11 Years and Beyond: A Visual Exploration of Collective Arts for Climate Justice




Gelderman, Hannah

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As we collectively navigate the interconnected climate and inequality crises and fight for a just and habitable future, the arts and creative practices have a critical role to play. In 11 Years and Beyond: A Visual Exploration of Collective Arts for Climate Justice I focus specifically on the role of locally produced, participatory visual arts as a response to both the drivers and the impacts of the climate crisis. From a climate communications perspective participatory visual arts have already proven effective in engaging people in climate solutions (Burke, Ockwell, & Whitmarsh, 2018; Roosen, Klöckner, & Swim, 2018). In addition to improving climate change communications, participatory visual arts offer us a platform to envision a different world (Galafassi et al., 2018), strengthen our activism (Duncombe & Lambert, 2018), build community connection (Berman, 2017), and increase our resiliency (Huss, Kaufman, Avgar & Shuker, 2016) which all help us to navigate, resist and transform our current capitalist, colonial paradigm. Artists, organizers and others who facilitate participatory art projects have an important role to play in these processes, but I have found that there is a lack of resources for those seeking to make change at the intersection of art and activism. To fill this gap I have used arts-based research methods (thus leveraging the power of the arts in my own research) to create Collective Arts for Climate Justice, an illustrated guide in zine format, that advocates for the use of locally produced, participatory visual art practices as a necessary part of our response to our current crises. Because "arts-based forms have the potential to reach wider audiences, including nonacademic audiences" (Leavy & Harris, 2019, p. 216) I have illustrated all my background information (e.g., my literature review), as well as the zines, to ensure that all my research can be as accessible as possible. Through this I hope to invite organizers, artists, and others to utilize community based visual arts to further expand our collective and community capacity to respond to the climate crisis. The growth of participatory art practices can help invigorate and strengthen us as we fight for climate justice, renew our relationships with the land, and build the world we want to live in.



arts based research, climate justice, community art, art for social change