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Climate Action Plan case study: Carnival of Crisis
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:
- A partnership with Pentagram, The Colour of the Climate Crisis gave one student an opportunity to exhibit at COP26.
- A takeover at King’s Cross Canopy Market in collaboration with our post-graduate community.
- A series of online talks from UAL’s Culture and Enterprise Programme, on decolonising decarbonisation.
- Wimbledon College of Arts BA (Hons) Acting and Performance students collaborated with Professor Helen Storey’s Dress for Our Time. A project which uses fashion to communicate the experience of displaced people.
We also integrated Carnival within the curriculum across UAL:
- Over 100 students from Spatial Practices at CSM co-created the Carnival Base Camp.
- MA Art and Science students at CSM co-produced a series of conversations between scientists and artists.
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.