Culture and
Climate Change

We convene workshops and events that invite contributions from leading researchers, artists, producers, journalists and policymakers. These are often shared as podcasts and generate material for our publications. We want this work to support a more dynamic and plural public conversation around climate change.

Project 3

Scenarios

Project 2

Narratives

Project 1

Recordings

Scenarios

Climate Change in Residence: Future Scenarios

In December 2015, Culture and Climate Change launched the Scenarios project in Paris during COP21. This programme of work includes three artists' residencies within key climate change networks and institutions; Climate Change in Residence: Future Scenarios. Each residency includes an award of £10,000.

When the artists' opportunity closed in February 2016, we had received 270 applications. We are currently in the process of assessing these applications before appointing the artists in April 2016. The year-long residencies will begin in June 2016.

The residency programme will test the idea of 'networked residencies'. Climate research has long relied on networked collaborations rather than individual, geographically-located centres. Through these residencies, the artists will be able to research issues around climate change scenarios and spend time exploring and developing their own artistic practice. We hope this project will encourage cultural depth in public conversations around future scenarios.

The Scenarios project is generously supported by The Ashden Trust, Jerwood Charitable Foundation, The Open University and the University of Sheffield

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Apply here

Applications now closed.

Project 3

Scenarios

Project 2

Narratives

Project 1

Recordings

Culture and Climate Change: Future Scenarios focuses on the imagining and representation of climate change scenarios.

Climate scenarios are ultimately collective acts of imagination about possible futures in human-natural-hybrid systems. Scenarios play a prominent role in climate research, policy and communication. However they tend to be dominated by natural science and economics, and there is little cultural depth to them.

In December 2015 at COP21, we launched the Climate Change in Residence: Future Scenarios networked residency programme, to catalyse new creative work that will encourage more open and imaginative, but also more purposeful, responses to the challenges of climate change in the present. We received over 270 applications from visuals artists, musicians, poets, writers, theatre-makers, choreographers and creatives from across film and digital media to the residency programme.

Three artist residencies will begin in July 2016 and each residency includes an award of £10,000. We will announce our appointed artists on 23 May 2016 at an award ceremony at Jerwood Space and online on this website.

This project is an experiment which pilots a new residency model — that of a ‘networked residency’. Climate research has long relied on networked collaborations rather than individual, geographically-located centres and the design of this Future Scenarios residency programme deliberately responds to and mirrors the distributed networks of climate change research

Rather than a traditional residency based in one institution, this networked residency engages with a community of people across institutions and disciplines whose work, individually and collectively, informs the development of climate scenarios. Through these residencies, the artists will be able to research issues around climate change scenarios and spend time exploring and developing their own artistic practice. We also hope that the programme will inform the way in which researchers from a wide range of disciplines think about the relationship of their work to wider cultural work on climate scenarios.

This website will host monthly updates from the artists as well as information on past and future events. It will act as a live archive of the residency programme and will seed future activity for the Culture and Climate Change programme and for those who engage with it.

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We will list all events linked to the Future Scenarios residencies.

Upcoming

Archive

Future Scenarios – Surgery & Network Event

Wednesday 27 January 2016, 7:30 pm

Future Scenarios – Surgery & Network Event, Arts Admin

January 2016

This evening explored why scenarios are such a key element of climate change research and politics, and also why it is important to invite a wider range of perspectives on these themes.

Listen to an audio recording of the evening here

We are delighted to be working with Emma Critchley, Lena Dobrowolska & Teo Ormond-Skeaping and Zoë Svendson on the first Future Scenarios Networked Residency Programme.

The year-long residencies begin in July 2016 and you will be able to see their progress through monthly updates. Join our mailing list to be the first to hear all the residency news.

Emma Critchley is an award-winning underwater visual artist and commercial diver working with photography, film, sound and installation to explore the human relationship with the underwater environment. Critchley will use the residency to inform and shape her ambitious ongoing work, When the Waters Recede, inspired by the Bristol Channel floods of 1607, the largest and most destructive in human history and commonly believed to have been a tsunami.

“This residency is a fantastic opportunity to collaborate with a diverse reach of climate researchers, using scenarios as a way to distill the complex and multi-faceted research involved in climate change and create imagined spaces that allow room to stop, reflect and invite challenge and debate.”

Lena Dobrowolska & Teo Ormond-Skeaping are a Polish-British artist collaboration working with conceptual documentary photography and artists’ moving image who have won many awards and prizes, and exhibited across Europe. During the residency they will investigate their interests in glacial recession, climate induced migration, drowning islands, the psychological pressure of climate change and the prognosis of a difficult future scenario, amongst other issues.

“We are working with the anthropocene and climate change as a cultural paradigm of our time that shapes the way in which we imagine our future. Over the course of the residency we intend to utilise current climate, environmental, geological, economic and socio-political phenomena to illustrate the visceral reality of different hypothetical future scenarios.”

Zoë Svendsen is an internationally renowned theatre director and dramaturg who creates research-driven interdisciplinary performance projects exploring contemporary political subjects. She has worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Young Vic, New Wolsey Theatre, TippingPoint and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin amongst many others. Following her recent performance project, World Factory, Svendsen will use her residency to further explore the relationship between ethics and action, the economics of climate change and the tragic absence of real action against it.

“I am very excited by the residency – both by the idea of the ‘network’, and also by the chance to think more fully about the future, and the implications for human interactions that are implied in climate change scenarios, but which often are not fully fleshed out.”

The project is working with a network of individuals and institutions involved in climate research. This Scenarios network comprises a broad range of professional and disciplinary perspectives on climate change scenarios: earth systems, modelling, the insurance industry, oceanography, climate change policy, fashion and design, the built environment, philosophy, literature, theatre and visual arts. It is hoped that collectively, the Scenarios network will also benefit the wider academic research community through its engagement with novel framings of climate change responses and interdisciplinary and collaborative working methods.

Project 3

Scenarios

Project 2

Narratives

Project 1

Recordings

Narratives

Culture and Climate Change: Narratives features six essays, 11 short stories and an edited transcript from an event held in December 2013 at the Free Word Centre. Over 20 contributors including the authors Marina Warner and Caspar Henderson, the poet Ruth Padel, the journalist Isabel Hilton and the neuroscientist Kris De Meyer address the question ‘What Sort Of Story is Climate Change?’ In the introduction the editors argue that more diverse and dynamic accounts reflect this complex topic more accurately than the simplistic insistence that ‘the science is finished’. The editors suggest that more plural and nuanced stories about climate change will lead to better understanding and more credible actions.

Project 3

Scenarios

Project 2

Narratives

Project 1

Recordings

Recordings

In recent years, an increasing number of exhibitions, performances and publications have presented cultural responses to climate change. But is this really something new? Or are we simply reinterpreting long-established themes around human society and nature, apocalypse and utopia, hubris and nemesis? Culture and Climate Change: Recordings sought to ‘map’ new cultural work on climate change and to draw links between this new work and long-standing cultural framings. The publication features three essays and edited transcripts from four dialogues. The first dialogue is on the history of cultural responses to climate change; the second considers publics through popular culture and mass media; the third offers an anatomy of works in this area and the fourth explores the way that culture, politics and science interact as we imagine and respond to possible futures. More than 20 artists, academics, producers, broadcasters and journalists, including Professor Mike Hulme, the BBC's Roger Harrabin and The Economist's Oliver Morton, contributed to the publication.

Project 3

Scenarios

Project 2

Narratives

Project 1

Recordings