Our theme for this testimony was the need for an international perspective to be considered in all thoughts, recommendations and action.
The 15-minute presentation is below (from 13mins 29):
And responses to further questions we were posed around the need to consider climate change from an international perspective also available here:
We look forward to hearing the recommendations for the city of Leeds and will continue to engage with our local and global communities to push the agenda of climate justice, recognising the climate debt owed to the majority world from exploiting countries (such as the UK) and striving towards the goal of holistic, economic, spiritual, environmental and cultural repairs to address legacies of colonialism and to end racial injustice.
Here’s the freshly released documentary from Virtual Migrants touring theatrical performance #ContinentChopChop.We laboured, loved and learned long and hard on this project and will be taking the essence of this theatre-film-poetry-music-digital-arts-community-engaging-connecting-politics-intervening stylee mash-up forward in new ways over the coming years. More ripples soon…
Continent Chop Chop documentary re-launches critical climate justice creativity by Virtual Migrants
At the end of 2015 Virtual Migrants toured Continent Chop Chop, an innovative theatrical performance which is now the short film – the Continent Chop Chop documentary. This film exposes the complex process involved in making an authentic artist-activist statement that avoids being didactic, doesn’t pull punches, and steers away from the common trappings of climate change art and performance.
‘Continent Chop Chop’ is a touring transmedia production linking narratives of climate change to the broader issues of poverty, race and social justice. Using interwoven narratives portrayed through music, poetry, and projected imagery, it will ask:
In December 2015 Voices that Shake! travelled to the alternative summit at COP 21 in Paris to offer solidarity to indigenous communities fighting for climate justice. This video features a speech extract delivered by Casey Camp-Horinek of the Ponca Nation and organiser with Indigenous Environmental Network recorded on Human Rights Day, 10th December 2015.
A transcript of the speech is below:
“…We are suffering from environmental genocide where I live. The Occupied Territory of the United States of Amerikkka that belongs to the indigenous nations of the Americas has long understood the policies that have come down.
We have had in the Concho Nation six treaties made, not one has been honoured. So when I hear of a treaty coming out of the UN I understand…
One of my relations told me – and we are all related, I want us to remember that – he said Continue reading →
Virtual Migrants collective has been working hard on a touring poetical musical digital mash-up theatrical production that connects austerity, refugees and climate justice. We’ve been in rigorous rehearsals upping our performance game in song, poetry, story-telling and even a lil slice of grime. Guided by the calm soul energy wisdom of Amanda Huxtable the show is now ready for the road.
Blurb about the show and tour dates are below.
A story told through poetry, music and digital-media connecting legacies of inequality to climate change. Touring Oct-Dec 2015: Manchester, London, Liverpool, Huddersfield, Leeds and Leicester.
// Crossing continents and historical boundaries //
// colliding refugee testimony with PR speak //
// imperial anthems versus Xhosa song //
// with a flavour of afrobeat, experimental electronics and nursery rhymes //
What is CONTINENT CHOP CHOP? ‘Continent Chop Chop’ is a touring transmedia production linking narratives of climate change to the broader issues of poverty, race and social justice. Using interwoven narratives portrayed through music, poetry, and projected imagery, it will ask:
Who controls the narrative of climate change?
What are the connections between climate change and poverty?
How does the wider climate of austerity and scapegoating of migrants connect with climate change?
And why should anyone care when they don’t have enough to eat?
Drawing on diverse histories and narratives of climate justice from across the world, with music influenced by Afrobeat, experimental electronics, English Folk and deconstructed imperial and colonial anthems.
Featuring commissioned work from guest artists:
Nnimmo Bassey, a leading environmental activist who has won a number of awards and has played leading roles in Friends Of The Earth International, Oilwatch Africa and the Global South Network.
Zena Edwards, a London-based performance poet, writer and musician and creative director of Conversations: Verse in Dialog; Re-Imagining Arts In Action; The Fury Project; The Poetic Debaters.
A performance project by the Virtual Migrants collective.
After attending TippingPoints’ Weatherfronts conference in September several commissions were made available to write about the issues. Myself, Zena Edwards and Selina Nwulu applied to write a series of kwansaba poems developing on from conversations we began at the conference with Dorothea Smartt and other attendees.
I chose to focus my commissioned poem on several dates throughout the last month in which issues of race have raised the global temperature. The connected through-line of fire and heat a questioning of how we use, measure and connect to our climate.
Spring in November
Bonfire Night. A man hanged, drawn, quartrd.
Yet beyond council fences, flames flicker still.
This desire. This fire. Within. It burns.
Treason trumps torture. Famous anon. take streets
A million White masks. Black face unity.
Can we turn? Hunt out witches’ wisdom?
Seek council with shaman? Lest we forget
From Guy’s London torture Tower blood flows
Colours Israeli Red Sea, clots the Atlntic.
Nine eleven. Not Pnochet, not Opium wars,
Great War. Heroic death. Brave butchry. Sacred.
Pin Vctoria to chests and sing victory.
Are these Afghan poppies? Made in China?
Or is this drug a British export?
Black death spawns a White saviour virus
Locusts take air, buzz over brown mouths
A bread basket is branded basket case
Feed the world with helplss needy Africns
Do They know it’s thirty-four shoppng days
until Xmas? Give Us your fcking money
How much a pith helmet Space suit?
Flying above our planet you may pause
How fragile. Where are the borders? Walls?
Shudder. Someone has left the gas on.
Are those candles for the Ogoni nine?
An eternal smogged flame for Saro-Wiwa?
Bonfire fury night and day where maps
are drawn. Protest hung. And village quartrd.
Back to earth for student sun rise
Black history strides strong from October
This term, we face race, qstion ugenics
Reject their choice cuts, favour ital diets.
High pressure sweeps in from the south
to reduce recycle replant our server farms.
Cold front here to stay. Kettles boil.
Steam release across Ocean. Sgrgatd city burns.
Nothing to see here in post racial society.
Black Out this bleak Friday. Buy nothing
Mammon clutches mama’s throat. Hands up. Off.
Thick smoke revrses the choke hold. Cough.
Tears stream. Levees break. In these storms
a chance to remembr who we are.
The TippingPointWeatherfronts event posed certain questions:
What is the role of the writer in addressing climate change? What kind of story is climate change? And inspired more: Who gets to tell this story? Whose voices are negated? And how can we approach climate change from a climate justice and reparations angle?