Climate Reflections and Witness Report Series bring together the voices of Indigenous people fighting for their way of life, communities in the global south already on the frontlines of climate change, and those in Scotland beginning to explore what this crisis will mean for our world.
During a weekend of intense climate justice protests in Glasgow outside COP26 venues, over 80 people attended our exhibition and event both in-person and online in a historical partnership with the National Mining Museum for the Midlothian Climate Beacon that aims to widen participation and bring new communities into climate conversations. The exhibition was open at the National Mining Museum of Scotland Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th November.
On Friday 5th November at 5pm at the National Mining Museum Scotland, we opened the Climate Reflections Exhibition & Witness Report Series on behalf of the Midlothian Climate Beacon.
Climate Beacons for COP26 is a Scotland-wide collaborative project between climate change/environmental organisations and arts, heritage, or cultural organisations to stimulate long-term public engagement in the lead-up to and following COP26. The National Mining Museum Scotland and partner, the British Geological Survey hosted our “Climate Reflections and Witness Report Series”.
The oldest and still some of the biggest victims of the negative and violent impacts of the extraction of fossil fuels on human health, the mining communities have often been wrongly associated with a pro position of fossil fuel extraction. But what do their stories mean to a new generation of energy workers? And what can community climate action look like for them?
Juxtaposing the stories of Climate Reflections & Witness Report Series with the stories of the mining communities in Newtongrange also fed into the Visual Matrix Workshop conducted by artists and hydrologist Nicole Manley who invited a group to deeply and freely communicate and later interpret their own reflections about the stories they have learned during this event.
The Climate Reflections and Witness Report Series brings together the voices of Indigenous people fighting for their way of life in communities in the global south, that are already on the frontlines of climate change, and those in Scotland beginning to explore what this crisis will mean for our world. This is a highly emotive subject with a profound message and the stories are the voices of wide and diverse communities who share their knowledge and perspectives to communicate about the impact climate change is having now and still to come.
We hope to offer new means to express, reflect on and connect to the climate emergency through the first-hand experiences shared in ‘Climate Reflections’ and ‘Witness Report Series’ and that these stories will help to “to make sense of the indescribable” and put a human face on climate change – to inspire urgent, ambitious action to protect people and the planet we love.
The exhibition included photographs and climate action stories from Sustaining Dunbar, Repair Café Glasgow, SCORE Scotland, Gate Church Carbon Saving Project and PLANT, photographs from Nicole Manley’s documentation of floods in Scotland and the Philippines and films- The International Institute for Environment and Development’s animated series ‘Untold stories of climate change loss and damage in LDC’s” and The Lost Woods’s documentary of the Glasgow Children’s Woodland.
Witness Report Series Panel welcomed Dr. Renuka Takore and Fazeela Mubarak, co-authors of Climate Adaptation: Accounts of Resilience, Self-Sufficiency and Systems Change, Alex Mackenzie from the Lost Woods and Pat Abel from SCCAN to discuss what community climate action looks for them, what can be done. what can be saved, what should we leave behind, how can we learn from each other as we advance into a future that is fairer and more sustainable for all of us in different parts of the same planet?
Hearing people saying ‘I never thought about climate change like this before’ and watching children sit attentively through all of the films shows the impact of these juxtapositions and we plan to keep bringing Climate Reflections & Witness Report Series with new layers of stories in 2022 at new venues in the Climate Action Towns chosen to be integrated into the programme launched by the Scottish Government.
We also plan to collaborate with the National Mining Museum in new exhibitions focused on climate language and to continue widening participation with the future projects developed by SCCAN’s Storytellers Collective.
The Scottish Communities Climate Action Network, whose purpose is to support community-led action to address the climate and nature emergency and work for a just, thriving, and resilient Scotland, has worked in collaboration on this project with the Environmental Justice Foundation, the International Institute for Environment and Development, and Arkbound Foundation.
In this video you will hear from a variety of speakers as well as see the Climate Reflections exhibition.
More information about the exhibition and conference: Midlothian Climate Beacon | National Mining Museum
Here below are some pictures of the exhibition.