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C4C @ BSSSC Conference

At this year’s Annual Conference of the BSSSC, the CULTURE4CLIMATE Seed Money Project invited young artists and performers to discuss their approaches to tackling climate crisis in their work together with Marcus Hagemann (ARS BALTICA) and Oleg Koefoed (Growing Pathways).

In an interview she gave CULTURE4CLIMATE in preparation for the session, aerial acrobatics performer Lena Kruit said: “If I could make a wish, it would be that people would understand how important every single person is. It is not about anyone to decide something – everyone is responsible for everything!” On the panel, she talked about how she integrates the topics of climate crisis and sustainability into her work as a performer and the workshops and classes she gives at the circus arts association Meermanege – by catching peoples interests with circus artistry and giving the respective input when they have got their attention.

Jonas Færgeman of the Baltic Sea Youth Platform, who has worked with climate policies after getting a degree in Philosophy and Business and now studies Classical Composing in Karlstad, criticized the lack of action against climate crisis by the people who are actually in power and said he felt a strong ethical responsibility to act upon this deficiency. Besides their emotional power in making people understand the effects of climate change, he also pointed towards the importance of creating art for the emotional well-being in times of a global crisis.

Zara Zerbe, who works for ARS BALTICA and also as a writer, talked about integrating the effects of climate change into her stories – like thunderstorms as an effect of realism, since they belong to the impacts of climate crisis that are already very much present. While she sees the perspective-changing power of literature mostly in creating unrest and disruption, she named Georg Büchner’s Woyzeck as her first contact with the political potential of art.

Together with Oleg Koefoeds input about cross-pollination as an idea of ecosystem-based learning, the artistic intervention was a highlight of the session: While Marcus Hagemann improvised on Cello, Lena Kruit performed aerial acrobatics in her studio – a good example for action in a fruitful discussion about tangible artistic and cultural action in times of climate change.