Letters to the Earth being presented at Aberdeen Performing Arts and Traverse Theatre among 50 Global Arts venues

12th April 2019

More than 50 theatres, arts venues and community spaces across the world, including Green Arts Initiative members Aberdeen Performing Arts and Traverse Theatre are hosting readings of the Letters to the Earth as part of a day of action today (Friday 12 April) in response to the unprecedented climate and ecological crisis.

Letters to the Earth – submitted by everyone from 4 year olds to great grandparents – are being preformed today in venues including Liverpool Everyman, Bath’s Walcot Chapel, Battersea Arts Centre to venues in Zambia and Canada, Latvia and New Zealand.

Unprecedented emergency

We are facing an unprecedented global emergency, the planet is in crisis and we are in the midst of a mass extinction event. Scientists believe we have entered a period of abrupt climate breakdown. Carbon emissions and temperatures keep rising; ecological collapse has begun. On this course we are likely to see abrupt and irreversible devastation. The time for denial is over – we know the truth about climate change. It is time to act.

​Letters to the Earth urged people to write a letter of response to this crisis. These could be a letter to or from the Earth, future or past generations, those who hold positions of power and influence, other species. Readings of these Letters to the Earth, are taking place today to coincide with the Global Youth Strike for Climate and as part of the lead up to Extinction Rebellion’s International Rebellion which begins Monday 15 April. Letters to the Earth is the first project of the newly launched Culture Declares Emergency, which brings the arts and cultural community together for an appropriate response to the climate emergency.

Perform Letters to the Earth

The submitted letters will be made public for two weeks from the 15-28th April to be performed by anyone anywhere in the world during Extinction Rebellion’s, International Rebellion Week. Notable submissions include letters from American author and leading feminist thinker Rebecca Solnit, Jackie Morris, writer and illustrator of The Lost Words,  award-winning poet Kate Tempest, Director of Julie’s Bicycle Alison Tickell, writers Jay Griffiths, Jo Baker and Rob Cowen, TV Presenter and Vicar of Firle Peter Owen-Jones, award-winning writer, journalist and LGBT activist Matthew Todd and playwrights April De Angelis, Steve Waters, Nick Drake and Nina Segal.

Venues will also be hosting post-show conversations and activities to generate discussion that can drive further action. Theatre 503 will be hosting a conversation with environmental activists and climate scientists; young actors from Young Everyman Playhouse company will be performing and running an event at the Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse; and National Theatre Wales will be inviting their local Welsh community to write responses together on the day too.

Letters to the Earth is organised by members of the creative industries – including actors, directors and novelists. It is the first event of a wider campaign, Culture Declares Emergency, which calls on culture to do its part to tell the truth about the climate and ecological crisis and take necessary action.

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