Since its creation in 2014 just ahead of the COP21 in Paris, Art of Change 21 has played a key role during COP Climate (Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change). The non-profit organisation proudly organizes events under the COP banner.
Eight years after COP21 in Paris, the COP28 Climate Conference was held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from 30 November to 12 December 2023. After a year marked by record temperatures, this year’s COP aimed to avoid a temperature rise of +2 degrees before 2100. While it finally agreed on “a transition away from fossil fuels”, targets now need to be set to better integrate climate justice.
Art of Change 21 played a key role at COP28, with an ambitious programme defending the importance of art and artists in the ecological transition and action against global warming.
For this COP, Art of Change 21 initiated a tripartite collaboration with internationally renowned artist Julian Charrière and Alserkal Initiatives, a socially responsible arts and culture company based in Dubai. It has also formed a partnership with France Muséums to organise a special event at the French Pavilion at COP28.
AT ALSERKAL AVENUE, DUBAI
The “Melting Point” exhibition by contemporary artist Julian Charrière, held in the Project Space of Alserkal Avenue in Dubai, presents an unprecedented perspective on the beauty and disappearance of the Arctic’s glacial landscapes, which are shrinking every year as a result of global warming. In contrast, the spectacular video work “And Beneath It All Flows Liquid Fire“, depicting a burning fountain, sets the Yard ablaze as a fascinating metaphor for our Promethean drift.
From the 1st of December 2023 to the 6th of January 2024.
AT THE FRENCH PAVILION
A round-table discussion at the COP28’s official French Pavilion, “The Power of Art to Respond to the Climate Crisis”, organised in partnership with France Museums, featuring voices from the art and culture: Alice Audouin (Art of Change 21 Founder-President), Etienne Bonnet-Cande (France Museums Deputy Director – Abu Dhabi), Talin Hazbar (Contemporary artist based in the UAE), Vilma Jurkute (Executive Director, Alserkal Initiatives) and Alison Tickell (Julie’s Bicycle Founder-CEO and member of the Steering Committee of Climate Heritage Network).
Watch the Roundtable here.
Pavillon France de la COP28
AT THE LOUVRE ABU DHABI
Art of Change 21 Chair and Founder Alice Audouin also spoke during the Sustainability in Museums co-organised by the Louvre Abu Dhabi and France Muséums event during COP28 at Louvre Abu Dhabi. The panel discussion titled “How to Rewire the Arts and Culture Fields to Address Climate Change” also included Maya Allison (Executive Director, NYUAD Art Gallery) and Bruno Girveau (Director of the Palace of Fine Arts of Lille).
Watch the roundtable here.
In terms of collective work, Art of Change 21 also contributed to the wider agenda on art, culture, climate and sustainability taking place at COP28, as an active member of the Climate Heritage Network. After playing a part in the Art Culture Heritage Day during the COP27 in 2022 in Sharm el-Sheikh (Egypt), Art of Change 21 is a founding member of the “Global Call to Action to Put Cultural Heritage, Arts and Creative Sectors at the Heart of Climate Action” led by Climate Heritage Network. The call now counts over 1500 signatories and gave way to the ‘High-Level Ministerial Dialogue’ on culture-based climate action during COP. The Dialogue was co-chaired by the Ministers of Culture of Brazil and the UAE. On December 8th, over 25 nations joined the new ‘Group of Friends of Culture-Based Climate Action’, the goal being to establish the first-ever official UN Climate Change policy concerning the role of culture, at COP30 in Belém, Brazil, in 2025.
The programme was supported by the French company R3, at the forefront of CSR, Decarbonisation, and Energy Performance solutions, assisting companies in accelerating their transition. “Melting Point” exhibition is supported by R3 and also Maison Ruinart, the first established champagne house, deeply committed to sustainability and art, Fondation LAccolade, an international programme of artistic residencies and exhibitions at the intersection of art, environment, fragility of the living and Epson, a market leader for projectors for the last 20 years, supporting with visual technology to bring the installation to life.
Sponsors of the “Melting Point” exhibition:
For this exceptional project, Art of Change 21 tailored a passionate and experienced team, bringing skills from both the environment and art worlds. Marie-Astrid Hobohm-Girard (ex Sustainability Manager at Art Basel, ex PR at Chanel Dubai), Arnaud Morand (independent curator specialising in the Middle East), Eva Radek (former events coordinator at Climate Chance), coordinated by Stefano Vendramin, Programmes Director at Art of Change 21 and Alice Audouin, Founder-President of Art of Change 21.
Willing to reduce the environmental impact of this programme of events, all activities were carried out in partnership with local partners, and only 4 people travelled: Alice Audouin and Stefano Vendramin from Art of Change 21 (2 direct return trips) and Julian Charrière and Mathias Gramoso from Studio Julian Charrière (1 return trip Riyadh-Dubai, 1 return trip Berlin-Frankfurt-Dubai and 2 return trips Dubai-Frankfurt-Berlin). No works of art were transported.
A carbon footprint of the exhibition will be produced by carbon expert Emmanuelle Paillat (Cabinet Mutans).
Julian Charrière at the COP28
COP27 took place in Sharm el-Sheikh (Egypt) on November 6-18, 2022.
At COP26 in Glasgow, Art of Change 21 acted through art installations and performances by John Gerrard and Lucy Orta, and talks at the University of Glasgow and in the Blue Zone. This time, at COP27, Art of Change 21 put Maskbook back at the heart of its activity, thanks to the end of the Covid-19 pandemic, which had restricted group participation at COP26 in 2021.
Maskbook has been carried out at COP conferences and across the world since 2015. Created around the symbolism of the anti-pollution mask, which today has gained further meaning in the post-Covid context, this campaign aims to accelerate awareness of the environmental crises by calling upon the creativity of each and everyone. Linking up with leading local environmental groups (Greenish, Banlastic, VeryNile), and Egyptian photographic organisations (Photopia, Humans of Upper Egypt), Art of Change 21 sought to mobilise the Egyptian public by organising exhibitions and workshops across the country. These events were made possible thanks to the support and funding of the Schneider Electric Foundation.
At and around COP27, Art of Change 21 was able to organise numerous actions around the Maskbook project-campaign:
- 5 workshops (Alexandria, Cairo, Luxor, Sharm El-Sheikh): open to all, encouraging individuals from Egyptian civil society to express their environmental concerns, by making their own masks from local waste materials, including plastic and other materials recovered from the Nile by Verynile.
- An exhibition of Maskbook at COP27, in the Green Zone. Located in the Future Generations & Innovation Hub of the Green Zone, opposite the Blue Zone, the exhibition presented both the portraits made in the workshops in Egypt as well as a selection of international portraits, including some by well-known public figures, such as Sônia Guajajara. A Maskbook workshop area inside the booth also allowed visitors to create their own masks and messages for COP27 and submit online on the online gallery Maskbook.org.
- An exhibition in Cairo following COP27 at Photopia, photography school and studio, shop, gallery & co-working space, in order to reach a wider Egyptian audience. As at COP27, a Maskbook workshop area was available for visitors to make their own mask, and the exhibition was part of the programme for Cairo Design Week. Another exhibition is also planned in Alexandria, in collaboration with Banlastic and the Goethe Institute.
- Co-organisation & participation in a day dedicated to arts, culture and heritage during COP27, #ArtCultureHeritageCOP27, at the Sharm el-Sheikh museum. This was organised by the Climate Heritage Network, of which Art of Change 21 is a member, a voluntary, mutual support network of arts, culture and heritage organisations committed to aiding their communities in tackling climate change and achieving the ambitions of the Paris Agreement, including CultureCOP, Julie’s Bicycle, Europa Nostras, ICOM, World Monuments Fund, National Trust…The day’s events included a Maskbook workshop held on the patio of the museum, the publication of a climate Manifesto written by cultural leaders across the world, a CultureCOPAssembly that brought together a diverse array of cultural actors to explore how arts and culture at COP can support, challenge and deepen the possibility of a more just climate situation, as well as performances, music and poetry amplifying leading global creative voices on the climate emergency, including a speech by indigenous leader Sonia Guajajara
- In order to have the campaign resonate more widely outside of the exhibitions and workshops, Art of Change 21 also encouraged participation online, through the Maskbook.org platform where it is still possible to post one’s portrait. Some of these contributions may be included in upcoming exhibitions.
From 1 to 12 November 2021, Art of Change 21 presented the programme ART-CLIMATE-COP26 in Glasgow, in partnership with acclaimed artists John Gerrard and Lucy Orta, in collaboration with the Hunterian Art Gallery, the University of Glasgow and the Glasgow school of Art and supported by its main partner Schneider Electric Foundation.
Art of Change 21 highlighted the major role of artists in the ecological transition, mobilized the youth, and created a dialogue between art, technology, innovation and climate during COP26. Art of Change 21’s artistic program included:
- Two strong artistic actions by internationally renowned and ecologically-focused contemporary artists, John Gerrard and Lucy Orta, were at the heart of this program.
- On November 5 and 6, Irish artist John Gerrard exhibited the work Flare(Oceania), 2021 by the South facade of the University of Glasgow, in partnership with Art of Change 21. This monumental work, a digital simulation, was specially designed for COP26. The showing was complemented by a Round Table Discussion November 6th at the Hunterian Art Gallery.
- French-British artist Lucy Orta, of the internationally recognized duo Lucy + Jorge Orta and Chair of Art and the Environment at University of the Arts London, staged Nexus Architecture COP26. Fifty students from the Glasgow School of Arts customized the Nexus overalls created by the artist, followed by a performance in London with students of Chelsea College of Art and the University of Arts London. This “social sculpture” has already been activated worldwide from Shanghai, to New York, Berlin, Johannesburg…
- The Paleo-Energetic Fresco, a project led by Atelier 21, explored inventions that offered ecological alternative modes for energy production and conservation for our future. This fresco, exhibited from the 1st to the 12th November at Saltspace Gallery in Glasgow, highlighted 100 inventions dating from 1000 BC to now.
- Two panel discussions, organized and moderated by Art of Change 21 on November 5 and 6, created a dialogue between artists, environmentally-committed young people, climate scientists and innovators/entrepreneurs. These round tables took place at the French Pavilion and at the Hunterian Art Gallery, and gathered artists (John Gerrard, Lucy Orta…), activists (Uili Loisi, Nathan Méténier…), innovators (Cédric Carles) and the corporate world (Gilles Vermot Desroches).
- Another successful Maskbook workshop took place on 1st November, at Barony Hall in Glasgow. Maskbook took up residence at COP26 in partnership with Strathclyde University and The Glasgow School of Art. Art students and citizens of Glasgow created masks from waste materials and bring their voices to this participatory work.
The 25th edition of the COP Climate conference was held in Spain at the end of last year following its cancellation in Santiago, Chile, running from 2nd to 13th December in Madrid.
Long-prepared campaigns by Art of Change 21 with its Chilean partners the Mar Adentro Foundation and the Fab Lab Santiago went ahead in the Chilean capital as planned, despite the cancellation of COP Climate. A Global Forum took place concomitantly during the COP, featuring artist’s residencies followed by an exhibition, followed by creation and environmental awareness workshops.
In response to the change of venue for the COP, Art of Change 21 designed and organized within a very short time frame a specific campaign program in Madrid which included:
- A half-day event concerning art, innovation and climate change: Más grados ° más arte? was held at the renowned CaixaForum in Madrid, a cultural center of the city known for its famous green wall, hosting an international conference and a Maskbook workshop.
- An additional Maskbook Workshop, in partnership with INLAND.
On the occasion of the 24th annual UN Climate Change Conference (COP24) in Katowice, Poland from December 2-14, 2018, Art of Change 21 presented a program of events, exhibitions, meetings and workshops, at the intersection of art and major environmental issues, with the support of the Schneider Electric Foundation and the UN Environment Program. Among the highlights of the Art of Change 21 program, organized in collaboration with the three main cultural organizations of the city (the Muzeum Śląskie, the Katowice City of Gardens and the Academy of Fine Arts), are the intervention of contemporary artist John Gerrard, and the Giant Maskbook workshop, which brings together inhabitants of Katowice and participants of the COP24. In the program:
- 4 Maskbook workshops before and after the COP with the citizens of Katowice and artists from Academy of Fine Arts
- 5 Maskbook exhibitions in the city, from the KATO Cultural Cafe to the University of Silesia
- 1 Panel Discussion Creative People Facing Global Challenges with the artists Lise Autogena, John Gerrard, Jeremy Gobé and the architect Marcin Szczelina.
COP23 – CREATIVE KLIMA
Creative Klima is an innovative program focused on climate, created specifically for the COP23 held in Bonn, Germany, from November 6-17, 2017. Creative Klima offers exhibitions, conferences, workshops, debates, award ceremonies, musical programming and numerous festivities just a few hundred meters from the international conference center, on the MS Beethoven Township boat on the banks of the Rhine and at the Institut français Bonn. Creative Klima brings together major players, both French and international, from the fields of social entrepreneurship, energy, culture and climate: the Association Art of Change 21, the international NGO Ashoka, the Institut français Bonn, Atelier 21 with its initiatives Paléo-Energétique and Solar Sound System, the International Weather and Climate Forum, as well as the main partner of this program: the Schneider Electric Foundation.
Creative Klima will create a unique dynamic that favors a multidisciplinary approach to the climate issue, bridging the fields of social entrepreneurship, creation and industry. The program thus includes: a conference and exhibition of the paleo-energetic timeline that proposes a chronological journey into the history of energy innovations, musical programming by the Solar Sound System, a workshop and an award ceremony for the European Prize ‘‘Social Innovation to Tackle Fuel Poverty’’ with Ashoka, a conference by Schneider Electric Foundation with French climatologist Jean Jouzel and Gilles Vermot-Desroches, Director of Sustainable Development, and a mask-creation workshop on the topic of the air pollution and the climate, with Maskbook by Art of Change 21…
The Maskbook activities by Art of Change 21 and the Solar Sound System are labeled Art4Climat by the UNFCCC & Julie’s Bicycle.
COP22 – BALAD_E
For the 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP22), the UN Climate Change Conference, held in Marrakesh, Art of Change 21 organized BALAD_E, a far-reaching and culturally rich event.
From November 7th to the 18th, Art of Change 21 invited the public to workshops, round-table discussions, exhibitions, artistic performances, and extraordinary gatherings around art, innovation and sustainable development.
The events took place in different emblematic locations in Marrakesh, from the Riad Yima, home and gallery of the renowned Moroccan artist and « upcycler » Hassan Hajjaj, to the Green Zone (civil society area of the COP22), to the cultural hotspot Cafe Clock.
Art of Change 21 also proposed PIKALA BALAD_E, themed bike circuits that also served as a sustainable city guide to Marrakesh, produced in collaboration with Pikala Bikes and the CMEM.
Among the speakers: researchers Jean Jouzel and Jean-Michel Valantin, social entrepreneurs Tristan Lecomte, Adnane Addioui, Arnaud Mourot and Mamoun Ghallab, artists David Buckland et Hassan Hajjaj, women leaders in the field of ecological transition such as Myriam Maestroni, Fettouma Djerrari, Nathalie Bastianelli, and Helena Molin Valdes, stylist Amine Bendriouich, architect Manal Rachdi, and many more.
Finally, Art of Change 21 launched its Arabic language version of the Caire Game website.
BALAD_E was supported by our partners, the Schneider Electric Foundation and the United Nations Environment Program. It was labeled COP22 event and a COP22 project and was organized in partnership with Hassan Hajjaj, Riad Yima, CMEM, Intour Marrakech, Pikala Bikes,4D, Paléo-Energétique, Yes We Green, EME, and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition.
Check out the website of the event : cop22-balade.com
At the COP21 held in 2015 in Paris, Art of Change 21 organized an exhibition at the Grand-Palais, an artistic performance at Le Bourget (the venue of the COP21) and an outdoor exhibition in Beijing (China).[/fusion_text]