Changing Climate

Climate change will have a huge effect on our way of life. A complex problem, requiring simultaneous, multi-faceted action at every level of governance, business and civil society, it has proved extremely difficult to address.

Due to past and future greenhouse gases emissions, some amount of climatic change is now inevitable, with predictions for North West Europe focused on increase rainfall, increasing summer and winter temperatures, increasing sea levels, and increased frequency of extreme weather events (such as storms). These changes will create new challenges for our society, requiring new, innovative and unique solutions to help us adapt to our changed world.

 “…in many fields an unorthodox approach opens doors and offers usable solutions that would not have been recognized in conventional modes of thinking, such as those of science, social work or ecology.”  WochenKlausur Artist Collective

Embedded artists

Our culture: how we see the world and act within it, is an integral part of our response to this climate crisis. The physical manifestations of this culture: our arts (theatre, music, literature, visual art, poetry, etc) are essential tools to help us to understand ourselves and explore alternatives.

“My question is, how do you change the culture, and what do artists know that can contribute to this.”
Frances Whitehead

Artists, designers and other creative practitioners who live and work through creative and cultural practices often work in a different way to established institutions in other sectors. These cultural methods of dealing with climate change, adaptation and sustainability, can therefore bring a new perspective, new skills, and new knowledge to such problems.

Placed within local governmental and established institutions, ‘Embedded Artists’ can help drive a systemic, integrated approach to issues of adaptation, ensuring that environmental and social sustainability are considered alongside economics and other pressures, facilitating wider participation and breaking down professional, departmental and disciplinary boundaries. 

Cultural Adaptations 

In this project, one artist in each country will be embedded within a partner organisation working specifically on climate change adaptation, providing new ways of thinking, fresh perspective and different approaches to the complex and seemingly intractable challenges that climate change presents.

These four Embedded Artist Projects will provide a core element of action research: demonstrating practical examples of how cultural actors can contribute to wider climate change adaptation work. With varying external political and cultural contexts, varying physical environments and climate change impacts, and different art forms and approaches, the diversity of embedded artist projects will be explored.

  • One workshop will be held in each country exploring the process of designing, hosting and evaluating embedded artist projects, and how cultural actors can help shape adaptation responses.

  • Learning from each of the workshops and individual country projects will inform a digital resource, informing the wider sector of progress and emerging reflections as the project progresses.

  • A freely accessible toolkit will be produced, providing practical materials and guidance to enable and support others to undertake the process of designing, hosting and undertaking embedded artist projects.

This is, however, only the beginning of a longer process. We anticipate that many organisations will be completely new to the concept of working with artists and cultural practitioners, and for many, Cultural Adaptations will be the start of a longer-term engagement with the concept and the partners of this project.

Cultural Adaptations is a developing project and you are invited to send in relevant resources including blogs, case studies and tools for consideration. Stay up to date with opportunities to participate in the project and the upcoming events, and toolkit development by registering for updates.

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