News

The ART of CHANGE – exhibition 8-19 May

30 days for the climate

An exhibition about an experiment of collective change

What if we really changed? What does changing a habit imply for me and for those around me? 

24 students of the Antonio Arroio Art High School decided to change and to adopt one more sustainable habit for 30 days. Some became vegetarians, others saved water and electricity and others changed their consumer patterns. Between 12 January and 10 February 2018, the students of 11th grade (class L) of the Communication Design course explored what it means to change, analyzed the obstacles, reflected on the carbon footprint, and about social norms, structures as well as on individual and collective values. After completing the 30 days, each of the students developed an ART project about their experience with change: a poster and a booklet.

This exhibition shows the outcomes of a collective experience that resulted from a collaboration between the project Art For Adaptation (CE3C, Faculty of Sciences, University of Lisbon), the Antonio Arroio Art High School in Lisbon and cChange (Norway). The idea of this collaboration was to visualize the connection between a global problem and our everyday behaviors. The experiential setup of the project aimed to facilitate a process of reflection on behavior change including its challenges, learnings and to inspire and empower others.

Location: Lagar da Quinta de S. Vicente, Telheiras, Lisbon, Portugal.

More information here:

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How to empower young people in climate change solutions?

ART FOR CHANGE Update

How can we pass on climate change knowledge to young people in a way that they become responsible and empowered agents of change? According to the Brazilian writer, thinker and educationalist, Paulo Freire (1974) “responsibility cannot be acquired intellectually, but only through experience” (pp. 13). He advocates for an education that enables people to reflect on themselves, their responsibility and their role in society. Such education intends to develop a critical awareness (conscientização) and conscious action to transform the world.

The project ART FOR ADAPTATION aims to challenge habits and empower youth for new climate narratives and solutions through transformative learning and art.

Recently, 25 students of the António Arroio Art High School in Lisbon were engaged in an experiment with change: to choose a sustainable behavior (such as to eat less meat/be vegetarian, use pubic transportation, don´t use plastic water bottles, buy only national products) and adopt it for 30 days.

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Day 1

The 30 day experiment with change took place from the 12 January until 16 February 2018. During this period, the students reflected in regular posts on habits, social norms, structures, systems and values. They engaged in group dialogues sharing their difficulties and lessons learned and their relationships to the many facets of change. They learned that their experiment was more than just about behavioral change, or making a small reduction in the global carbon budget. Instead it was about understanding how change happens, and recognizing why people are the most powerful solution to climate change.

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Day 29 – Carnaval

Being art students, they started developing art works that reflect their personal and collective experience with change. Each student is creating a poster and a brochure that will be combined in an exhibition to the shared with national and international audiences.

 

 

Works in progress

ART FOR CHANGE – Challenging habits and empowering youth

What happens when 26 high school students from the António Arroio Art High School in Lisbon, Portugal explore the challenge of change?

Watch and find out! Between 12 January and 10 February 2018, these students will each commit to one change that contributes to sustainability. This could be the change that transforms everything.

How? Over 30 days, the students will consider everything from logistics, habits, cultural norms, regulations, social infrastructure, and their own beliefs and assumptions about change. Sharing their experiences, they will reflect on their own relationship to the many facets of change. This is not just about behavioral change, or making a small reduction in the global carbon budget. It is about understanding how change happens, and recognizing why people are the most powerful solutions to climate change.

Real transformations happen when people experience that they are connected to others, and that their ideas and actions matter. Every action creates ripples, and ripples can turn into waves. History shows us that collective movements are always energized by people who pose questions, share stories, and inspire others, Artists have always used creativity and courage to challenge current thinking.

Follow the blogs of students from the Antonio Arroio Art High School as they experiment with the 30-day CHALLENGE. Check out the art that they create. Be inspired, and watch the ripples spread.

 

 

 

Museum of Transformation

Imagine you sit in a seminar room in Brussels with a small group of people. Imagine you close your eyes and travel out of your body, out of the room, flying higher and higher until you see the street from above, then the city, the country, Europe and finally the Earth. You are floating in space, looking down at the Earth with its oceans and continents and clouds. Eventually, you decide to fly back to Earth. Approaching it, you realise that it looks different. You can’t find the building you left, so you decide to fly to the building immediately below you.

Above the entrance is a big sign: Museum of Transformation. You enter – there’s nobody there, but all the doors are open. Next to the entrance is a calendar, showing the year 2089.


The paragraphs above introduced a creative writing exercise PLACARD Strategic narratives workshop in Brussels. Over two days, we invited participants to engage in a number of practical exercises in order to learn and share experiences about using narratives as a communication method. The Museum of Transformation focuses on a thought experiment:

You arrive at the Museum of Transformation – it is the year 2089. In small glass vitrines you find four artifacts: a piece of formed glass, a small piece of wood, a metal pincer and a braided ring. Why are these pieces in a museum? What do they stand for? What’s their history, bearing in mind the year is now 2089?

The participants formed small groups: each group was given one of the artifacts and a driver which had an important role in the artifact’s story – either creativity, collaboration, flexibility or empowerment. The groups were then asked to write a story about the artifact.

The exercise encouraged participants to take a different perspective by looking through the lens of creativity and imagining a future with few boundaries, outside the common frames of what is plausible, possible and reasonable.

Creative practices have the potential to challenge present barriers and discourses, and could serve as a tool to catalyse sustainable transformations through their ability to open up different possibilities and spaces for dialogue.

A growing number of artists are working on climate change issues through their creative practices. Indeed, art and creative approaches are increasingly recognised for their potential to challenge current thinking on climate change (Gabrys & Yusoff, 2012) and to present new ways of approaching an issue that is scientifically, politically, economically, socially, and culturally complex, unburdened by the weight of disciplinary constraints (Goehler & Prüss, 2012).

“Art and science interactions can liberate one’s thoughts…. By becoming aware of preconceptions that have been conditioning us unconsciously we are able to perceive and to understand the world in a fresh way and could free habitual responses at various levels.” David Bohm, quantum physicist (1996, p. 49)

From this perspective, a stronger interaction between creativity, science and practice has the potential to change habitual responses, possibly into transformative directions towards a more sustainable future.

The participants’ stories

IMG_4743Piece of wood

In 2020, when the oil crisis happened, the international community came together to commission a special working group to develop an alternative energy and technology that could provide free, clean and unlimited energy to the masses. Promising developments in nuclear fusion were found in the following decades. In 2040, the working group announced in Oslo that the collaboration of scientists from different countries had allowed the development of a special nanostructure that opened the doors to nuclear fusion on a large scale. This object is a scale model of the space where atoms fuse and release a huge amount of free, clean and unlimited energy.

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Braided ring of friendship

The artifact was discovered, very well preserved, in the ruins of an ancient Greek temple. The earth around it was dated and revealed to be thousands and thousands of years old. It was brought to Athens and installed in a museum there. No one knows its original purpose, but this display of creativity inspired the design of the traditional Greek symbol as a sign of connection, collaboration and relationships in a time when people were spread across all of the islands – nothing begins and nothing ends. This piece is the original object that has been reproduced millions of times as a sign of friendship and connection.

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Piece of glass

A glass replica of the last piece of Arctic ice is preserved in the Museum of Transformation in Brussels. Brussels is now a coastal city that has survived thanks to the flexibility of the populations’ planners. Transportation is now by water, instead of road. This piece was chosen as it closely resembles a penguin, a formerly popular and beloved species of bird in the Arctic areas. Despite enjoying a glass of wine from the Ardennes, this piece of glass represents a cautionary tale. We´ve finally reached a zero-net-emission state, unfortunately we’re 50 years too late.

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Pincer

In the 50 years up to the middle of the 21st century, humans across the world were very angry. Population rise, a changing climate, financial problems and increased stress led to many people being extremely unhappy. In Venice, during major reconstructive work, this small pincer was uncovered. For years, the smartest minds in the world could not work out what its purpose was, and it was almost forgotten. After many experts had tried to solve this mystery, it was a young assistant at the museum who finally discovered its use.

One evening, he brought a female companion to the museum show her the ornate design of this almost-forgotten artifact, without knowing that true love was the secret to its power. That night, they discovered its ability to extract love and copy it from one person to another.

In later years, the technology behind the artifact was mass produced and people across the globe were empowered with love to act on the issues that unite them. In time, with problems on the way to becoming solutions, the world learned to use love to empower itself without the aid of the technology – by realising that everyone already had the tools to change the world all along.