Climate change is the most pressing issue of our time and poses fundamental challenges to the ways in which we live.
What is culture/SHIFT?
We believe that arts and culture have an essential role in achieving the necessary transformation to a more environmentally sustainable, socially just society.
Our culture/SHIFT programme harnesses this role by building connections and collaborations between arts and sustainability practitioners to apply their different skills, practices and working methods to address challenging and complex climate change-related issues. From our experience, creative practices, including those of artists, are uniquely placed to help re-frame complex issues, challenge accepted norms and values, and offer radically different visions of the type of society we want now and for future generations.
The benefits of this creative, collaborative approach are multiple and can lead to a richer experience and outcomes for projects in all respects. They encourage a more open-minded, inclusive, and stimulating experience in getting to grips with multi-faceted problems. Through this approach, partners can bring different skills, resources and perspectives that complement one another and help to reach shared goals which might not be possible when working on their own.
What do we do?
Building on over five years of pilot projects, action research, and collaboration across sectors, culture/SHIFT encompasses three key strands of work which seek to support the integration of creative practices into our response to the climate emergency:
- culture/SHIFT projects are a range of shorter and longer-term projects which test, explore and demonstrate the potential of creative practices to contribute to environmental and climate change initiatives in Scotland and internationally.
- The Green Tease network and events programme supports a network of artists and sustainability practitioners and organisations working across Scotland through informal, creative events, as well as a Facebook group and a members’ database.
- The Library of Creative Sustainability is an ongoing database of inspiring examples of where artists and non-arts organisations have collaborated to address key issues relating to environmental sustainability and climate change.
How can you get involved?
Sustainability practitioners and organisations
As a sustainability practitioner or organisation, you may be interested in collaborating on a project which you think could benefit from the integration of creative practices or cultural perspectives to help shape the project design and contribute to your aims.
We have developed a culture/SHIFT methodology for running arts and sustainability collaborations, based on our experience in partnership initiation and facilitation, process management, and supporting evaluation of project outcomes and impacts. It includes a step-by-step description of project stages as well as the benefits and opportunities invovlved, and is a helpful resource for anyone interested in initiating such collaboations.
Artists and arts organisations
We are interested to hear from artists or creative practitioners who have an idea for a collaborative project, where we might be able to suggest sustainability or climate change organisations to work with and help to broker the collaborative process.
See our contact details at the end of this page if you wish to get in touch about any of the aspects outlined here.
Current and recent culture/SHIFT projects include:
Green Tease network and events programme
You can get involved in Green Tease by:
The Library of Creative Sustainability
Past projects have included:
- Flows to the Future Study Workshop: As part of Flows to the Future, an ambitious peatlands restoration project in Scotland’s Flow Country, Creative Carbon Scotland organised a two–day workshop in April 2016. The workshop brought together artists, scientists and policy makers to build their knowledge of the region’s intersecting cultural, ecological and social history and explore how they could work together to help ensure a more sustainable future for the region.
- Arts & Climate Adaptation – Aberdeen Adapts: A mini-arts festival organised in partnership with Aberdeen City Council and Sniffer which explored the impacts of climate change with community members in Middlefield, Aberdeen through creative workshops including songwriting and storytelling.
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