While coordinating inside toilet paper actions, I’m also taking part of ArtCOP21.
I was invited to participate in a panel discussion about the involvement of the cultural sector throughout the UN climate negotiation process, from Rio to Paris. On 1st of December, I presented Futuro Caliente, the project we organized during COP20 in Lima in 2014.
Great speakers from different backgrounds and experiences took part in the discussion. Kevin Buckland, good friend, artist and activist from 350.org; Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner, a Marshallese activist and poet; David Buckland, director of Cape Farewell; Anne-Marie Melster, director of ARTPORT_making waves; Anne Heringer, architect; Nataša Petrešin-Bachelez, curator; Frédéric Ferrer, author and director; and Cynthia Rosenzweig, climatologist.
It was a fascinating discussion and far more critical than I had expected, but I still didn’t sense the urgency of the moment we are living, only from a few voices.
What is the role of art in the era of the anthropocene; in a world that is damaged; where rich countries only push for their convenient business as usual model while poor countries are confronted with the imminent risk of being literally swept away this decade? Are we going to keep making art as usual?
Art institutions that foster cultural change while making and promoting art as usual? There is nothing wrong with art as representation, art that only educates and communicates. It has enriched our culture, our thinking, and our knowledge. But maybe it has also alienated us from where we come from, our interdependence with nature, our animal behavior, and our human collectivity.
Do we still have time to represent the problem or can we start solving it? I don’t think it is possible to attain that change with art as usual. We need to make choices.