I have been able to spend the past week in Geneva with the United Nations, the UNDRR, and Platform for Disaster Displacement. There, I was albe to share public art projects like Swale and Ebb of a Spring Tide with ambassadors and delegates from around the world. This conference was focused on the migration impacts of climate change.
While I came here hoping to do the best I could to speak to the role of imagination, transformation, and co-creating alternatives in public art, I also tried to answer the question: what can art be?
The conference followed these questions:
Every year, the slow-onset impacts of climate change affect millions of lives. These impacts leave people forced to leave their homes while others are trapped in at-risk areas.
- As climate change continues to intensify, how can we adapt policies to the realities and migration aspirations of communities affected by slow-onset climate change?
- How can we ensure tailored approaches in the formulation and implementation of policies on regular migration pathways?
- How can we link policy discourse with art and promote a holistic perspective to these questions?
- How can Public Art participate?
Some of the most passionate creative minds and biggest hearts were there this week.
- Ms. Bernie Goulding from the Pacific Women’s Indigenous Network (WIN);
- Mr. Mamadou Goita, from the Pan African Network in Defense of Migrants’ Rights (PANiDMR);
- Mr. Shakirul Islam, from Ovibashi Karmi Unnayan Program (OKUP);
- Ms. Helena Olea, from Alianza Americas, and I were asked to discuss how the adverse impacts of slow-onset climate change shape different mobility outcomes.
- Professor Walter Kaelin, Envoy of the Chair of the Platform on Disaster Displacement, moderated the discussion.
Thanks to the organizers for inviting an artist and to my fellow panelists for engaging in the speculative and poetic. And a big thank you for inviting me to be part of this important conference, and for hosting me!
Links to this event: