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Climate Action Plan case study: Carnival of Crisis

A person wearing a poncho that says mobilise
  • Written byClimate Emergency Network - Kate Keara Pelen, Professor Helen Storey and Abbi Fletcher
A person wearing a poncho that says mobilise
Abbi Fletcher at Parade for Climate Justice during Carnival of Crisis 2021 | Photograph: Ana Blumenkron

Mobilising creative action in the age of emergency

UAL’s Carnival of Crisis aimed to demonstrate that the arts can, and must, respond to the climate and ecological emergency. Creative action was mobilised through a season of events hosted in parallel with the COP26 Climate Summit.

Presented by our Climate Emergency Network, Carnival brought together UAL’s community of students, alumni and staff. The programme included over 20 external partners, public audiences and our global network of arts universities. We also hosted several events in association with Glasgow School of Art, as Glasgow was the host city for COP26.

Events explored a range of subjects at the intersection of climate, race and equality. We showcased innovative creative contributions being made by the sector, which weren’t recognised in the official programme of COP26. Carnival was an opportunity for creative changemakers at UAL.

It showed the power of imagination, innovation and collaboration in addressing climate justice. Students were able to showcase original projects addressing the climate emergency:

We also integrated Carnival within the curriculum across UAL:

On the final day of COP26 we held a Parade for Climate Justice. Members of every UAL college walked together through central London carrying banners made by London College of Fashion technicians and handmade placards. The parade, which culminated at the Parade Ground at Chelsea College of Arts featured a series of speeches, installations and performances. These included Professor Lucy Orta’s Nexus Architecture and Antarctica World Passport and Manifest Data Lab’s Carbon Chronicles who represented our research community.