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The campaign that used culture to tackle climate change

551 events took place in 54 countries during ArtCOP21, a global festival of civic engagement with climate change in the run-up to COP21.

‘Just when western countries must be seen to lead by example and best practice, we in England are now on course to deliver more carbon emissions than ever before. How can we expect emerging economies to engage, when we do U-turns and openly pollute – and then have the temerity to say how well we are doing?

‘Cameron and Osborne should do better than such a contradictory approach. With this in mind, and looking to the future, it is now more important than ever for climate and cultural organisations to stand together and lead the way.’

International director of Cape Farewell

The festival, a collaboration between Cape Farewell and COAL, reached a live global audience of over 750,000 through exhibitions, concerts, marches, conferences, workshops, public art installations, plays and screenings across the world – from a concert in the Arctic Circle featuring Led Zepellin’s John Paul Jones to a street art exhibition in Benin, Africa. Here are some of the highlights…

Antarctica World Passport Delivery Bureau

Lucy & Jorge Orta, Paris

For €1, visitors could buy a passport and become symbolic citizens of Antarctica. Orta’s aim was to activate a form of citizenship with a place that carries so much meaning.


Lamoal & Lamaol Architects and COAL, Paris

For five months, this special wooden box for citizen journalism travelled to sites across Paris, collecting the testimonies of thousands of the city’s visitors and natives.

L’Eau Qui Dort (Sleeping Water)

Michael Pinsky, Paris

Arrtist Michael Pinsky dredged up 40 objects from the Seine and its canals in order to ‘confront people with what they throw away, making what used to be invisible visible again.’

Click here to find out more about ArtCOP21.

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