Earth Day Call To Action
This April we’re calling our community of declarers, organisations, artists and cultural practitioners to unite in collective support and power. We’ve got letter-sending and in-person Earth Day actions underway and invite you to join us in your capacity:
- Send our call to DCMS to your local MP and to Secretary of Culture Lucy Frazer
- Join us at The Big One as part of the People’s Picket on the 21st April 2023 at 10.30am outside the DCMS to deliver our call in person
- Come along for some art blocking and collaging on the 22nd April 2023, 10:00am-12:30pm (full details below)
UPDATE ON 23RD MAY – READ THE RESPONSE FROM DCMS TO OUR LETTER
OUR CALL TO DCMS
Our joint message is that we must unite for humanity and biodiversity to survive but that we are running out of time to act, so this is the moment we must choose our future. In particular, this is when politicians must make the right choice, and so we in Culture Declares call on the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to act for the continued thriving of our sector, our communities and the planet.
We want to see the Cultural sector creating a regenerative future that protects the planet and sustains everyone everywhere. Our Vision, Mission and Values outline how we go beyond declaring an emergency, to Tell the Truth, Take Action and Seek Justice. This is ongoing creative work in our local hubs across the UK and internationally and through our alliances with other declarer initiatives. But we draw attention to three major obstacles to this work.
A LACK OF FUNDING
We in the Culture sector are struggling to keep afloat due to the impacts of the Earth Crisis, such as Covid-19, energy & food prices, and extreme weather. We are also struggling due to funding cuts:
- Artists in the UK earn a median wage of £2.60 an hour;
- Government funding for the arts is down 46% since 2005; and
- A 50% funding cut to arts subjects in HE.
The latest tough round of Culture funding placed further pressure on many organisations in the sector. Arts Council England has pioneered environmental reporting before other countries, supported by Julie’s Bicycle. However, there isn’t enough ethical funding for cultural work that can:
- help people learn about the causes, impacts and solutions of the Earth crisis,
- inspire imagination of resilient and innovative ways of living,
- support local and migrant communities as impacts hit them,
- help to protect and restore the built and natural environment.
A LACK OF TRUTH
In our efforts to engage the public with truths, Cultural workers are pushing against corrupted media that denies climate change and ecocide. Social and mainstream media are ‘weaponised’ by vested industries to minimise environmental problems, deny scientific facts, promote false solutions, support ‘predatory delay’ and shame citizens about their lifestyle choices. Most people are deeply concerned about the Earth crisis, but many will mask and minimise their concerns, or reflect the falsehoods they’ve heard in this media.
A LACK OF DEMOCRACY
There is a lack of democracy and voice in the UK’s political system, affecting the poorest, young people and migrants, and in England in particular. This means there is a lack of civic engagement around environmental policies, enabling the polarisation of left and right. Politics has become more about winning power than representing the needs of people, places and the planet.
We therefore call on DCMS to consider:
- Restoring funding for cultural work that responds to the Earth crisis
- Actively encouraging cultural work that involves communities in exploring the truths of the Earth crisis
- Tackling the influence of the fossil fuel and extractive industries over the media and our political systems, including sponsorship in the DCMS sectors.
CDE @ The Big One: The People’s Picket & Art Blocking
Join Culture Declares at The Big One around Westminster, London, on Friday and Saturday:
Friday 21st April 2023
Join for picket and speeches as part of the People’s Picket outside DCMS
Location: Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (100 Parliament St, London SW1A 2BQ)
Time: 10:30am – 2pm
Saturday 22nd April 2023
We’ll be art blocking and collaging!
Location: Creative Space, by Abraham Lincoln in the south-west corner of Parliament Square
Time: 10am to 12:30pm (setting up from 9:30am)
Our theme is rivers and plastic pollution in our rivers and seas so please bring along any (clean) found plastic rubbish, and any fabric/old T-shirts you’d like printed!
On the 21st – 24th of April 2023, people and groups from across the country are convening in their thousands at the Houses of Parliament in London to hold politicians to account in The Big One. We know it’s time to act and the urgency is growing, but what are politicians doing? Everyone is welcome to join. There will be a diverse programme of action all weekend, with speakers, art, performers, music, talks and workshops awash with colour and culture!
On the 21st and 24th of April – when the government’s offices are open – thousands of people across sectors and experiences will be transforming the streets with People’s Pickets outside government departments. Culture Declares will be supporting the action across The Big One. On the 21st of April, we will be taking to the street alongside so many others to Unite to Survive, delivering our call to DCMS in person. We invite you to join us. Every single person adds power to the collective action and makes our voice and message harder for the Government to ignore.
You can also join the Earth Day March on the 22nd of April – an enormous, family-friendly celebration of individuals united for nature, biodiversity, and the planet. Expect colour, costumes, music, and giant puppets all part of the annual international day of environmental awareness.
Join us and thousands of others in support and add your voice to the action. Whether you are joining our call to action remotely or in person, we look forward to sharing the space to act together. Every single person makes a difference.
UPDATE: SEE THE RESPONSE FROM DCMS TO OUR LETTER, SENT ON 23RD MAY