Red for the People, Red for the Land

Iceland 2020

Human-induced climate crisis, which certain politicians deny and many of us choose to ignore, threatens the survival of every animal and plant species on Earth. If emissions continue at their current rate, scientists anticipate widespread coastal land loss, agricultural and economic collapse, food and water shortages, frequent and severe natural disasters, and unprecedented refugee crises. 

The impact of these climatic shifts in temperature, storm frequency, flooding and other factors, that previous experience has not prepared us for, is not made manifest in our daily weather reports. Away from metropolitan centres, farmers prepare for dry or rainy periods, adapting their practices accordingly, sometimes with the help of climate services for agriculture risk management, weather forecasting, livestock and crop insurance, which deliver forecasts tailored to the local context, fit for purpose and available in time. But in fast-paced cities lives are still lost and socio-economic costs rise because of a lack of understanding of the impacts of climate emergency. Thus, weather services have evolved the warning messages from ‘what the weather will be’ to ‘what the weather will do’, warnings being issued not according to a threshold level, but rather if an impact is expected. The language has changed as well, becoming less scientific and more accessible to the general public, with warnings given a colour, yellow, amber or red. 

Red is emergency: “Take action. Dangerous weather is expected and, if you haven’t already done so, you should take action now to keep yourself and others safe from the impact of the severe weather. It is very likely that there will be a risk to life, with substantial disruption to travel, energy supplies and possibly widespread damage to infrastructure. You should avoid travelling, where possible, and follow the advice of the emergency services and local authorities.” (MetOffice UK) 

Red is today. Red for the people, red for the wildlife, red for the land. If we don’t take action fast, by 2050 we will have twenty days of lethal heat per year, collapsed ecosystems, more than 1 billion people displaced, and some of the world's most populous cities partially abandoned. 

For the fourth edition of the art and music residency In Context|Slanic Moldova, we ask artists to challenge the climate fatalism and create work in response to this global emergency. In Context will become a reflective and action-oriented space, gathering artists and experts across disciplines to learn and explore how to collaborate and inspire understanding, resilience and adaptive thinking for a better Anthropocene. How to build unlikely friendships and alliances forged in fire. We have beautiful work to do. What is broken cannot go back, but forward into something new. Electric cars, solar panels and wind turbines are just the first seeds. Red for the People, Red for the Land aims at making space for hope. 

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