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It was a special afternoon for me today as I spoke with some winners of the Kids Care About Climate Change 2021 art contest.

with Shivom and his dad

First up is Shivom from Singapore, who is 7 (AND A HALF!). His poster talks about the importance of saving trees.

artwork by Shivom O.

“If you treat a tree good, they will treat you good. They will give you more oxygen paper, fruits and medicines. Plant more tree so we can live happily. Do not pluck the leaves from the plants and let the greenery grow.” We also showed each other our plush animals.

My second meetup today is with Shaurya from Singapore, who won a People’s Choice Award. He drew something that you all know resonates strongly with me.

with Shaurya and his dad

His artwork is entitled “Heart:Body = Tree:Earth”. He says, “If you want to breathe, SAVE the trees, so that the next generation can get oxygen for free. Have you realized, HEART and EARTH are spelled with the same letters? Take care of both, before it’s too late.” Shaurya just turned 10 and wants to be a pilot and artist. (Hey, me too!) He solved a Rubik’s cube while we talked.

Artwork by Shaurya K.

I know you kids won me, but I feel that I won you. ❤

Kids Care About Climate Change 2021 is a project by fellow #TeamHB members Marji Puotinen and Colleen Filippa, and the resulting banner with all the artworks will be showcased in COP26 UN Climate Conference by Scottish Greens Senator Lorna Slater. Congratulations for receiving 2629 entries from 33 nations and 213 schools! Winners win a Zoom with the jury members, one of whom is yours truly.

http://www.kidscareaboutclimate.org

(Madison, Wisconsin)—Last week, we wrapped up LunART Summer Arts Camp 2021! This was one of the most fun things I have done this year, and I’m really happy to have contributed a bit from all the way here in Sydney. LunART supports, inspires, promotes, and celebrates women in the arts through public performances, exhibitions, workshops, and interdisciplinary collaboration. The camp was held at Goodman Community Center in Madison, Wisconsin, and I taught remotely. 

During the camp, the four of us worked in rotating teams of two so that the two remote teachers (Me and Maya) worked with those in Madison (Midori and Satoko). Each week, we had tons of short and fun activities built around key words such as Hello, Ground, Connect, Rest, Build, Community, Communicate, and Share. We used various mediums, such as music, poetry, scent, sculpture, gardening, and others. 

(My favourite activity was a synesthesia exercise where we asked participants to sniff some mystery scents and to color and/or draw what they saw):

This is hands down one of my most favorite and meaningful events this year, and in light of lockdowns and disasters around the world where I sometimes wake up in despair and frustration, I am grateful to have been useful for a time and to have been part of a pioneering initiative where remote teams will increasingly work together in the future.

As well, I’m so happy to have worked with old and new friends, fellow Creative Peacebuilders for The Peace Studio Midori Samson and Maya Williams, and ace pianist Satoko Hayami . After all these weeks, I am going to miss you and the camp participants putting me to bed on a very late Tuesday night. Thank you LuNART and Goodman Center for hosting us, and to Midori for reaching out! 

Images courtesy of Midori Samson, LuNART, and Goodman Center

Find out more about the LuNART Summer Camp 2021 here.

Culture², a Toronto-based organization, is hosting their first online conference on community science, creative biology, and ancestral knowledge this Aug 28 + 29, 2021. I’m excited to be one of their speakers. Get your ticket here and see you there! 

This August 28th + 29th, 2021 we invite you to join us for our first conference where farmers, community activists, climate educators, artists, and practitioners will be sharing their wisdom in relation to the pillars of community science, creative biology, and ancestral knowledge.

Image: Culture²

Update: Video up on Vimeo here.

Thank you for having me!

I’m really happy to have contributed an essay to the #Healing edition of the New Alphabet School of one of my favorite cultural institutions, the Haus der Kulturen der Welt. I collaborated with colleagues I met during (Un-)Learning Place in 2019 in Berlin, which kicked off HKW’s long-term project The New Alphabet. 

The Healing edition in Dakar and Berlin focuses on afro-diasporic spiritual or folk healing practices, lay movements for recovery to generate ideas and media that may have transformative potential. My essay involves my current research and art practice around petrichor (the scent of wet earth when it rains) and how it brought me to Australia. Dankeschön to Olga Schubert, Elisabeth Krämer, Alessandra Pomarico, Esther Poppe, and Maya V. El Zanaty.

It’s a gift to still be able to contribute despite these lockdowns; sending you all a hello from Sydney!

Read the essay here.

(Paris and digital) I’m happy to contribute a heart to C40 Cities for their digital campaign, A Letter to Nature. C40 is a network of the world’s megacities committed to addressing climate change.

The Weighing of the Heart is a sculptural series where I cast human heart sculptures out of the ashes of The Australian bushfires. I’ve been doing this since 2020 after the 2019-2020 Black Summer.

C40 support cities to collaborate effectively, share knowledge, and drive meaningful, measurable, and sustainable action on climate change.

From C40:

C40 has teamed up with a collective of incredible artists who have unique visions of the world they want to live in. Their art challenges us to imagine a future where people and biodiversity thrive, and cities are more resilient and equitable.

C40 has teamed up with a collective of incredible artists who have unique visions of the world they want to live in. Their art challenges us to imagine a future where people and biodiversity thrive, and cities are more resilient and equitable.

The third artist in this series is Catherine Sarah Young. Catherine’s piece ‘The Weighing of the Heart’ casts ashes from the devastating Australian wildfires of 2020 into a heart-shaped sculpture. This video features the sculpture on a background of illustrations by Catherine, that represent hope and recovery.

Catherine said: “The casting of the ashes allowed for the creation of permanent sculptures and removes them from the processes in their landscapes, resulting in art that registers the effects of climate change.

“In this image, the sculptures are made from matter in a real-world catastrophe, but the illustrations arise from my imagination and stems from hope that we can rise above this and repair our relationship with the planet.” 

About the artist: Catherine Sarah Young uses her background in molecular biology and collaborations with scientists to produce innovative, interdisciplinary and experimental artworks that explore our natural world and environment.

I’m really honored to have contributed the cover image to this important book on migration and global justice co-edited by my friend Prof. Claudia Tazreiter! I took this image in 2017 as artist-in-residence of Plan International, where I visited youth in Lewoleba in Indonesia; Chiang-Mai in Thailand, and Tacloban in the Philippines. In Tacloban, a local tricycle driver took me around the city to witness the aftermath of Supertyphoon Haiyan that devastated Tacloban in 2013. The image shows a fishing vessel that had run aground Philippine soil during Haiyan.

 Working with children and youth who were affected by the climate emergency was one of the most impactful and humbling times of my artistic practice, and I am still grateful to Plan for the opportunity to co-create artworks on climate with them. 

The residency was facilitated by Plan International’s offices in Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines as well as the International Climate Initiative (IKI) based in Berlin. More on the residency outcomes here: https://www.international-climate-initiative.com/en/news/article/interview_to_know_the_colour_of_water/

The Handbook of Migration and Global Justice is published by Elgar Handbooks and is edited by Dr. Leanne Weber, Professor of Criminology, University of Canberra, Australia and Dr. Claudia Tazreiter, Professor in Ethnic and Migration Studies, Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and Society, Linköping University, Sweden. This timely Handbook brings together leading international scholars from a range of disciplinary backgrounds and geopolitical perspectives to interrogate the intersections between #migration and global #justice. It explores how cross-border mobility and migration have been affected by rapid economic, cultural and technological globalisation, addressing the pressing questions of global justice that arise as governments respond to unprecedented levels of global migration. Available here: https://www.e-elgar.com/shop/gbp/handbook-of-migration-and-global-justice-9781789905656.html

(Madison, Wisconsin)—These past few weeks, I have had the joy of helping out with the first LunART Summer Arts Camp! LuNART Festival supports, inspires, promotes, and celebrates women in the arts through public performances, exhibitions, workshops, and interdisciplinary collaboration. It’s been awesome collaborating with old and new friends: two of my fellow Creative Peacebuilders at The Peace Studio Midori Samson and Maya Williams as well as pianist Satoko Hayami at the Goodman Community Center. Maya and I teach remotely—an optimistic effect of the current global situation is that I can do this at all from my desk here in Sydney.

From LuNART:

LunART is thrilled to partner with Goodman Community Center for the first LunART Summer Arts Camp! For nine weeks this summer, middle schoolers at GCC will take weekly arts classes with our teaching artist team: Satoko Hayami and Midori Samson (LunART Community Engagement Coordinators), Maya Williams, and Catherine Sarah Young. Using music, poetry, and visual art, workshops will emphasize play and experimentation, access and equity, confidence and validation, and teamwork and community-building.In addition to arts classes with our teaching artist team, students will experience weekly live performances by LunART guest artists. This component of the day, “Art Share,” will invite LunART artists to present instrument show-and-tells, short interactive concerts, or guided activities.

Find out more here: https://www.lunartfestival.org/summerartscamp

Congratulations to fellow LabVerde alumna, Sabina Sallis, on her multidisciplinary exhibition, Multispecies Visionary Institute! Honored to exhibit The Weighing of the Hearts and Burned Lines works with friends and colleagues at Berwick, UK.

Multispecies Visionary Institute

SABINA SALLIS

The Multispecies Visionary Institute (MVI) welcomes you to an immersive body of artworks that is informed by sustainable land practices and spans a diverse range of media and disciplines. Within the exhibition is an Apparatus for Resurgence in Trophallaxis (ART), a storytelling and healing device that uses herbs, hives and other magical, healing substances and actions to engage all senses with images, smells and sounds. The project is accompanied by a series of evolving exhibitions with a structure called (S)Low Disturbance Exhibition Model, and a programme of events gives training for Becoming an Indigenous Organism Mystic (BIOM), both facilitated by the Multispecies Visionary Institute. MVI and ART has been developed by Sabina Sallis who uses drawing, video, performance, sculpture and narrative to investigate the complex entanglement between the human mind, knowledge and more than human worlds. She graduated in 2005 from the University of Arts, Poznan, Poland and is currently completing a practice-led PhD at School of Fine Arts, Newcastle University. The Multispecies Visionary Institute takes places at the Gymnasium Gallery, Berwick-upon-Tweed from 10 July – 5 September. Open Tuesday to Sunday 11am-4pm. Free admission.

Book tickets here.

I will be presenting The Weighing of the Hearts and Burned Lines for ASLE-USA’s Emergence/y Conference in a few weeks!

The Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment (ASLE) seeks to inspire and promote intellectual work in the environmental humanities and arts.

The Weighing of the Heart is a sculptural series where I cast the residues of the bushfires into human hearts.

Burned Lines is a series where I rewrite climate change denier text addressed to me using ink made from the ashes of the bushfires.

Register at http://www.asle.org

I’m stoked to present my Burned Lines project in an academic conference next week for Re-MEDIAting the Wild: The 16th Conference on Communication and Environment. 

Burned Lines is an art project where I rewrite my hate mail, tweets, and press from climate change deniers using ink made from the ashes of the Australian bushfires. 

Register here: https://theieca.org/conference/coce-2021-online