If we do not change the way we live, future generations will inherit unprecedented levels of global warming, and a drastically different planet by as early as 2030. Young people have begun to respond to our societal inaction on climate change - how can we creatively amplify their voices, and proactively support the next generation to continue to take action on local environmental and climate change issues that matter to them?
Whilst in residence at Metal, we’ve been collaborating with schools and youth clubs across Picton to co-design a creative education project on climate change, exploring the possibilities of local, arts-led activism and its global impacts.
The project builds on the history of youth action in Liverpool, and the resurgence of climate strikes led by young people across the globe, who are directing their energies to change the course of history, and resolve our ecological crisis.
Working together with climate and social scientists from The University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University, we hope to ensure the next generation has access to the latest climate research. We aim to listen, and discover how we can help young people respond to the impending climate crisis, and continue to influence our collective action - exploring forms of peaceful activism.
The pilot phase aims to lead to a large-scale mass participatory project for young people across Liverpool in 2020, and builds on the legacy of Metal’s previous young people's programme offer: The Day the World Got Smaller, Trackbed, and We Can Play.
With special thanks to our collaborators and project partners:
Dr Greg Lynall and Dr Sam Solnick from The University of Liverpool’s Literature & Science Hub, and University of Liverpool PhD students, Bernadette McBride and Bethan Roberts.
Dr Tim Lane, Dr Sarah Dalrymple and Dr Celine Germond-Duret from Liverpool John Moores University’s Environment Research Group, and PhD student Hannah Branwood.
Designs by Artist and Illustrator, Amber Akaunu
Metal was founded in London in 2002 by Jude Kelly OBE. It has been active in Liverpool since 2004, in Southend-on-Sea since 2007 and in Peterborough since 2012. From these bases, Metal works to provide the catalyst that can transform the potential of people and places, exploring the impact of art and artists' practices on civic and civil society. Metal produces an exciting multidisciplinary programme of international and UK artists in residence and runs a wide range of events, exhibitions and participatory projects.
Dr Sam Solnick is a lecturer in contemporary literature at the University of Liverpool. His current research focus is the relationship between the arts and the environment. He is particularly interested in working out how we think, feel and communicate about nature when – thanks to climate change, mass extinction, genetic engineering and the rest – we have to radically reconfigure our idea of what nature means. Sam has published work on fiction, poetry, theatre, visual art and music covering topics such as the Anthropocene, irony, evolution, the oil industry, animals, digital technology, dancing in the face of apocalyptic pessimism and, for some reason, the relationship between Game of Thrones and the Premier League. He helps lead the "Designing Futures" theme of the Centre for the Humanities and Social Sciences of Health Medicine and Technology. Along with Dr Greg Lynall He is co-director of the University of Liverpool's Literature and Science Hub and has run a variety of creative initiatives and events with partners in the education, cultural and healthcare sectors including Tate Liverpool, Alder Hey Hospital and The White Review.
Dr Greg Lynall is Reader in English at the University of Liverpool. He researches the relationship between literature and science, and is especially interested in the way solar power has been represented in imaginative and scientific writings from the Renaissance to the present day. Along with Dr Sam Solnick, he is co-director of the University of Liverpool’s Literature & Science Hub, and has worked with external partners including Alder Hey hospital and Tate Liverpool on projects about the environment and energy. Greg is also the current Chair of the British Society for Literature & Science.
Amber Akaunu is an artist, photographer, videographer and journalist from Liverpool. She recently graduated from university with a first class degree in Fine Art, and works predominantly with film and photography to dissect the relationship between race and identity whilst living in a Eurocentric society; using music as a playful gateway to explore this Amber also enjoys creating imagery that completely disregards the harmful stereotypes society has formed against Black men and women. Her work is heavily inspired by Hip Hop, in terms of lyrics, its history and its legacy, as well as the work of Arthur Jafa, Martine Syms, Jenn Nkiru and of course Solange Knowles.
During her final year at university she, and classmate; Fauziya Johnson, started ROOT-ed Zine, which is an independent bi-monthly magazine and social platform that aims to promote, support and inspire creatives of colour within the North West of England. They started the zine after noticing a lack of representation within the arts world of North West creatives of colour.
Hannah Branwood is an MPhil student at Liverpool John Moores University. She graduated in 2017 with a first class degree in Wildlife Conservation. In her final year of undergraduate study she became interested in using spatially explicit modelling approaches to better inform conservation decisions in a changing world. Her current research uses these methods to assess the vulnerability of species with disjunct distributions to climate change, with a particular focus on the ‘Lusitanian’ flora and fauna. Outside of her research Hannah takes a proactive role in protecting her local environment by getting involved in beach cleans and rewilding projects along the Sefton coast. She hopes to inspire others to take action through her nature writing and participation in the ongoing climate strikes.