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The arts community musters for the Paris Climate Conference


Marking the occasion of the Paris Climate Conference (“COP21”) being held in Paris next December are several initiatives which reflect the interest and mobilisation within artistic circles regarding climate change issues. Let’s take a closer look at three of these events: “Art COP21”, “Art of Change 21” and “Artists 4 Paris Climate 2015”.


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Art COP21 was established by two associations: COAL and Cape Farewell. These associations are working to gather together a wide range of artists, opinion leaders, sustainable development professionals and many institutions to form an eco-friendly culture supporting the fight against climate change.
Art COP21 takes the form of a major cultural event based on a participative and collaborative concept: all cultural stakeholders, artists and organisations can propose an event (a conference, an exhibition, etc.) and have it listed on the website.
Among the initiatives already published on the platform are:
– The Summit, an international public ‘Conference of the Creative Parties’ between professionals and an audience of students, academics and entrepreneurs;
the COAL Prize for Art and the Environment which highlights projects addressing environmental challenges, to be awarded at a ceremony held at the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature (Museum of Hunting and Nature) in Paris in the autumn;
– and a professional workshop that brings together institutions, professionals from the private sector, artists and community stakeholders to discuss how to incorporate sustainable development into their respective sectors.
One of the initiatives launched through Art COP21 has already been in place since 11 July on the banks of the Seine: the COP Box. This installation aims to involve members of the public in COP21 by letting them film themselves suggesting a solution for the negotiators at the 2015 Paris Climate conference.


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Founded in 2014 by Alice Audouin and sponsored by artist Olafur Eliasson and social entrepreneur Tristan Lecomte, the association “Art of Change 21” brings together 21 stakeholders – artists, social entrepreneurs and young leaders committed to combating global warming – from a dozen different countries. These 21 ‘change catalysts’ have drawn up four agendas for action that enable all members of the public to play a part in the environmental transition:
MASKBOOK, a participative initiative using the mask as a symbol, where every member of the public is invited to take a selfie with a mask and share it on a dedicated website. A video produced by Chinese artist Wen Fang from the portraits obtained will be projected onto an iconic Parisian building during the Paris Climate Conference.
CA(i)RE, a mobile app which suggests original ways to help people “decarbonise” their everyday lives and which will be combined with grassroots initiatives in the Ile-de-France area, designed by artist Yann Toma.
WORLD COP, a scenario-based activity that uses references to the Olympic Games, designed to help people to understand the challenges facing the planet’s resources. The project has been developed in partnership with the University of the Arts London and artists Lucy and Jorge Orta.
BRIDGES, which aims to ‘design, build, bring alive, co-facilitate and connect eco-designed bridges that are habitable and resilient’. The first to be produced will be located at Montreuil (in the east of Paris) and brought to life by artist Laurent Tixador.


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Lastly, the Artists 4 Paris Climate 2015 initiative will exhibit works in various public spaces around Greater Paris by some thirty international artists committed to the fight against climate change. These works will be put on sale as part of a charity auction, the proceeds of which will be donated to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) to support initiatives against climate change and desertification.

These various initiatives involving artists, the general public and institutions, all bear witness to how the world is rallying around the issues of climate change and show how, beyond the technical and scientific debate, creativity and collaboration will lie at the heart of creating new models.

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