Is the devastation of our climate forcing increased migration and is it projected to worsen in the future?
A new film shows how recent research linking climate change with migration has strengthened our understanding of this enormously, and how artists have begun to articulate this in human terms. In stark contrast virtually no mention was made of migration in the Paris climate summit agreements. A leading panel explores the underlying issues and asks whether and how migration should be made more visible across public and policy agendas on climate change?
Linking climate change with migration event includes speakers:
Richard Black, leading scholar at SOAS on migration in the context of climate change Zita Holbourne, community, union and human rights activist, writer, artist and curator; co-founder of Black Activists Rising Against Cuts Andrew Baldwin, chair of international Climate Change and Migration research network based at Durham University Alex Randall, UK Climate Change and Migration Coalition Kooj Chuhan, artist, filmmaker and curator of the ‘Footprint Modulation’ exhibition exploring climate migration and justice
+ Public launch and screening of the film ‘Crossing Footprints: Human Migration and the Environment’ by Kooj Chuhan / Metaceptive Media, about both the Human Migration and The Environment Conference and the Footprint Modulation art exhibition www.metaceptive.net/footprint-modulation
Chaired by Dr Helen Adams, researcher on human interactions with environmental change at Kings College Continue reading →
Buy This v3 – video installation art by Kooj Chuhan
The event is the culmination and conclusion of two innovative, multidisciplinary five-year research programmes, generously supported by the Leverhulme Trust. It will showcase the work of these two programmes and celebrate their achievements.
It will have an academic focus with four themed panels: ‘Home and Away’; ‘Lost and Found’; ‘Coming and Going’ and ‘Remembering and Forgetting’. Both programmes will present research in the panel discussions and the audience will have the opportunity to engage in debate around these themes.
Alongside the event itself, there will be extensive displays of work from each programme in the form of project posters, photo-essays and publication displays; artist’s pieces from the Doh Mix Meh Up exhibit; and an exhibition by the Royal Geographical Society that will display a selection of their extensive archival holdings.
Buy This v3
Refugees and ‘third-world’ migrants bring with them intimate and undervalued knowledge about climate change. ‘Buy This’ juxtaposes such voices on one screen against another, over-saturated with colliding imagery of wars, colonial struggles, environmental upheaval and UK racism, overlaid with scrolling news messages.
Poster Film Collective progressive media in the 80s
Whose World Is The World by Poster Film Collective progressive media in the 80s. Any parallels now? http://poster-collective.org.uk/whoseworld/index.php
These posters were often in the youth clubs and community centres that we worked in, running creative, campaigning and discussion activities focused on anti-racist and suppressed historical ideas and knowledge. They gave a continuity in the environment that the people who used the building could continue to reflect on after the activities and workshops, in an immediate and visual way without too much text clutter. I really think we need this kind of stuff again in our physical environment, maybe the digital world makes us forget these possibilities?
Migrant crisis: tackle the cause and not the symptom?
ADDRESSING THE CAUSES OF FORCED MIGRATION
Given the strength of evidence on the underlying causes of asylum flows, policy efforts should focus on the root causes of forced migration (conflict and human rights abuse) rather than policies intended to prevent and deter asylum seekers from arriving. This will require joined-up policy making at the UK and EU level in relation to the promotion of human rights, humanitarian action, development aid and trade and investment (Castles et al. 2003).
Download the full report here: http://www.refugeecouncil.org.uk/assets/0001/5702/rcchance.pdf
A detailed read but it makes sense – unlike most of the media reports.
Exhibition by Shahidul Alam on indigenous women’s rights
Posters in the meeting room where Kalpana and her comrades used to gather. Khagrachori. CHT. Photo: Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World
Recent exhibition about Kalpana Chakma indigenous women’s rights activist in Bangladesh, by Shahidul Alam. Excellent!
Extract: “You had reminded us that a nation that fought oppression, could not rule by oppressing. That a people that fought for a language, could not triumph by suppressing another’s. That the martyrs who died, so we might be free, did not shed their blood, so we could become tyrants. That we who overcame the bullets and bayonets of soldiers, must never again be ruled through the barrel of a gun.” http://www.shahidulnews.com/kalpanas-warriors – again, an example of artistic work towards cultural consciousness.
Amnesty International on Israel’s civilian targets: New forensic 3d modelling by Amnesty International shows Israel’s targeting of civilians in Gaza; tools for truth are always needed and this is a well put together media clip – good work.
Black Women Matter:
100 years ago, Thomas Rutling was buried in Harrogate – he spoke out against the brutalities still endured by Africans in America after slavery. 100 years later & we are still speaking out – there must be hope for the future. https://www.facebook.com/forharriet/videos/910802722299848
performance, poetry, music, film event by arts-activists Platform on Sunday 28th June + weekend of events as part of the Footprint Modulation exhibition 27th-29th June
Justice campaign for Ken Saro-Wiwa; divestment from corrupt fuel; diaspora responses to climate refugees; miners and workers rights. In partnership with the international conference ‘Human Migration and the Environment’ www.durhamconference.eu at Durham University
Five events over three days 27th-29th June as a part of Footprint Modulation exhibition – art and interventions exploring climate change, global justice and human displacement www.footprintmodulation.net . Download PDF flyer-programme HERE .
SUNDAY 28TH JUNE (a great day out!) 7pm-11pm PERFORMANCE NIGHT: Oil, politics, poetry with a performance by Platform ‘Silence Would Be Treason’ and also Transition Durham – at EMPTY SHOP HQ 4.30pm-6.30pm DEBATE-DISCUSSION: Workers rights, migration, miners and climate change – at Miners’ Hall 2pm-4pm ARTIST PRESENTATIONS + DISCUSSION: Connecting migrant realities in the UK – at Oriental Museum
SATURDAY 27TH JUNE 2pm-4pm PANEL DISCUSSION: Art, Climate Change, Migration and Activism – at Durham Art Gallery
MONDAY 29TH JUNE 6.30pm FILM SCREENING + PANEL DISCUSSION: ‘EXIT’ film by Diller Scofidio + Renfro – at Appleby Theatre, Geography West Building, Durham University (free, but registration necessary at www.exitfilm.eventbrite.co.uk)
Sunday 28th June, 7pm-11pm at EMPTY SHOP HQ 35c Framwellgate Bridge, DH1 4SJ www.emptyshop.org Silence Would Be Treason: Between Nigeria and here by Platform
20 years after Ken Saro-Wiwa’s murder and Shell still haven’t cleaned up. Campaigner Jane Trowell (Platform) and poets Sai Murray and Selina Nwulu encourage you to ‘get the Bus to Nigeria’ to force change to happen in this performance by Platform. + De-Oiling Durham by Transition Durham
Screening of a film documenting their work to reduce Durham’s oil and fossil dependency plus live poetry from Mika Laiho and a discussion about local activism.
Workers rights, migration, miners and climate change
Sunday 28th June, 4.30pm-6.30pm at Miners Hall www.durhamminers.org
Provocative debate where Dave Douglass (trade unionist, miners historian and writer), Alex Randall (UK Climate Change and Migration Coalition) and others battle out their positions, incl. a guided tour of the art works on show at the Miners’ Hall.
Connecting migrant realities in the UK
Sunday 28th June, 2pm-4pm at Oriental Museum www.dur.ac.uk/oriental.museum
Presentations and discussion by artists Maya Chowdhry, Tracey Zengeni, Mazaher and Apu Chowdhury incl. guided tour of the art works.
Above image: artworks on show at Miners’ Hall, Durham
Art, Climate Change, Migration and Activism
Saturday 27th June, 2pm-4pm at Durham Art Gallery www.dlidurham.org.uk
Gallery tour, talks and discussion with artist Kooj Chuhan, Alex Randall (UK Climate Change and Migration Coalition), Janet Stewart (Director, Centre for Visual Arts and Culture) and Andrew Telford (climate change researcher, Geography Dept, Durham University).
‘EXIT’ film by Diller Scofidio + Renfro (USA): Screening + panel discussion
Mon 29th June, 6.30pm at Appleby Theatre, Geography West Building, Durham University
Digital film-art visualising climate migration data, a recognised key work addressing the theme. Free public tickets available online at www.exitfilm.eventbrite.co.uk . A part of the ‘Human Migration & Environment’ conference www.durhamconference.eu .
The Launch through a lens: Footprint Modulation’s Launch by local photographer Simone Rudolphi
Footprint Modulation had its preview and launch night on Thursday 4th June at Durham Art Gallery (DLI). The evening was not what you might typically expect from a launch for an art exhibition, starting with the relaxed and accessible manner Kooj Chuhan, the artistic-director and one of the artists exhibiting, spoke about the journey behind the exhibition and his artwork at the DLI. Kooj Chuhan’s work, titled Chamada From Chico Mendes, is an interactive piece in which visitors can play different resources like a musical instrument, ranging from bottled water to a mobile phone, to create different effects on the collage of documentary footage displayed in a mask image. Other speakers at the preview showed the range of partners involved in the exhibition, from grassroots climate change organisation Transition Durham to climate change researcher Dr Andrew Baldwin. The evening finished with moving poetry from Platform’s Sai Murray, and a beautiful impromptu song from Tracey Zengeni whose artwork will be on display at the Durham Miners’ Hall, rounding off a unique and affecting evening.
An exhibition of art and interventions exploring climate change, global justice and human displacement across five venues in Durham, UK. 5th June – 5th July 2015 www.footprintmodulation.net
Exhibition Preview and Launch Thursday 4th June, 6pm-8pm at Durham Art Gallery www.dlidurham.org.uk
The preview evening’s gathering will include presentations by Kooj Chuhan (artistic director), Maya Chowdhry (co-producer), Dr Andrew Baldwin (Geography Dept, Durham University) and selected artists. Launching an art exhibition exploring climate migration and displacement, includes live poetry by Sai Murray, short screening + more to be announced…
The exhibition runs 5th June – 5th July 2015 at five venues:
DURHAM ART GALLERY / ORIENTAL MUSEUM / MINERS HALL / EMPTY SHOP HQ / DURHAM UNIVERSITY
+ Special Events Weekend 27th-29th June
Artworks and contributions from: SHAHIDUL ALAM : PLATFORM (LONDON) : KOOJ CHUHAN : MAYA CHOWDHRY : MAZAHER : TRACEY ZENGENI : APU CHOWDHURY : TRANSITION DURHAM : DILLER, SCOFIDIO + RENFRO : UK CLIMATE CHANGE & MIGRATION COALITION : MIKA LAIHO : SAI MURRAY & SELINA NWULU : DAVE DOUGLASS : NIGEL HULETT : JUDY PRICE & ANDREW CONIO : GEOGRAPHY@DURHAM UNI
A Metaceptive project in partnership with the international conference ‘Human Migration and the Environment: Futures, Politics and Invention’ at Durham University 28th June – 1st July 2015 www.durhamconference.eu
Sai Murray to read some poetry at this event
An exhibition exploring climate migration:
Popular ideas of climate change rarely connect with migration even though migration is probably the largest human consequence of climate change. The creative work presented here moves on from often didactic climate-art approaches from a decade ago without ducking strong critiques, and harnesses fresh perspectives from migrants and global voices.
Artists and activists at all levels from internationally acclaimed to local and emerging, and from countries including Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Iran, Brazil and Australia are involved in this exhibition exploring climate migration. Footprint Modulation culminates in a fantastic weekend of public performance, film screenings and discussions involving artists, activists, performers, community members and researchers, and which dovetails neatly into the final conference at Durham University.
Artistic director, curation and project management – Kooj (Kuljit Chuhan) of Metaceptive Projects and Media.
Collaborative research partner and conference chair – Dr Andrew Baldwin, Geography Dept, Durham University.
Artistic producer and transmedia consultant – Maya Chowdhry.
The exhibition opening for ‘Chamada From Chico Mendes’ will talk using live video with Maria Benevides on Eco-Brazil, Chico Mendes, Forests and Water on Saturday 28th February 2015 at Global Grooves Arts Centre (MAP). This will bring some of the realities that people in Brazil are currently facing direct to the audience at the event, where the audience will be able to ask questions chaired by the poet Sai Murray who has worked for some years on issues of climate justice and is the MC for the event.
Chico Mendes, Forests and Water – the context for a digital art work
‘Chamada From Chico Mendes’ is a digital art work by Kooj Chuhan made up of art and documentary video, imagery, poetry and sound from across the world – full details at www.metaceptive.net/chamada . Visitors encounter a range of objects which they can play like instruments, which then spark off visuals, music and words from guest artists, film-makers and environmental activists. Kooj describes it as an “exhibition within an installation” because of the wide range of material that the audience can view and interact with.
Its starting point is the powerful story of Chico Mendes, who was a Brazilian rubber tapper, trade union leader and environmentalist committed to protecting the Amazon’s ecosystem. He had opposition from industrialists and corrupt government officials, was jailed, fined and threatened, and just over 25 years ago he was eventually murdered but has now become a national hero in Brazil. “Chamada” means a ‘call to all’ in Portuguese, and the exhibition is about other voices contributing their parallel experience to that of Chico Mendes.
During the evening event, which includes live performance, guided tour, poetry and food, Maria will talk to us live from Brazil and will discuss:
– What are the important issues for climate change in Brazil?
– How is Chico Mendes is understood in Brazil?
– What influence did he have?
– Which other people are doing that kind of work now?
– What are the difficulties right now for people doing this kind of work?
– How serious are the water shortages and what are the future issues that they raise?
If you can’t make it to the event, maybe because you are too far away, the event will be webcast live at 7.30pm GMT (UK time). You will be able to watch it on ANY device that can play a YouTube video, and you will be able to type in any comments or questions live during the event. The web address for the webcast is: http://metaceptive.net/chamada/live-webcast/ or directly from this YouTube page https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRjDjx-TjE0 .
About Maria Benevides:
Maria Benevides is a Brazilian journalist working for NGOs, research institutions and think thanks on media relations and content production related to environmental issues. She has previously worked as a producer for the BBC World Service and the BBC Media Action in London. She also acted as a UNHCR spokesperson in Angola, UNDP’s press officer in Brazil, IRIN’s editor in South Africa and Head of Communications for the British Embassy in Brazil. Her continuing interests are in green economy, sustainable development, the Amazon forest and the people living there.
Videos about Chico Mendes and Wangari Maathai now online:
There is a great video about Chico Mendes as told by his close collaborator Marcos Afonso now online: http://metaceptive.net/chamada/chico-mendes/ . This is accompanied by an excellent article ‘Martyr of the Amazon: The legacy of Chico Mendes’ by Kate Evans / CIFOR, well worth the read. “At first I thought I was fighting to save the rubber trees; then I thought I was fighting to save the Amazon rainforest. Now I realise I am fighting for humanity,” Mendes famously said.
http://www.observatorioflorestal.org.br – Forest Code Observatory: This is a network of NGOs and institutions that joined to monitor the implementation of the new Brazilian Forest Code and Quartzo (Maria Benevides’ own company) has created and has been managing the contents of the website and social media since it was founded, two and a half years ago. Maria’s talk will touch on the work of this network.
Guest artists, film-makers and activists
This exhibition and project involves a range of contributions from across the globe. They include Sarawut Chutiwongpeti (Thailand), Badrul Alam and Bangladesh Krishok Federation, Heiko Thiele and Zwischenzeit e.V. (Germany), Marcella Haddad (Brazil), Shaikh Mohir Uddin & Rural Visual Journalism Network at Drik (Bangladesh), Fuyumi Labre Lopez (Uruguay/Spain), Milda Lembertaite / Amelia Prazak (Lithuania/Switzerland), Victor Steffensen and the Living Knowledge Place (Australia), Nigel Hulett (Zimbabwe), Ali Pretty and Kinetika (UK), Marian Osman (Somalia) with ‘Democracy Now!’ (USA), Maya Chowdhry (UK), Julia Davenport (UK), Jose Ignacio Lopez Ramirez-Gaston (Peru/Spain). Selected media from these contributors will be watchable on extra screens in the exhibition. Percussion loops produced by 17 young musicians from the Future Leaders carnival arts training programme by Global Grooves. READ MORE ABOUT THE GUEST ARTISTS
Interactive Digital Carnival Installation by artist Kooj Chuhan, inspired by environmental activism stories from across the world – including Chico Mendes. SPECIAL OPENING EVENTS SAT 28th FEB incl. Film Screening, discussion, Multimedia Music Performance, live Brazil link, interviews, poetry and free food! Full details: http://metaceptive.net/chamada/
at Global Grooves Centre until 21st March. 10 mins walk from Mossley station – just 20 mins train from Manchester, only £4 off-peak day return ticket! (MAP)
– 4pm: Film “TAKING ROOT: WANGARI MAATHAI” + discussion.
– 7pm: LIVE PERFORMANCE by Kooj/Holly/Leon, guided tour, poetry by Sai Murray, live link with Brazil environmentalists + Free Food!
A digital art work inspired by Brazilian activist Chico Mendes, made up of voices, imagery and sound from across the world. Visitors encounter a range of objects which they can play like instruments, which then spark off videos, music and poetry from guest artists, documentary filmmakers and environmental activists. A pioneering attempt to combine Digital Art, Carnival, Environmental Activism and Documentary.
– 4pm-6pm: Film Screening “TAKING ROOT: THE VISION OF WANGARI MAATHAI” the activist who went on to become the first environmentalist and also the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize (2004). Plus talk by Kooj exploring Climate Justice, incl. discussion chaired by poet-activist Sai Murray.
– 7pm: LIVE MULTIMEDIA – MUSIC PERFORMANCE, presented by poet Sai Murray plus guided tour of the installation and a live link with Brazilian environmentalists. Free food included!
GUEST ARTISTS: Kooj Chuhan invited artists and activists from across the world for media contributions to create a composite work from each person’s own parallel to Chico’s story, creating an ‘exhibition within an installation’ with Afro-Brazilian layers. READ MORE ABOUT THE GUEST ARTISTS at http://metaceptive.net/chamada/guest-artists-and-activists/
Map for Global Grooves Arts Centre
Venue and Location: Global Grooves Arts Centre Vale Mill, Micklehurst Road, Mossley, Ashton-under-Lyne OL5 9JL.
10 mins walk from Mossley train station. Walk all the way up Micklehurst Road, find the mill via the last turning on the right before the end of the road.
Just 20 mins by train from Manchester Victoria station, costs only £4 for an off-peak day return ticket!
Earlier this year I was mentored by Roger Graef to develop a documentary project (still progressing) which was a pretty condensed and rigorous experience. His 50-year career includes a number of ground-breaking achievements, directly influenced policing, criminal justice and social policy, and which earned him a BAFTA fellowship in 2004 and a lifetime achievement award at Sheffield DocFest in 2014.
I was pleased to see two critical items in it, items 2 and 3 in his list:
2 we need more foreign stories.
Not just about countries in extremis. In the past, there were many programme strands that specialised in foreign coverage, like europa, Under the Sun, Granada’s Disappearing World and Correspondent. Its successor The BBC’s This World was a foavirte for me to make films for and to watch, but it had many more slots. Channel 4’s excellent Unreported World is only a commercial half hour. BBC4 used to have lots of foreign docs but no longer has the money for them.
Today’s resistance to stories even from Northern Ireland and Europe as well as further afield leaves huge holes in our knowledge of the world. It feeds the ignorance of diplomats and politicians about countries like Iraq, Ukraine and Afghanistan – with disastrous consequences.
Currently the radically different versions of news on US, Russian and Ukrainian television and websites reflect the bias i referred to above. Closer to home is the so-called debate about Europe in the runup to the elections. If you don’t have alternative reliable sources like documentaries, you believe the fragments of what you see from politicians with an agenda. And you fill in the gaps with your own prejudices.
3 commissioners and filmmakers need the freedom to take more risks.
Panorama does take risks, contrary to the recent BBC trust report. It invests the necessary time to get the evidence – as seen in both its recent special hospital and care home specials. So does Channel Four’s Dispatches, which the trust praises.
But doc makers and commissioners are constricted by the ed spec, the editorial specification that obliges us to predict our film’s content in detail before we even start shooting. This is especially pointless for unstaged access observational films where nobody knows what is going to happen while we film. It’s fiction really, a best guess made far too early.
For example, in our recent series on Iceland, the supermarket chain, we had no idea the horsemeat scandal would break in the middle of filming. It became an important theme which we could not have predicted. Every obdoc maker will have similar stories. That’s the point of not staging things. Unexpected events can happen right up to the end of filming. That happened with our itv series inside the British Communist Party, when we made an entire film in the last 24 hours of two years of filming. It won the RTS Award.
Good stuff. Will it be heard and be actioned? I hope it has some influence, though it is mostly against the grain of the way things seem to be going (and thats why its needed). Lets wait and see. No – lets push to move things forward. And pass them on.
A lively documentary profile of the inspiring national apprenticeship and training programme in carnival arts has just been released: Future Leaders – a new film by Kooj Chuhan / Metaceptive Media. Anyone interested in arts, young people, communities, carnival, music, dance, visual arts, multi-cultural development and so on should find this interesting.
Full information about this fantastic arts programme which is run by Global Grooves is at www.futureleaders.org.uk . Video created by Kooj Chuhan / Metaceptive Media. [This video is also published on the Global Grooves YouTube channel where a lot more people have seen it – at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9B7uaoWYpcc ]
Includes an interview with Steve White – who was the drummer with the Style Council (Paul Weller) and other worthwhile bands.
Introductory information about Future Leaders
from their website:
‘Future Leaders’ apprentices (aged between 13 and 25 depending on the art form) will extend their practical skills in carnival arts based music making, dance, visual arts and drum kit, as well as gain project management experience, guided by leading artists and professionals in their field. Study opportunities include residential weekend workshops, business and project development, and CPD (continuing professional development), all cemented by distance mentoring from leading UK and international artists and practitioners, tutorials, and portfolio work.
Interviewees in order of first appearance:
Holly Prest – Global Grooves Artistic Director and music tutor
Pareesha – visual arts apprentice
James – dance apprentice
Ali Pretty – artistic director of Kinetika and visual arts tutor
Oscar – music apprentice
Deanna – dance apprentice
Colin Spalding – artistic director of Rampage Mas and visual arts tutor
Stephen – visual arts apprentice
Dominic – music apprentice
Mariana Pinho – artistic director of Gandaia Arts and dance tutor
Farheen – music apprentice
Maisie – dance apprentice
Jon Hardeman – director of Grupo Ilu Axé and music tutor
Brian – parent of young arts apprentice
Simon – parent of young arts apprentice
Angela Chappell – Relationship Manager, Combined Arts at Arts Council
Steve White – leading UK musician and patron of Future Leaders
Eraldo Marques – Global Grooves Executive Director and music tutor
Filmed at the Castleshaw Centre (Delph), Livingstone Primary School
(Mossley) and Global Grooves Carnival Centre (Mossley)
Music Soundtrack taken with kind permission from performance by Jon
Hardeman, Grupo Ilu Axé, recorded live at Trinity Centre, Bristol, 2014.
All video production and editing by Kooj (Kuljit Chuhan) of Metaceptive
Projects and Media
Thanks to all of the participants, staff, volunteers, supporting
organisations, funders and individuals that made this possible.