Rethinking environmental issues through artistic projects

To complete this week dedicated to reflection on climate change, #DiscovHER presents three women whose artistic work provokes new thinking about environmental issues.

Miriam Simun and the GhostFood installation

Until 6th January 2016, 516 ARTS, based in Albuquerque in the USA, is presenting a series of interactive artistic projects that will enthuse the whole family, with exhibits both inside and outside their gallery.

As part of this programme, Miriam Simun is presenting the performance piece GhostFood, inspired by her reflection on the social and technological implications of climate change. She explains her artistic and scientific processes thus: "I use scientific methods and embed myself in communities of experts, including nursing mothers, perfumers, hunters. Trained as an ethnographer, my process is rooted in lived experience, accessing embodied forms of knowledge..."

Through this participatory performance, GhostFood, we are plunged into the future where climate change has destroyed biodiversity and food appears to be a lot less appetising.

Andrea Polli and Energy

The project Future of Energy by Andrea Polli was first of all created in collaboration with the students at Questa, New Mexico, The Paseo, LEAP, STEMarts Lab and The Social Media Workgroup. Through this installation, the public is confronted with the realities of local energy and discovers the potential of clean renewable energy. Using the application “Data Gather” developed by students in Polli’s laboratory, the participants can visualise the potential of solar energy by directing their smartphones towards the light, or of kinetic energy by moving their phones.

For Cop 21, Andrea Polli presented an installation called Particle Fall in Paris, allowing us to perceive in real time the quality of the air and the rate of airborne particulate matter.

Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner, committed poet

Originally from the Marshall Islands, Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner used her poetry to raise awareness of the populations threatened by the rising waters of the Pacific Ocean. Also a writer, artist and journalist, she gave her voice in 2014 at the Opening Ceremony of the Climate Summit organised by the Secretary General of the UN. 

For Cop 21, she was in Paris and was answering questions asked by Lydia Ben Ytzhak about her commitment via poetry at the Théâtre de la Gaîté Lyrique  in Paris. Her mission: to raise awareness of populations that are suffering because of climate change and to fight against these threats using the strength of words. With this in mind, she inaugurated the poetry competition "Spoken Word for the World", the videos of which are available on Facebook.

The artistic projects presented in this article are also presented in ArtCOP21


For Women in Science

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