Using creativity to widen the climate conversation
28th November 2021
The climate crisis needs more people to take climate action. However, the climate conversation doesn’t always feel accessible to everyone, so it’s important to use diverse and creative ways of connecting more and more diverse people with climate action in ways which feel relevant to them and their lives.
As part of our Community Climate Action project, Bristol Green Capital Partnership commissioned two experienced socially-engaged artists to collaborate with our community partners to use creativity to connect a wider audience, beyond those already active and interested in climate change, with community-level climate action. The aim of the creative commissions was to challenge perceptions, amplify local voices and champion the need for an equitable transition to a zero carbon Bristol.
The project artists Dee Moxon, Morgan Tipping and Tommy Chavannes collaborated with four of our community partners to explore issues relevant to their communities, through a series of online and in-person workshops across the city. We also asked the artists to create accessible and sharable creative content that had the potential to inspire, engage and support people to get involved in community climate action in some way.
Morgan and Tommy used the concept of COP26 to host a series of hands-on creative sessions, modelled around the concept of a UN convention (including the convention of the appliances, the animals and the products) from which they created unique short digital memes to share and celebrate climate action ideas from local people in a fun way, through social media.
> Watch the project short film (featuring artist Morgan Tipping)
> Watch Ambition Lawrence Weston’s repair themed meme (featuring Men in Sheds)
> Watch Eastside Community Trust’s animal themed meme (featuring children from Felix Road Adventure Playground)
> Watch Bristol Disability Equality Forum’s bike lane themed meme (featuring Beth)
> Watch Heart of BS13’s plastic waste themed meme (featuring young people from A2A)
Artist Dee Moxon
‘Climate action comes in all shapes and sizes. It can be fun and kind and supportive for you and your community’ Dee Moxon
Dee used the ‘climate craftivism’ concept to host a series of online and in person community workshops which responded to climate themes important to local residents – from food poverty to air pollution, from digital carbon footprints to increasing biodiversity. Each of Dee’s craftivism ideas use easy to access, cheap/free, recycled/reused materials, making them easily accessible and low carbon. Dee has created four short craftivism films to get people thinking about climate in fun and creative way.
With additional support from Places Called Home Ikea Lottery Fund, Dee was also able to work with community partner Heart of BS13 to reinstate a lantern parade tradition in the community of Hartcliffe that had died out 20 years ago. With a focus on community, growth, biodiversity and celebration, on Bonfire Night 2021 the Hartcliffe community held a parade of biodegradable lanterns, spread wild flower seeds and processed trees which were then planted on the Roundhouse Community Garden site.
You can find additional resources and read more about Dee’s creative commission for the Bristol Community Climate Action Project on her artist’s blog – A participatory artist at work.
The role of art and creativity in community climate action
Creativity can have a important role in helping make conversations around climate more relevant to people and their everyday lives. Community artists and their socially engaged methodologies have the ability to engage communities differently with climate and societal issues. By meeting people where they are at; responding to the issues affecting communities, and using hands-on creative processes that are accessible and connect both with people’s hearts and their heads, creativity has the power to inspire more and more diverse people to feel that community climate action is important to them.