Blog

The power of our collective voices for a living, just Earth: from Rachel to Greta

Its been heartening to see the voices raised for the planet in the last few months since the international Climate Change Panel (2018), the WWF (2018) have starkly given a timeframe of little over a decade to address the intersecting eco-social emergencies that are accelerating around us.


We can all be empowered to do the same in our communities – asking all politicians and those with power to address these issues as the number 1 priority for a just, equitable, world.


So many people have inspired my work but I’m so aware that it has often been women, feminists and others on the margins, those in the global south, those in male-dominated domains and industries, who have contributed so much to raising global consciousness about safeguarding the only liveable planet we know. I dedicate my Haumea work to all the women, feminists and others who have bravely spoken for a living, just Earth.

I dedicate my work to all the women, feminists and others — mothers, sisters, scientists, writers, academics, artists, musicians, theorists and theatre-makers, comedians, poets, presidents, feminists (many men are feminists you know), farmers, gardeners, lawyers, philosophers, women in tech, women carers and teenage girls who are empowering us all to raise our voices to safeguard the only beautiful, life-giving home we have.

From Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring (1962) to Greta Thunberg’s ‘School Strike for Climate’ (2018 ongoing) inspiring the youth around the world – thank you all!

 

”What is Rewilding? (extended version) – Rewilding News”

Perhaps we can never arrive at rewilded, because pure wilderness is an unhelpful myth.
— Read on rewildingnews.com/what-is-rewilding-extended-version

Current and historical ideas of ‘wilderness, ‘rewinding’ and ‘wilding’ show divergent conversations and sometimes troubling aims… but it’s great these conversations are happening. We so urgently need to wild our lands and waters.

The arts have a key role for public engagement for sustainability in England so why not in Ireland too??

A walk on Mt Leinster for Earth Day 2014, organised by Cathy Fitzgerald. Photo: C. Fitzgerald
A walk on Mt Leinster for Earth Day 2014, organised by Cathy Fitzgerald. Photo: C. Fitzgerald

Art and sustainability programmes originating in England (Julie’s Bicycle) in the last decade, and also evolving rapidly in Scotland (Creative Carbon Scotland) have proven increased public engagment with eco-social concerns and also provided significant energy costs for their respective art sectors.

Ireland has no developed policy in this area (Fitzgerald, 2017) but it is certain that we mustn’t ignore culture as part of national response to the unfolding ecological emergencies.

Art has immense social power to engage and inspire a national conversation to envision the values for sustainability that are important and relevant to Irish rural and urban communities.

Alison Tickell, CEO, Julie’s Bicycle [England], said of their art and sustainability programme report published in late 2018: “This report shows how a deceptively simple policy – Arts Council England’s Environmental reporting requirements – can prompt big shifts. Hundreds of creative organisations are demonstrating how a sustainable cultural ecology can work. Environmental literacy is inspiring deeper connections between climate and social justice, investment and innovation, clean energy and new materials, empathy and biodiversity, the past, present and why we must shape the future.”

The Chairperson of Art Council England also commented:

In six years we have seen a 23% reduction in energy consumption and a corresponding 35% reduction in carbon emissions. Theatres, libraries, museums and concert halls of all sizes – in cities such as Birmingham, Exeter and London and across the country from Cumbria to the Thames estuary – are taking significant steps to highlight the issue in their programmes and improve their own environmental practice, installing solar panels, switching to energy-saving lightbulbs and reducing travel… We have seen the power of encouraging the arts and cultural community to go on a collective journey. (Guardian, 20 Nov, 2018).