On the 28th of October Cynnal Cymru/Sustain Wales held an event in Chapter Arts Centre about sustainability and the arts. It asked how can arts practice be more sustainable and also what role the arts can play in promoting sustainability and highlighting climate change.
The arts act as a spark which can make things happen in society, bringing issues to the public attention, encouraging people to form their own opinions, changing attitudes. Examples: Punk Rock, Picasso’s Guernica, the First World War poets. So how can the arts, and the creative industries, bring climate change and the need for sustainable practice to people’s attention and provoke the fundamental change in attitudes that is needed?
Unfortunately this message is not one that people find very engaging or take very seriously. The public perception of tackling climate change seems to be all about not doing things and then feeling guilty when you do them. People need to be able to relate to climate change and sustainability as something that involves them and the things they care about. That is what makes it understandable and real.
How can the arts and the creative industries help to bring about a change in attitudes?
What stories should the arts be telling that will spark people's imaginations and help them to relate to these issues?
How can we ignite a feeling of collective purpose in our society so that people are willing to make fundamental changes in the cause of a better future?