If you’ve been keeping up with me lately, you’ll know that I’m itching for change. Big change. Fast change. Change that will make us care about the environment. Change that will turn climate change around.
And no matter how many people I speak to, there’s a similar feeling. A feeling of helplessness, that we’re all trying to do our best, but we’re not quite sure what to do now. I think that’s partly why Greta Thunberg’s voice has cut through us all. Inspired us to march. Inspired us to take action.
Alongside Greta are a whole host of artists also doing their bit, raising awareness in their chosen art. I wanted to showcase their work, and inspire you to support them, and support their message too. So here’s my line-up of artists, shows, and festivals that, like are oceans, are rising to highlight the plight of climate change:
Alana Bloom is an aerial circus and physical theatre performer. I was fortunate enough to see Alana’s show, Artemis, at The Vaults Festival earlier this year. Her two-woman act put wove together Greek mythology, physical strength, and the narrative of our planet’s demise into a haunting, emotional show. I still remember the feral scream she let out at one point during the performance – raising the question of how the planet would sound right now if it had a voice.
EcoFutures: Queer, Feminist and Decolonial Responses to Ecological & Environmental Changes is possibly the longest title for a festival ever, but it explains itself really well! The festival is currently running from 4th – 19th April, taking place in East London and bringing together over 70 artists, activists and theorists to discuss and take action on urgent environmental and ecological issues such as climate change, extinction, pollution, health and sustainability through an intersectional, feminist and queer lens.
Embodying the true form of activism, Extinction Rebellion (XR) will be taking to the streets of London to block traffic day after day at four high profile central locations – Marble Arch, Oxford Circus, Waterloo Bridge, Parliament Square – from Monday April 15th. If you can lend your body – and some time – to the cause, make sure to sign up and head along to an induction or training. XR believe that large scale disruption is the only way to make the Government take urgent action on the climate and ecological emergency.
You may also wish to attend Eco Hustler’s Protest Party, taking a stand against air and sea pollution by Carnival Cruisers.
Festivals have always been a blissful escape into nature, camping, and to a certain extent, hedonism. This year, make your festival count by heading to an eco-friendly affair. One on my radar is Green Gathering, a four-day low impact living festival in an area of outstanding natural beauty in Wales at the start of August. Solar stages will be showcasing up-and-coming acts, festival favourites, DJs, poets, activists and of course, family friendly activities too.
If you can’t make a week-long festival, why not join Pebble Magazine (and myself!) at Pebblefest, coming up on April 27th. Booked for the penultimate day of Fashion Revolution Week, the day festival will align ethical fashion, food, home, and other likeminded brands across debates, talks, and workshops. Londoners, you have no excuse to be a little greener!
My final pick is Timber Festival – this is a family-friendly festival coordinated by The National Forest, full of educational experiences around nature, wildlife, and how we should work to preserve it. It may be less “activist” than the rest, but it’s well worth a visit if you’re passionate about the countryside and its fair treatment. You can read my review of last year’s Timber festival here.