Last week, students, staff, and alumni from across UAL joined forces for the Parade for Climate Justice. In a sea of colour, creativity and resistance, the UAL community gathered in a powerful response to the climate and ecological emergency, as part of the Carnival of Crisis.
Organised by the Climate Emergency Network (CEN), Carnival of Crisis brought together a global network of arts universities, partners, and the public with the UAL community. Carnival, which took shape as a season of talks, workshops, exhibitions. The Parade mobilised creative change-makers to demonstrate the power of imagination, innovation, and collaboration around climate justice.
Students and alumni from across UAL’s 6 Colleges gathered at Chelsea Parade Ground, many wearing their own designs inspired by climate issues and holding banners and placards with slogans such as “Solutions not pollution” and “Decolonise and decarbonise”.
The event featured speakers such as British author, environmental activist and journalist Tamsin Omond and Creative Director of the Carnival, Kate Pelen, and performances from Wimbledon’s BA (Hons) Acting and Performance students, featuring A Dress for Our Time by Professor Helen Storey, artist and researcher at the Centre for Sustainable Fashion at London College of Fashion (LCF). Stretched across the Parade Ground was a 50-person conjoined garment by Professor Lucy Orta called Nexus Architecture, customised by students from The Glasgow School of Art and Chelsea BA (Hons) Textile Design.
UAL leadership figures including President and Vice Chancellor James Purnell, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Head of Central Saint Martins Jeremy Till, and Director of the Centre for Sustainable Fashion, Dilys Williams, also joined the Parade and spoke of their commitment to climate justice.
Alisa Ruzavina, a CSM MA Materials Future alumni attended the Parade with a team of students dressed up in her ‘Love Bomb’ collection. Influenced by travels to monumental visionary environments of The Tarot Garden and Salvation Mountain, the collection intends to bring positive energy and attention to the interconnectedness of several social and environmental issues.
A few days on from the Parade, Alisa reflects on the event.
As the evening drew to a close, Manifest Data Lab, a research group at UAL projected animations onto the Houses of Parliament and Tate Britain. As the public and cars went by, they could look at the animations showing the global impact of temperature rises.
Vogue and the Evening Standard covered the Parade and captured students, alumni and staff responding creatively to the question 'What will you bring' by taking flags, banners and art installations to the demonstration.
If you missed the Parade for Climate Justice, you can catch up on the event recording. In the coming weeks we’ll be sharing recordings from the Carnival of Crisis. For now, sign up to the Climate Emergency Network’s newsletter to stay in the loop and find resources, opportunities, projects and ideas for creative climate action.