Air pollution and ‘art’ disrupted by climate change

Written by Neela Debnath, CNN Accomplished filmmakers and media artists are charged with the role of bringing art and photography to the scene in order to depict the reality of climate change to inspire…

Air pollution and 'art' disrupted by climate change

Written by Neela Debnath, CNN

Accomplished filmmakers and media artists are charged with the role of bringing art and photography to the scene in order to depict the reality of climate change to inspire other citizens to take action.

COP26 in Glasgow was the 18th UN climate change conference, and it garnered mixed reviews from attendees. The three-week event, which ended last month, saw attendees step back from dramatic negotiating and pledging action and towards the development of creative climate pieces around the theme, “real earth, imagined world.”

According to National Geographic, climate change was described by delegates as one of the few real existential threats humanity faces — as opposed to wars, food shortages and poverty.

During one talks, Catrin Evans, who works for the Washington-based Rainforest Artists Organization and collaborates with many notable celebrity artists including Willem Dafoe, Jean-Marc Puissant and Vanessa Beecroft, detailed her work. She further explained that she often combines modeling with filmed scenes in order to recreate the ‘now and the in the future.’

Experiencing the disaster

Evans described how during filming of “Water Wars,” she used the German language as her training tool to look for “waves of water as you are riding the bike, swimming, whatever you are doing on the water, the water appears everywhere, in high peaks, low down, islands, trees.”

This was a recurring scene in the work. Beecroft, who has been creating large-scale artworks worldwide for four decades, told CNN the experiences she has seen in Liberia, where she recently took part in the Masterpiece for Life Global Art Auction, were particularly harrowing.

Beecroft explained, “As I was filming the cyclone going by I saw trees and power lines tearing off, roofs being blown off and houses and bush being washed away. At one point, I went out for a breath of air and it was just a bed of weeds looking like a desert because there is not any forest there. There were no trees.”

Additionally, Beecroft said it was easy to imagine how people would be adversely affected by the rising temperatures expected to hit the planet.

As far as Beecroft is concerned, the problem is bigger than just one town — it is bigger than one planet. Beecroft explained how she frequently consults other artists while creating a new work. “We are all working together to create something, we are talking about the same things. We are all experiencing the same changes,” she said.

Future World and the real earth and imagined world

“We are getting ready to have cities and environment down to the smallest detail,” said urban and environment photographer Niels Geurts.

During the Climate Summit (UN COP) held in Paris in 2015, Geurts and Niels Mau, an environmental designer and author, founded the Future World collective, a design and design consultancy led by social and environmental innovators, and the GEIVE program, a new Academy-level Climate Change students program launched by GEIVE.

Leave a Comment