African creatives advocate for climate justice using music, arts and fashion | The Guardian Nigeria News

…as Crtve DEVELOPMENT launches the WE!ARE movement

While contributing the least to climate change, the African continent is the hardest hit by the global climate crisis. According to Josefa Sacko, AU Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, it is estimated that up to 118 million poor people will be exposed to drought, floods and extreme heat in Africa by 2030 if adequate response measures are not put in place.

Those with the least capacity to cope with and adapt to these climate change impacts will face the greatest threat. Despite the profound impacts of climate change on human rights and social justice, climate justice remains one of the least understood and socialized political themes in contemporary African development.

With music, fashion and socializing known to unite African youth, pan-African social agency, Crtve DEVELOPMENT (CD), launched the WE!ARE movement to build a pan-African voice on climate justice ahead of the UN Summit on climate change (COP 27).

Dr Okito Wedi, Founder and CEO of Crtve DEVELOPMENT, said, “Through the WE!ARE campaign, we want to harness the power of art and creativity to change the discourse on climate change and development in Africa. and bridging the gap between the communities who are most affected and the policy makers who will determine our climate future.

The WE!ARE movement aims to inspire young people across the continent to share their vision of the Africa they want to see and to voice their communities’ demands for climate justice through creative media. The movement is championed by emerging and established creators, policy makers, designers, visual artists, aural artists and community leaders across Africa. Collectively, the movement’s WE!ARE Champions and Supporters will shape the larger climate justice narrative and center policy issues important to respective communities and nations leading up to COP27 and beyond.

Following a rigorous selection process, the following five hubs were selected in Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt and Mozambique respectively:

Nigeria: The Assembly is an open innovation organization dedicated to empowering entrepreneurs and creatives from Africa and its Diaspora to succeed in the global fashion industry. Presented as a futuristic scenario of a climate-beaten, hypermodern Lagos in the year 2050, the two pop-ups in the showcase will feature a startup collective made up of five local heritage and digital fashion brands. Drawing on the past and leveraging the present to influence the future, The Assembly will organize a traveling ‘phy-gital’ showcase staged in a mall and slum in Lagos.

Nigeria: Footprints of David Arts Foundation is an all-inclusive theater and community development project in the Bariga community. Their showcase will feature a creative hub for rural and slum dwellers. It will include a live and digital photo exhibition in public spaces in Lagos, community performances in public spaces and reusable art installations such as Christmas trees with used PET bottles.

South Africa: Daai Deng is a moving marketplace that provides space for established and emerging artists to showcase their work alongside entrepreneurs to exhibit and sell their work. In their WE!ARE showcase, Daai Deng aims to highlight the blessing and the “curse” of water by using art and creativity to dissect and interrogate climate justice in a South African context. With water and sanitation listed in the Sustainable Development Goals, the showcase will feature sites in South Africa that have been affected by floods and water shortages, including Bishop Lavis, Khayelitsha and Durban.

Egypt: Perform Arts provides a training and education service for the performing arts. Their showcase will focus on the pollution of the Alexandrian Sea and the disappearance of coastal shores consisting of a photography exhibition in the Citadel of Qaitbay in Alexandria, Egypt. Music and singing will be integrated into the narration to present the environmental impact on human life.

Mozambique: Tamba Africa Social Circus is an inclusive arts and creative advocacy organization that uses African storytelling, social circus pedagogy, transformative theater and intangible cultural heritage to address social issues. Through a caravan tour, the circus will highlight the loss and damage that marginalized communities continue to suffer due to climate change in order to draw the world’s attention to the impact of climate-induced disasters on people. poor and marginalized communities. Significantly, the caravan will visit the three locations in Zimbabwe, Malawi and Mozambique that have been hit hard by cyclones in southern Africa over the past five years.

In preparation for the showcases, which will start in September 2022, all creative hubs will participate in online and in-person training workshops to provide them with practical advice on climate policy education, community engagement and skills development. media.

With COP 27 set to take place in Egypt in November 2022, there has never been a better time for the continent to make its voice heard in the climate discourse. To get involved, visit www.africabywe.org.

Alice P. Darby