Anti-Offsetting Primer, Open Curriculum, Holistic Carbon Reporting
Links Co-created Decarbonisation Plan
All pathways towards decarbonisation must first begin to reckon with the climate emergency’s roots in racial capitalism (Bhattacharyya, 2018). For centuries, colonialism and imperial industrialisation has undervalued, extracted and commodified planet earth and its inhabitants, creating disparity and inequity worldwide. Acknowledging that art and knowledge are often centralised and shaped through Eurocentric and global north structures, Chanelle Adams’ offers a framework for interacting with colonial institutions. In her essay Right to Rest (In Peace) she rethinks relations to the presences that remain in the museum through a lens of colonial Hauntology.
Disrupting ways of knowing and seeing that have long been normalised is central to Tatjana Söding’s “evolutionary remembering” project, [Dis]Entangle Conceptualisations of Nature, Fossil-Fuelled Progress, and the Self. Through personal and collaborative research, Söding worked with guests to enliven histories between fossil fuels, progress, and nature from various historical and ideological standpoints, creating an expanded timeline linking lived experiences with histories of carbon and subaltern oppressions.
Luiza Prado and Amazoner Arawak both bring forward voices that have been systematically othered and silenced. Arawak presents Genocídio Yanomami de Haximu a Palimiu (Yanomami Genocide from Haximu to Palimiu), a film detailing resistance to illegal gold mining gangs that are currently terrorising Amazonian tribes in Brazil. True accountability, by its very nature should push us to grow and change, to transform. In her cooperative learning project, Anti-Offsetting Primer, Luiza Prado presents other possible ways of doing art outside spheres of extractivism and carbon accounting. From archaeological knowledge on motherhood and healing in ancient Lebanon to an environmental walking group for BAME and refugee communities—Prado collaborated with art workers engaged in anticolonial research and repair to help her reconfigure terms of reparation and restitution in the context of art production.
One of the key challenges for repair and reparation is the distribution and redistribution of wealth. Because many aren’t equipped to achieve wealth through traditional systems, Sunlight Doesn’t Need a Pipeline advocates that wealth in the arts must include intangible assets, from well-being and health, to opportunity, relations and networks. In Our Community Inheritance, Cecilia Wee, in collaboration with a West London community, reflects on what intergenerational wealth means to them. Structured as a participatory budgeting project, Wee invites the group to write ‘theirstories’ of wealth and invest in a project that they think best serves their communities environmental concerns. For many artists around the world the accumulation of wealth is just not possible. As many try to recover from the pandemic and continue to adapt to increasing climate change risk, it is clear that the systems that bring forth wealth are flawed and broken, shunning marginalised, subaltern and more-than-human communities feeding discrepancies in opportunity and power. In A Pluriversal Ledger, Samuel Onalo and Dani Admiss use the lenses of blockchain and the pluriversal to offer a speculative thought experiment that rethinks the idea of value in the arts sector.
The UK, and by extension its Creative Art industry, has an outsized responsibility to do its fair share in meeting 1.5 degrees. From diverting funds, restitution of human remains and artefacts, fighting for freedom of movement or stopping debt collection and privatisation, reparations are one important route to rebalancing inequity. But how are collective decisions reached on redistribution? What forms of living must be forgone, given up for others, or let go? In The Glasgow Effect: A Tale of Class, Capitalism & Carbon Footprint, Ellie Harrison talks about the connections between literal and social mobility, her own Environmental Policy and the need to balance personal responsibility with collective action. In a speculative essay, Vague Decay Now! Sean Roy Parker explores the necessary dematerialisation of art production accompanied by illustrations by Lauren Doughty using natural dyes from Parker’s practice. Digital technologies are both a problem and a solution for climate change. They look to be increasingly necessary to the work of creating a more efficient and decentralised energy system at the same time the tech sector’s emissions have grown considerably, fuelling land use conflicts, harmful global supply chains, and toxic e-waste. Anne Pasek’s Digital Decarbonisation Consensus & Conjectures project gathers stakeholders in the arts sector to evaluate the challenges and opportunities they face culminating in the drafting of a set of consensus statements that diagnose the intersecting problems at hand and propose clear directions for stakeholders going forward.
The Open Curriculum is an experimental educational project that critically reflects and reimagines what carbon literacy for arts workers might mean. The curriculum, as an instrument of institutional education, is an infrastructure to be better put to work: practically curriculum/curricula is/are the composition/s of subjects that form another instrument of institutional education, a programme. This open curriculum is an open composition, initiated by Susannah Haslam it evolves through the encounters of Araceli Camargo, Megha Ralapati, Apex Zero, Charles Pryor, and Lou-Atessa Marcellin in their work as practitioners and thinkers crossing thresholds of study. Through the subjects carbon, solidarity and work, and following bell hooks, this curriculum is built with love, in dialogue, with confidence and by cohering voices, forming and offering an open speculative, experimental alternative learning infrastructure to the Sunlight Doesn’t Need a Pipeline project.
The Plan will be published at the end of October 2022.