests and providing the opportunity to work collaboratively with CCS to develop useful project outputs.

CCS: What challenges do think will come up for you, or have any come up already?

EH: Hmm, it’s early days so far, but I have noticed there is currently a lack of scholarship on the transformative role of the arts in stimulating social change. This knowledge gap could make the project more challenging, but it means the research will also contribute towards evidencing an under-explored area of scholarship. Whilst I enjoy the interdisciplinarity of the project, I’ve found that it does complicate the literature review process as there are more topics to get my head around! My role as an embedded researcher at CCS is helpful in bringing the academic readings out of the ivory tower and into conversation with the practical context of the project.

CCS: What are you looking forward to?

EH: I’m looking forward to getting started on the evaluation side of the project after the literature review. I’ll be using different social science methods (like interviews and focus groups) to evaluate the culture/SHIFT projects and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that these can occur in person, rather than online. It has been lovely getting to know the Creative Carbon Scotland team and my supervisors at the University of Glasgow (Dr Tom Bartlett and Dr Rhys Williams) over Zoom in the last few months but, I’m also looking forward to finally meeting them all face to face in the new year!

CCS: Thanks, Emma and good luck with the project. We’re thrilled about it and are looking forward to working with you over the next three and a half years.

If you would like to get in touch with Emma, please email emma.hall@creativecarbonscotland.com

The post PhD candidate, Emma Hall, joins Creative Carbon Scotland 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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Opportunity: QEST craft funding available

Applications for QEST craft funding will be open 11th January – 15th February 2021.

The Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST) supports excellence in British craftsmanship through scholarship and apprenticeship funding, striving to make a difference to the lives and careers of talented and aspiring makers working across the UK. We define craft broadly and are excited to support contemporary innovation as well as traditional craft skills.

Over the last 30 years QEST has awarded nearly £5 million to 600 individuals working in 130 different disciplines. From guitar making to printmaking and thatching to enamelling, we embrace craft in all its forms and are proud to contribute towards its evolving tradition. QEST funding has provided an essential turning point for many of our alumni, and we continue to support them throughout their careers, offering opportunities for exhibitions, collaborations and commissions through our extensive craft network.

The post Opportunity: QEST craft funding available appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.

———-

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

Powered by WPeMatico

Green Tease Reflections: Understanding Climate Complexity

18th November 2020. This Green Tease was organised in collaboration with Blue Action, a research project looking into impacts of arctic warming on European climate and weather. The event brought together artists and researchers for presentations and discussion on how the arts and scientists can collaborate. 

The event commenced with an introduction from Dr Hannah Grist from Blue Action, in which she outlined the aims of the Blue Action project, discussed the issues with effectively communicating climate change science, and suggested some ways that artistic approaches could help overcome these barriers. She discussed how data can be off-putting or fail to communicate to certain audiences, how effective imagery can make abstract-feeling issues more graspable, and offered examples of creativity coming from scientists.

Presentations

This was followed by 10-minute presentations from our three speakers:

  • Dr Iuliia Polkova, research scientist based at the Institute of Oceanography at the University of Hamburg, discussed barriers to public understanding of her own research and alternative methods she has used to reach people. She talked about how methods that feel clear to scientists may be unintentionally unclear to others and the need to make results more tangible by displaying them in different forms such as images or film. Presentation slides.
  • Dr Tom Corby, artist, writer and teacher, presented on his co-created artworks, which respond to and visualise climate data in various ways, and discussed issues in arts-science collaboration. He mentioned ‘Carbon Topologies’, which visualised carbon emissions data, and ‘Little Earths’, which provided a tactile means of experiencing Earth’s fragility. He emphasised the importance of finding new forms of transdisciplinary collaboration as a response to the unprecedented context of climate emergency.  Presentation slides.
  • Dr Martin Coath, scientist, science communicator and musician, offered a detailed look at how collaborations work and the complexities around developing shared goals and understanding. He systematically led us through the elements of collaboration, aiming to make explicit the ‘basic’ elements of this that often go unspoken. Presentation slides

Hannah’s introduction and the three presentations are available as a video below.

Discussion

The presentations were followed by group discussion time. Each group was provided with an imaginary ‘project brief‘ inviting them to collaborate on specific goals, such as finding new ways of conceptualising climate data, or on reaching particular audiences, such as rural coastal communities. Points that came out of these group discussions included:

Thoughts on arts-science collaborations
  • Long-term thinking is vital: arts-led approaches may take a while to reveal their value in that they often focus on how people think and feel
  • Data maps sensory information about the climate and then abstracts it; artists can close the circle by bringing it back to the world in physical and sensory forms
  • People have to be ready to adapt to change- through necessity, or through moving to that mental space. The role of the artist in this is to set the context. Art can only ever be a catalyst for what is happening
  • We need to overcome our fear of not being able to understand and discuss each others work, avoid feeling intimidated in order to allow ease of conversation and develop understanding
  • Important to develop a shared language, avoiding jargon or ‘loaded’ words
Thoughts on ‘Audiences’
  • The importance of not oversimplifying the ‘audience’ of your work or having too many preconceptions about what will interest them
  • Some attendees questioned the usefulness of taking audiences as a starting point at all, arguing that this will always be too simplistic
  • Work should be community led or developed in communication with communities to avoid it being merely imposed from the outside
  • Valuing the ‘expertise’ of audiences that research is targeting as well as the expertise of researchers
  • The importance of reaching different demographics and not just those who tend to most often engage with the arts
  • Audiences can be creative participants as well as ‘observers’ or ‘subjects’
Thoughts on Methods
  • Certain kinds of artistic practice are effective for mediating between or connecting different communities, providing space for meaningful discussion without being confrontational
  • The ‘messenger’ matters: work with existing groups or organisations to build trust
  • Taking art work and communication into public spaces rather than expecting people to come to you
  • You don’t need to communicate everything to everyone – important to tailor the message
  • Emotional aspect is really important- need to not fall into despair or too much hope
  • Providing a common experience of frame of reference through the arts that makes people more receptive or open to conversation
  • The process can be as important as the outcomes, developing a space for conversation can be helpful regardless of what is discussed
Next Steps

Hannah rounded off the session by outlining plans to work with an artist over an extended period on a future project promoting engagement with the work of Blue Action. She encouraged artists to register interest in this, with further information being available very soon. A number of participants also expressed interest in future forums for discussion between artists and scientists. Many of the conversations had only just begun with plenty more to be discussed. Further information is available on the Blue Action website or via the Blue Action twitter account.

(Top photo: Photo of a flooded road. Text reads: Understanding Climate Complexity: Science through Art.)

The post Green Tease Reflections: Understanding Climate Complexity appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.

———-

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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Ben’s Strategy Blog: How, and why, are we applying cultural practices to Clyde Rebuilt? 

In our collaborative work on Clyde Rebuilt, Creative Carbon Scotland (CCS) is supporting development of inter-connected projects that will help Glasgow City Region adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Our partners on the Clyde Rebuilt project are Sniffer, a resilience-focused charity that runs the Adaptation Scotland programme for the Scottish Government; Paul Watkiss Associates, an economics consultancy specialising in climate adaptation; EIT (European Innovation & Technology) Climate-KIC (Knowledge and Innovation Community), the EU’s climate change innovation hub; and Climate Ready Clyde, the grouping of local authorities, universities, health trusts and others working together on adaptation in the City Region – an area that encompasses a third of the population and a third of the economic activity of Scotland.

What is our role in such a large project? Where do culture and the arts fit in? And why was EIT Climate-KIC, which is funding a significant part of the project, so keen to see CCS involved? In this strategy blog I’ll explore these questions and rehearse some of my own thoughts.

Our job, according to the successful application we submitted, is to ‘provide knowledge, contacts, management and advice relating to cultural practices, artists and approaches that will be harnessed across the work packages to achieve the project outputs and objectives…. [We will] use the kinds of research, knowledge, ideas, imagination, and techniques that are commonly used in the cultural world to input into and inform the work of the other packages within the consortium. This will be supported by the Director of Creative Carbon Scotland, who will provide expertise and advice to the Climate Ready Clyde team based on his combination of artistic and climate change experience.

So that means…

Collaborating on events about adaptation with cultural partners 

The most obviously cultural thing we are doing is working on events with cultural organisations Rig Arts(a socially engaged arts and film charity in Inverclyde), Glasgow Women’s Library (the only accredited museum in the UK dedicated to women’s lives, histories, and achievements) and Lateral North (a research and design collective based on an architectural background that collaborates with communities and institutions to respond to social, environmental, and political change).

Rig Arts and GWL have each run events using their usual sort of work focusing in some way on climate change adaptation but starting very much from the viewpoint of the communities they work with. Rig Arts sent some materials to workshop participants who will work with an artist to create an e-zine using both visual and verbal forms to imagine responses in Inverclyde to future climate changes. Glasgow Women’s Library approached two speakers who stimulated a discussion with readers and volunteers from their regular audience for an event focusing on climate change adaptation from the perspectives of artist, Clem Sandison, who discussed food growing and issues around land ownership, and Dania Thomas, a trustee of the Ubuntu Women Shelter, who highlighted key issues around unrepresented voices in climate change discussions and the problem of the western-centric view of the issue and solutions.

In each case the event started from the participants’ perception of adaptation, and there were adaptation professionals present from member organisations of Climate Ready Clyde to help make the link between the participants’ concerns and interests and those organisations’ climate adaptation programmes. These two events sparked some novel ideas for collaborations or different ways of engaging people in adaptation projects or finding financial support for them.  

In the final event with Lateral North the focus wasn’t so much on using cultural practices, but creativity kept on recurring in speakers’ and participants’ comments in a more standard workshop-type event. And working with an organisation coming from a creative and cultural background the participants came from a much wider group than would normally be represented at an ‘adaptation event’.

Crucially, these organisations and the communities they work with would not normally be invited to be part of the conversation about adaptation, and if they were, that conversation would tend to start from the adaptation perspective rather than the perspective of the communities’ experience of life in Glasgow City Region. But strangely enough, adaptation is not a concept that most people are thinking about! It is a professional issue for people whose job requires it. Creative Carbon Scotland’s contacts with cultural organisations mean we can introduce Clyde Rebuilt to these different voices. Our experience and understanding of such organisations mean we can help shape events using cultural practice and create an opportunity for these different perspectives to be fully expressed and explored.

Glasgow night street scene with traffic and a traffic sign reading 'heavy rain forecast' by Ross Sneddon on Unsplash
Contributing to Clyde Rebuilt events using cultural practices and techniques

second element of our work is contributing to both Clyde Rebuilt’s internal meetings and their workshops with outside participants. We bring in techniques and practices derived from the cultural world. For example, we have often begun Clyde Rebuilt team and Project Board meetings by reading a poem, and sometimes have used a haiku-writing exercise. And for our larger workshops we have replaced the energy-sapping (particularly on Zoom) ‘let’s go round the table introducing ourselves’ with an icebreakerwhere everyone is asked to close their eyes and imagine a future, climate–changed Glasgow City Region, and then speak about how their organisation is responding to a particularly severe heatwave.

Depending on your experience and point of view these may seem radical or very straightforward ways of doing things. The response from Clyde Rebuilt team members the first time we did the icebreaker surprised me. It took me no time to think up, as it is something I might have done in a drama workshop with a youth theatre or adult drama group, and yet it was felt to have been a very unusual and powerful way to start the meeting. I was rather gratified!

How do these approaches make a difference? First, they tell people that this isn’t the usual sort of meeting, so they had better sit up and pay attention. Second, they ask you to apply not just your knowledge but your imagination. Climate change adaptation requires us to put ourselves in the shoes of someone else – even if that someone is ourselves in a future time. Imagination is a powerful tool for this but is often neglected in administrative or technical roles and can even be frowned upon if your job involves technical knowledge; you don’t want an engineer to imagine the strength of wall needed for a new flood defence – you want them to do the maths! But you might want an engineer to imagine themselves living next to that flood wall, and how it would change their relationship with the river they have lived beside all their lives. Everyone round the meeting room table has an imagination that they use in other parts of their lives. Our job here is to stimulate it for these circumstances. 

There’s also something important about joint imagining, where you do it with and as part of a group. This can build on and stimulate others’ imagination, which helps develop a richer, fuller picture of the future Glasgow City Region. The metaphors and references in the haikus will spur different but related ideas in others’ heads, stimulating memories or innovations, creating a shared set of references, widening the team’s perspective. And maybe this joint imagining requires people to commit to the group, sharing a bit of themselves, making themselves a little bit vulnerable (‘Will my poem be laughed at? Is my idea stupid?’), leading to a stronger bond between people and to the shared endeavour.

Contributing to strategic thinking and process 

Finally, I have brought to the project my experience as a theatre producer and director, commissioner and writer of plays and operas, and manager of creative talents such as actors, writers, composers, and project managers. And perhaps surprisingly, Clyde Rebuilt is a project that has needed some skills and practices that I learned in those roles. For example: reading and understanding complex texts and images, written in obscure ways. As a director of contemporary music theatre I had to read, understand, interpret and communicate to musicians and singers the meaning of musical scores often written in unique notation, with lots of room for interpretation. One page from Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ Eight Songs for a Mad King has the musicians’ and singers’ instructions (you can barely call them lines of music) in the shape of a bird cage, as George III was trying to teach his caged birds to speak. And compare this with a slide from EIT Climate KIC, whose language is complex and obscure, but does repay ‘translation’. I’m used to weird diagrams!  

A slide from EIT Climate-KIC’s Deep Demonstrations design process.

I’ve also been able to contribute to crafting the right narrative for key documents that need to be read and understood by a wide range of audiences. As a theatre director you need the skills to make sure that the whole audience is at the same point of understanding at the same time: if some people are behind then the entire audience loses its focus, different people will gasp or laugh or cry at different moments, weakening the joint response. These same skills can be applied to project descriptions and strategy documents. And this isn’t just about the writing, but also the shared thinking by the project team: we all need to have the same understanding for the ‘audience’ to get it. 

And the process of co-design, whereby the project is not designed by a small group but is jointly created by the project team, participants at workshops and others, is remarkably similar to the process of rehearsing a play. As director I was mandated to make decisions for the group but needed to earn and maintain their trust and respect, melding ideas from others who are much more knowledgeable than I am to create the best possible outcome. This takes time, listening, thinking and sometimes diplomacy, and the same has been true in Clyde Rebuilt. 

These and others are transferable ‘cultural practices’ that I hope enrich the whole team and the project. They aren’t exclusive to cultural practitioners, nor do all artists use them, but our training, our experience and our jobs often strengthen these skills and techniques. 

The Clyde Rebuilt project is complex, enormous in scale and very challenging. The whole aim – and the reason EIT Climate-KIC is funding it – is that these projects require us to do things that nobody has ever done before. That suits an artistic perspective well; which artist ever wanted to do the same as someone else? I feel we contribute usefully to the project and we’ll be doing some research at the end to understand better how effective it has been and in just what ways these practices have had an impact.

The post Ben’s Strategy Blog: How, and why, are we applying cultural practices to Clyde Rebuilt?  appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.

———-

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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Opportunity: Artist outreach – Christmas exhibition

Looking for eco-conscious artists for our Christmas exhibition launching 5th December!

Painted Turtle Galleries is a brand new, eco-conscious online art gallery that will launch on 5th December 2020. Our mission is to harness the influential power of art as a tool for creating positive change, whilst encouraging more sustainable practices through the recycling and repurposing of materials within the art world and beyond.

Our mission:

With its ethos symbolic of the legend of the Cosmic Turtle, which supported the world upon its back, Painted Turtle Galleries is currently in the process of building a network of artists who explore sustainable alternatives in their artistic practice. These include upcycling, recycling or using less toxic materials in the creation of their work, thus demonstrating the potential of such innovations for the future of our world. We are proud to be a recent winner of the Creative Business Ideas Competition 2020, sponsored by Creative Informatics at The University of Edinburgh, and we are now through to the final stage of Scottish Institute for Enterprise’s Fresh Ideas Competition.

Our Christmas exhibition:

We will launch our brand new online art gallery by hosting a Christmas exhibition in support of Plastic Oceans UK, where we will be donating 10% of all our profits through the ‘Small Business Star‘ campaign of Work for Good, which doubles all donations throughout December. This will be promoted through Scottish Institute for Enterprise, Edinburgh University, R Sustainable Social Enterprise, and social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook.

If you are interested in selling your artwork through the gallery this December, or if you would like some more information, please email Emily Chalmers.

Deadline: 2nd December 2020

We look forward to hearing from you!

The post Opportunity: Artist outreach – Christmas exhibition appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.

———-

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

Powered by WPeMatico

Creative Carbon Scotland supports new data-driven project

A new project exploring the motivations and needs of the creative community in addressing the climate emergency was one of nine projects awarded funding recently. 

Creative Carbon Scotland’s Carbon Management Planning Officer Caro Overy is receiving the funding through Creative Informatics and Creative Edinburgh’s Connected Innovator programme for her project, Climate Friendly Culture.

The Connected Innovator programme allows emerging leaders in the creative industries to explore new approaches to their work or develop their practice by undertaking research and development or professional development around data and data-driven innovation.

Drawing on her expertise and networks from her work with Creative Carbon Scotland combined with those from her work as a freelance musician, Caro’s Climate Friendly Culture is a development project to learn about the creative community’s response to the climate emergency with a view to developing a tool (or tools) to support environmental creative practice.

Throughout the project, Caro will be interviewing artists and cultural professionals to understand how climate change and environmental impact fits into their work and has launched a survey open to everyone working in the arts in Scotland. As well as partnering with Creative Carbon Scotland, she’ll be working with developer inGenerator to research existing tools and resources and laying the groundwork to develop a new tool or tools to support the cultural contribution to a resilient and low carbon future.

Caro said of the award: “This is a tremendous opportunity for me to bring my creative practice as a musician into direct contact with my work in sustainability and carbon management planning to create a user-friendly tool that will help people working in the cultural sector understand and minimise their carbon emissions.”

Ben Twist, director of Creative Carbon Scotland, said: “We’re delighted to support Caro on this project through our networks and the use of the emissions data we have gathered over the past few years, and we look forward to seeing the outcomes and its benefits to the sector.”

If you work in the arts in Scotland, please do fill in the survey, and if you’re an artist who might be interested in being interviewed or having a more in depth conversation, please contact Caro directly. You can find out more on the Climate Friendly Culture websitewhere you can also read Caro’s reflective blog that she’s writing as the project develops.

Caro Overy headshot – image credit: Sean Jones

The post Creative Carbon Scotland supports new data-driven project appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.

———-

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

Powered by WPeMatico

Guest blog: Film production in the time of COVID

In this guest blog, filmmaker Janine Finlay tells us about adapting her production process in the face of a pandemic while working as an embedded artist with the Decoupling Advisory Group established by Zero Waste Scotland.

Storytelling is ultimately heroes and villains, rises and falls. During the pandemic we’ve had all of these things – but, as a filmmaker, how much do you use a huge world event like a pandemic as part of your narrative arc without it overshadowing the main directive of a film? And how do you make the film itself when business as usual is unlikely to resume in the near future?

The artist brief

The Decoupling Advisory Group (consisting of a variety of academics and thought leaders) was formed to analyse the challenges associated with ‘decoupling’ economic growth from the wider negative environmental and societal impacts of resource production, consumption and waste in the context of the climate emergency in Scotland. I was brought on board as an embedded artist, to work with Zero Waste Scotland and Creative Carbon Scotland to produce a film to inform stakeholders and ultimately to create conversation. The beginning of the group happened to coincide with the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic presenting a unique ‘pause’ on business as usual and a window of opportunity for the participants in the advisory group to consider how Scotland might move through this and come out the other side in better shape. It was also an opportunity for me to think beyond the normal modus operandi for film production.

What is decoupling?

Decoupling is not a term most people have heard of – I certainly hadn’t before joining the group. It refers to the ability at which an economy can grow or prosper without corresponding increases in energy and resource use and environmental pressures. It’s a complicated idea, and so far, has never really been successfully achieved in a tangible way. Very quickly the conversation amongst panel members moved from ‘Decoupling’ to ‘Building Back Better’.  This gave me a much more hopeful narrative to work with and meant I could actually begin to think about ways to demonstrate positive solutions.

Adapting to COVID

Meeting in person and consequently filming in person could not take place at the beginning of the pandemic, unless it was deemed an essential service – news could carry on, and output specific to COVID itself (like short documentaries) could go into production. Whilst under normal circumstances I would’ve been in the same room as all the other panel members, filming discussions, chatting to people and hunting out stories and ideas, I had to quickly come up with a plan to film remotely and get to know participants and characters without meeting anyone face to face.

The first challenge was getting my head around screen recording software for recording online discussions. Filming is all about belt and braces, and so I identified two different types of screen recording software to use across two computers. Zero Waste Scotland was to make a third recording from Zoom and I also planned to back-up audio recording using Audacity. I wrote a technical specifications document (a tech spec!) and set up a test with the group facilitator before any formal meetings. Using all this software at the same time meant Audacity crashed during the test, and so I eliminated that from my plan. Thank goodness fibre came to our tiny remote village in the Southern Highlands just before the pandemic, or none of this would’ve been possible. I also sent a tech spec to participants; initially, I wanted them all to have a blank uniform background but I quickly gave up this idea realising the tapestry of backgrounds and one participant’s ‘broom cupboard’ was actually part of the story. Crucially, I wanted to make sure I could hear participants, so I made sure they were all using their best microphone. (It can be argued sound is more important than pictures in filmmaking – especially when it’s not there – so I didn’t want to miss anything important).

Next, I considered how I might capture events in the participants working or home lives that reflected the discussions in the group, so I asked them for their own user generated footage from their mobile phones. A couple of willing volunteers responded and I was supplied with footage of circular economy shops, food bank donations and tree farms!

It was important also to follow how the changing landscape brought on by the pandemic was influencing decisions and outcomes from the group, so I kept up with this by doing sporadic Zoom interviews over the summer. After only a couple of online meetings the group itself very quickly and impressively produced a white paper to share with policy leaders and industry stakeholders, which reflected their discussions called ‘Building Back Better:  Principles for Sustainable Resource Use in a Wellbeing Economy’.

What’s next?

Everyone in the group has approached the white paper from a different perspective. Within the advisory group there are economists, climate change scientists, sociologists, policy analysts, representatives from youth action groups as well as nature organisations – and more. It has been important to me to capture the diversity of the group and all their ideas within the whitepaper, by bringing the words on the pages to life.  The next stage in the project is to follow participants in the real world – I’m interested in what they’re doing in their work and their lives that reflects the concepts of ‘Building Back Better’, as well as the lives of the Scottish population the new measures could influence. Filmmaking has always been an amazing tool to illustrate what’s going on in the real world – decision makers and policy makers often never meet the people they represent or understand how people are affected by their policies. A film can be really powerful in this respect and has an even greater role to play now while people are more confined to their homes.

Right now, I’m in pre-production – setting up potential filming about farms, circular economy businesses, foodbanks, families and housing.  Luckily the guidelines from the British Film Institute and the Scottish Government have allowed filmmaking to go ahead for now, with strict health and safety guidelines. However, COVID-19 has meant my production schedule has become more longitudinal in nature. Because filmmaking is a labour-intensive activity, many documentaries are shot at a ratio of 60:1 or higher. That means one hour of recorded footage equates to 1 minute in a film. Normally, filming schedules are tightly packed days sometimes with multiple locations to save time and money. Now, the filming will likely take place in one location per day, and the days will be spread over a much longer period. Fortunately, the deadline for the film isn’t until next year.

Forging change

I’m acutely aware I’m not the only one who has been subjected to different ways of working since the pandemic struck. Certainly, the people involved in the advisory group are extremely busy at the moment; they too are responding and reacting to a changing world and landscape. I’ve been really grateful for their willingness to speak with me and give up their precious time. I feel like I’m working with real changemakers – the work the panel members are doing genuinely excites me and I have felt energised and hopeful after hearing what they are doing for Scotland and the wider world. For me this project is about much more than just the film – it’s about my genuine love and reverence for nature, as well as my sense of social justice. These kinds of films are the reason I became a filmmaker. Yes, the pandemic has presented some unique challenges and it’s going to be part of the greater narrative for some time yet. But as a storyteller, it’s a great opportunity to forge change and be part of the solution.


Read more about Janine’s work on her website, Fin Films.

The post Guest blog: Film production in the time of COVID 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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Opportunity: EIB Artist Development Programme 2021

Under 35s, apply now for the EIB Artists Development Programme 2021

The European Investment Bank (EIB) Institute is looking for emerging European artists and collectives to join the 2020 edition of its Artists Development Programme (ADP),a six to eight week residency programme in Luxembourg, under the mentorship of renowned Finnish photographer, Jorma Puranen.

The EIB launched two calls for applicationstargeting visual artists (EU nationals, under 35 years of age) with a thematic focus on:

APPLY HERE

The deadline for applying is 10 January 2021 at midnight (GMT+1). For more information about the programme visit the EIB website.

The post Opportunity: EIB Artist Development Programme 2021 appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.

———-

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

Powered by WPeMatico

Green Tease Reflections: Community Mapping for Environmental Empowerment

22nd September 2020: This Green Tease event focused on the roles that mapping can have in empowering communities to act on climate change and other environmental issues. The event featured talks from Hannah Clinch (GreenMap) and Danny McKendry (Architecture and Design Scotland) as well as discussion time. 

Attendees of the event included representatives from community groups, environmentally engaged artists and sustainability practitioners, all with a shared interest in making use of mapping to further environmental and social aims.

Presentations

Hannah Clinch’s presentation started with some general issues in mapping:

  • How we present maps affects our understanding: where the centre is, what is included, what is excluded
  • Maps can be a tool of power or control: whoever makes them determines the content, there may be unequal access to the information contained in them
  • Participatory mapping can be a means of reclaiming control or presenting a new way of understanding a place

She then went on to discuss the GreenMap system, an online platform that allows communities to create and share maps of their local area for various purposes, using a wide range of icons. She offered a few examples of how the system had been used, including  a ‘Dear Green Place’ map that collected together information on re-use shops in Glasgow following extensive research by residents.

Hannah recorded her presentation, which is now available to watch here:

Hannah’s presentation was followed by some workshop time explaining how to make use of the open GreenMap system for mapping projects.

Danny McKendry’s presentation focused on a project mapping Edinburgh’s shoreline and the broader issues that this project raised about mapping. The project was organised in connection to the ‘Granton Vision’ for a major new waterfront development. Mapping provided an inviting and unintimidating medium for residents to share their feelings about the local area and engage with plans for its development. Methods included:

  • Asking people to pin labels to a map, showing which buildings and places mattered to them and why
  • Getting people to write on cards the three things that make their area special to them
  • Having people show the ways they usually use to travel around the area, showing the most frequently used routes and the links between places

Danny suggested that in order to build an understanding of a place, good mapping should address three key areas in particular:

  • Mapping the things that people really care about, not just what you expect them to care about
  • Showing a ‘day in the life of local personas’ to gain an understanding of how people move around and inhabit the place
  • Showing a ‘year in the life of the place’ to gain an understanding of how it changes through the seasons

Danny demonstrated this with the example of how a resident’s quality of life had been worsened by the building of a state-of-the-art new school to replace the old one. There was no problem with the building itself, but they were now forced to change from a simple commute to a complex and stressful one; something that had not been foreseen by planners.

You can see the slides from Daniel McKendry’s presentation here

Discussion

These presentations were followed by discussions in small groups, responding to the points raised by the presenters and seeing how they connected to the individual aims of attendees. Some of the main points raised included:

  • Less physical forms of mapping focusing on relationships or power can also be useful for developing understanding and presenting information.
  • The process of mapping is as important as the result, it provides an opportunity for people to interact and share.
  • The ownership and stewardship of maps is important: where they are housed, either online or physically, will affect who is most likely to access and make use of them.
  • During coronavirus online mapping could provide a means of retaining a connection with your local area, providing a means of sharing information with others.
  • Conversely, online mapping can allow us to be ‘digitally close’ to people in parts of the world that are physically distant from us, allowing the development of understanding and empathy.
  • Maps make involvement in decisions accessible to more people through clarity of presentation. One participant talked about how using mapping had allowed young children she worked with to have a voice in the development of their school.
  • Digital and physical mapping processes can be combined. We don’t need to choose one or the other.

(Top photo: Layered images of maps and leaves. Text reads: Community Mapping for Environmental Empowerment: Tools, tips, and tricks.)

The post Green Tease Reflections: Community Mapping for Environmental Empowerment appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.

———-

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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Opportunity: VACMA Awards Edinburgh

Funding opportunities for visual artists and craft makers based in Edinburgh.

The City of Edinburgh Council, in partnership with Creative Scotland, offer funding opportunities to visual artists /craft makers who can demonstrate a commitment to developing their creative practice and are living or working or maintaining a studio space within Edinburgh.

In place of the usual VACMA awards, this year fixed bursaries are available in recognition of the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 on individual artists and makers. The scheme acknowledges the limitations placed on individual practices and the opportunities that are currently available. The VACMA scheme offers two levels of bursaries and you should apply for the one that best suits your situation.

• Bursaries of £750

• Bursaries of £500 for new graduates / emerging artists. Applicants must have less than five years’ experience outside of education or training or to have graduated in 2015 or later.

Further information including guidance and equalities monitoring can be found on the Culture Edinburgh website.

The post Opportunity: VACMA Awards Edinburgh appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.

———-

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

Powered by WPeMatico