During the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, UK (31 October and 12 November 2021), many arts and culture institutions put together innovative and insightful cultural programmes to talk about climate change.
Importance of the arts
The arts have an important voice in fighting the climate emergency as it can traverse cultural and language barriers to inspire change and creativity.
As part of COP26, HarrisonParrott partnered with Shared_Studios, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and Scottish Ballet, with funding from British Council, to hold an innovative and creative experience to connect people from all over the world to talk about climate change
The aspiration of Climate Portals is to stimulate global conversations, provide creative responses, and inspire transformational change, and explore the topic of climate change through art, science and digital technology.
Find out more about the inspiration behind the project
The Climate Portal features a life-size screen in a golden shipping container that connects to other portals around the world, bringing together people who would never otherwise have a chance to meet.
Jeffery Sharkey, RCS
“The storytelling power of the arts has long been a powerful vehicle to inspire and influence change. Climate Portals is an exciting way to come together with communities from around the world where we can learn from each other, collaborate and create, and spark ideas"
Stasi Schaeffer and Jenny Knotts create a performance based on a conversation on nature and love, Joana Carvahlas performs to an audience in Erbil, Iraq.
Tom MacFadyen produces art based on data and nature, Stasi Schaeffer leaves the Climate Portal in Glasgow
Climate Portals enable immersive and life-like connections creating the sensation of being in the same room. The Portal connects to the following countries with the UK: Rwanda, Uganda, Mexico, Gaza, Iraq, and Mali.
An A cappella performance by 3 women written about climate change by Dorothee Nys by RCSHarrisonParrott Foundation
Programming the events for the Portals included working with RCS students, Scottish arts institutions and the general public in Glasgow and curators at the Portal locations. These curators identify participants, and organise events for 12 hours each week.
Shared_Studios co-founder, Michelle Moghtader
"Climate Portals provides an opportunity for people to listen and learn from the experiences of communities, artists and change makers around the world.”
Combining his love of data bending and his heavy reliance on nature in his art, Tom explore's unique formats of visual story telling by RCSHarrisonParrott Foundation
Listen to our Podcast about Climate Portals
HarrisonParrott spoke to RCS, Shared_Studios and XX to discuss the important role of the arts in tackling the climate emergency. Listen here to find out more about Climate Portal's success at COP26 and connecting people from all over the world in creative conversations.
Kaiya Bartholomew sings with 4 members of her family which call for climate action. by RCSHarrisonParrott Foundation
Programming used climate change and sustainability as its focus point leading to innovative and exciting events such as an A Cappella performance from Dorothee Nys co-written around climate change and women’s perspectives...
Joana Carvahlas' musical performance using the things we see as waste, multiple new compositions and operas, specially created artwork using climate data from Tom McFadyen, an intimate production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth that explores ecology with Lawrence Boothman...
Tom MacFadyen's recent art relies heavily on nature and the emergency it faces. by RCSHarrisonParrott Foundation
Your Future Planet
A series of evening performances performed by actors in Kigali and watched from Glasgow
... visual storytelling via a love story to create a new future for humans and nature, merging of art and data to create new art works, a cello performance based on conservation, global music improvisation and exchanges, and dialogues about our throwaway culture.
Siobhan Dyson created a film about the effects humans have had on the oceans by RCSHarrisonParrott Foundation
Siobhan Dyson, created a film about the effects humans have had on the oceans and the horror of a potential future if these behaviours don’t change.
Kaiya Bartholomew and her family sing to audiences in Kigali and Mexico City, and Sally Charlton and Althea Young explore distance and phone calls as a form of time travel.
This was a daily event throughout COP26 where speakers, artists, scientists were invited to present and discuss climate change themes related to the climate crisis. Each session was open to the public followed by discussions and tea and cake.
Climate Cafe events included films, zooplankton origami, photography, a 1-hour chamber opera about an extinct locust, green arts initiatives, experimental sound art, sustainability professionals, a Glasgow/Mexico City audio walk, music performances, and visual art.
Participants at Climate Cafes discussing the Locust Opera and making origami zooplankton
Sapna Agarwal demonstrating her artwork to cafe audiences, and the final origami zooplankton created by climate cafe participants.
An example activity from Sapna Agarwal's climate cafe stimulating conversations around the climate emergency, and a participant discussing the Locust opera.
An audio walk created by Dr Laura Bissell and David Overend. Participants were invited to experience an audio walk down Hope Street (15mins) then to listen to an audio walk created in Mexico City on their return journey to the portal (15mins).
The Climate Portal is a creative collaboration between HarrisonParrott, Shared_Studios, Royal Conservertoire of Scotland and Scottish Ballet. The portal is home to an exciting art and digital exchange programme with portals across the globe, including Bamako, Erbil, Gaza, Nakivale, Mexico City, and Kigali.
Climate Portals is supported by the British Council’s Creative Commissions programme which are a series of creative commissions exploring climate change through art, science and digital technology.
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