CREATIVITY AGAINST THE CLIMATE CRISIS: EXPLORING CREATIVE EXPRESSION AND ITS ROLE IN CAMPAIGNING FOR CHANGE

CREATIVITY AGAINST THE CLIMATE CRISIS: EXPLORING CREATIVE EXPRESSION AND ITS ROLE IN CAMPAIGNING FOR CHANGE

Fairtrade teams up with Adjoa Andoh, Climate in Colour, Tolmeia Gregory, Climate Music, Tracey Zengeni and Richard Wiafe

Creativity Against the Climate Crisis, a creative activism debate chaired by Bridgerton actor and Fairtrade Foundation Patron Adjoa Andoh on 24 February at 7.30pm, will explore creative expression and the role it plays in campaigning for change. During the virtual event, Adjoa will be joined by digital artists, musicians and storytellers to discuss how creativity can be used to power up climate campaigning.  

Panellists include Tolmeia Gregory, climate justice activist and illustrator; Jocelyn Longdon, founder of Climate in Colour; Stephan Crawford, founder of music collective Climate Music, New York, who communicate a sense of urgency about the climate crisis by combining climate science with the emotional power of music to drive meaningful action; Tracey Zengeni a Zimbabwe-based visual artist who has created work themed around climate change; and music from Richard Wiafe, a Fairtrade worker and musician in Ghana.

Our diverse range of creatives will come together to discuss how their own work explores the perspective of those already feeling the worst effects of the climate crisis – who are frequently the same people behind the food we consume every day.

The event forms part of the Fairtrade Foundation’s first-ever virtual climate festival for Fairtrade Fortnight 2021, called Choose the World You Want, which is highlighting how the climate crisis will affect the future of our food. In addition to five flagship events, the festival comprises up to 100 virtual listings, including many organised by campaigners, partners, brands and retailers and supporters, running throughout the two-week period.

Fairtrade Fortnight 2021 marks the start of a new climate campaign asking the British public to get behind Fairtrade so that farmers overseas can benefit from fairer prices, fairer trading practices and the resources needed for tackling the climate emergency in climate vulnerable countries such as Kenya and Honduras.

Despite contributing the least to the climate crisis, the farmers who produce some of our favourite foods – such as cocoa for chocolate, our morning coffee and that firm favourite, bananas – are among the world’s most vulnerable to the climate emergency and its harmful effects, such as extreme weather, natural disasters, hunger and crop disease.

As global trade changes in ways we could not have imagined a year ago, poverty will continue to be a key contributor to further environmental degradation and the inability for farmers to adapt to environmental shocks. Fairtrade Foundation believe farmers in low-income countries need empowerment, fair value, fair prices and fairer trading practices to resource the investment needed for mitigation, adaptation, diversification and resilience in the face of the climate crisis.

Nilufar Verjee, Director of Public Engagement at the Fairtrade Foundation, said: ‘Farmers and workers in agricultural communities in low-income countries have contributed the least to climate crisis – yet they are among the world’s most vulnerable and are already feeling the worst effects from unpredictable weather to natural disasters and disease. But without stable incomes, these farmers lack the ability to fight climate change impacts and continue to struggle to meet their immediate needs.

‘Poverty and environmental damage in our food supply chains will not end until exploited farmers are paid fairly and given the power to make their own choices. Only then will they have the power to effectively fight the impacts of the climate crisis.’

Each year, communities nationwide play a key role in promoting Fairtrade Fortnight through their own campaigns, events and materials, in order to help raise awareness of the link between trade and poverty. The Fairtrade Foundation hopes people will engage with Fairtrade Fortnight once again this year, as part of their ongoing efforts to protect people and planet. Fairtrade continues to raise the voices of producers and prioritise what they need to respond to the environmental crises unfolding in already vulnerable communities.

See the full line-up for the Choose the World You Want festival.

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For more information, interviews and images, contact martine.parry@fairtrade.org.uk or tomilola.ajayi@fairtrade.org.uk