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Where art meets climate change

man with bear head eats fish
Lewis Bassett’s World Strike is part of the Two Degrees festvial Lewis Bassett

From 17 to 22 June, East London will host a festival combining the arts with action on climate and positive social change. Two Degrees is run by Artsadmin, an organization for contemporary arts.

Theatre, poetry, film, discussion and visual spectacle will come together around themes such as consumerism, activism, economics and collective well-being. The interactive nature of the festival aims provoke thought among the audience about their own connections with the planet as well as make links between climate change, protest and activism.

Platform, an organization which combines arts, activism and education will invite the audience to join them on a journey through Oil City. The immersive theatre explores the underbelly of London’s oil economy to piece together a puzzle of shady financial deals and government files.

A choir of local residents will lead a tour of the East End and two ‘ecological preachers,’ Davis Freeman and Jerry Killick, will ask the audience for 7 Promises to take direct action against climate change.

At Toynbee studios, Artsadmin’s base there will be a Museum of Water with a collection of publicly donated water and the stories behind it. Features of the museum include water from a holy river in India, snowballs, 20-year-old water from Maine, Norwegian spit and water from a cat’s bowl. Anyone who has spare water with an interesting story, is invited to donate to the exhibition by the artist, Amy Sharrocks.

On each day of the festival there will be a World Strike breakfast briefing. Business workers, financial analysts and activists will join people in browsing the say’s financial news and revealing the ‘ghostly presence of the world’s speedily diminishing resources in the face of seemingly infinite market growth.’

A day long event titled Imagine the Great Transition will round off the festival led by the new economics foundation (nef).

The Two Degrees festival happens on a biennial basis with the premise that ‘artists can play a role in changing minds and behaviour, and that creative minds can help find a multitude of new and inspiring ways to avoid the impending climate crisis.’

To book for any of the events at Two Degrees, or to find out more, go to the Artsadmin website or telephone the box office on +44 20 7650 2350.

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About the author

Amy Hall a New Internationalist contributor

Amy Hall is a journalist from Cornwall, now based in Brighton, England. Her particular interests include activism, community, social justice and the environment as well as arts and culture. She previously produced and presented the New Internationalist podcast and has written for publications including The Guardian, The Ecologist and Red Pepper. She currently works at the Institute of Development Studies.

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