Letters to the Earth launches ‘Letters of Love in a Time of Crisis’ in response to COVID-19

April 1, 2020

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Letters to the Earth launches ‘Letters of Love in a Time of Crisis’ in response to COVID-19

  • Letters to the Earth responds to Covid-19 by calling on the public to write letters of global creative solidarity in a new campaign called ‘Letters to the Earth: Letters of Love in a Time of Crisis’.
  • Artists, key workers, the young and the old - worldwide - are invited to write ‘Letters of Love’ in response to the global pandemic.  
  • Actor and star of ‘End of the F***ing World’ Alex Lawther and writer Mary Heglar are joined by NHS worker Jules Sullivan, Dr Stuart Capstick, lorry driver Les McInnes, shop assistant Annadelia Laterza and school children, asking people to take this moment ‘for a new story to emerge’.
  • A curation of received letters will be performed by a global community of readers as an accessible live stream on Earth Day, 22nd April, to mark the one year anniversary of Letters to the Earth, a campaign that encourages action in response to a planet in crisis.
  • Since its launch in 2019, the Letters to the Earth campaign and book has had the contribution of Yoko Ono, Emma Thompson, Caroline Lucas, Jackie Morris, Mark Rylance, Kate Tempest and hundreds of young people and activists worldwide.
  • The callout is supported by Extinction Rebellion’s AloneTogether campaign, a regenerative response to the global pandemic

In February 2019 the British public were invited to put pen to paper and write a Letter to the Earth in response to the climate and ecological emergency. This could be a letter to or from the Earth, future or past generations, those who hold positions of power and influence, or other species. The invitation was open to all and open to interpretation - it could come from a personal place, be dramatic in form, be a call to action. Letters of love, loss, hope and action were written by over 1000 people worldwide - from 4 year olds to great grandparents, artists, scientists, nurses - putting the planetary crisis front and centre.

A year later and humanity is in crisis.

Whilst in the midst of change brought by Covid-19, Letters to the Earth invites people from across the world to give voice to their fears, hopes and visions for the future and to write to each other in this time of separation and unknown.

Marking one year since the launch of Letters to the Earth, the public are invited to send the campaign team their letters to be included in an online event on Earth Day, 22nd April, where letters will be read by international actors, authors, key workers and young people, alongside letters featured in the published book Letters to the Earth: Writing to a Planet in Crisis.[1]

Letters to the Earth Co-Directors Kay Michael and Jo McInnes say: “We recognise that around the world right now there is great suffering and disruption. Letters to the Earth invites a moment of pause and solidarity in times of crisis and change. During this time we hope this callout can offer connection to each other and our home Planet Earth.”

The callout is supported by Extinction Rebellion’s AloneTogether campaign, a regenerative response to the global pandemic, where they are working to meet the coronavirus crisis in communities with compassion, creativity and mutual aid. [2]

The Callout:

Letters to the Earth: Letters of Love in a time of Crisis

In these moments of separation, stillness and unknown, Letters to the Earth is an opportunity to reconnect and for a new story to emerge.

What do you want to say? What needs to be heard?

For our key workers, neighbours, faraway friends and family. For yourself, for others and for the Earth: Letters of love, support and hope are needed.

Take a moment, from wherever you are. And write your Letter to the Earth.

These letters are for you to keep, to give and send (safely), to put up in your window for others to read and to share on social media via #LetterstotheEarth @CultureDeclares.

You can email your letter to letterstotheearth@gmail.com by midnight Sunday 12th April and tune in on Earth Day 22nd April via www.letterstotheearth.com to hear some of the many letters read.

Letters in languages other than English will be accepted.


[1] Letters to the Earth

Letters to the Earth, Writing to a Planet in Crisis

Introduced by Emma Thompson

Editors: Anna Hope, Jo McInnes, Kay Michael

Price £10 hardback / ebook / audiobook

"A beautiful book calling for us all to look after the place we call home ... Read it, then buy it everyone you know"  Red Magazine

NB Magazine Non-fiction Book of the Month (Dec 2019)

Nominated for Best NonFiction Audiobook at the New York Festivals Radio Awards

Buy here.

Representing the largest creative response to the climate and ecological crisis to date, the book born of the Letters to the Earth campaign by Culture Declares Emergency weaves together the voices of children, parents, poets, scientists, playwrights, actors and authors.

In 2019 Culture Declares Emergency invited the British public to put pen to paper and write a letter to the earth. The invitation was open to all – to think beyond the human narrative and bear witness to the scale of the crisis. Letters of love, grief, protest and hope were written by over 1000 people and read at 52 venues worldwide and filmed in the run up to the International Rebellion by actors including Andrew Scott. They took a centre stage at Oxford Circus during the Rebellion's ‘Day of Love’ on April 19th, performed by youth strikers and actors including Emma Thompson, who has contributed an introduction to the book.

In the first creative project of its kind, the letters are now published as a collection, curated under the topics Love, Loss, Emergence, Hope and Action. Notable contributors include Yoko Ono, Rob Cowan, Kate Tempest, Richard Holloway, Caroline Lucas, Mark Rylance, co-founder of UK Student Climate Network - Daniela Torres Perez, co-founder of Extinction Rebellion - Dr Gail Bradbrook and Jackie Morris, whose captivating swallows grace the pages. Together they are an invitation to consider how this existential threat affects the way we live our lives and the action we take.

[2] https://rebellion.earth/alone-together/

[3] Culture Declares Emergency

Letters to the Earth was the first campaign of Culture Declares Emergency, a growing global community of arts and culture practitioners declaring a climate and ecological emergency. It launched in London on 3rd April 2019, with the promise to tell and face the Truth, take Action to seek Justice in response to the emergency. Cultural Declarers include some of the UK's best known arts organisations including Tate, Royal Court Theatre, The Roundhouse, Akram Khan Company, HOME in Manchester, as well as individuals such as artist Sir Antony Gormley, theatre director Katie Mitchell, actor Tamaryn Payne from Hollyoaks and Peter Kosminsky, director of Wolf Hall and Secret State. Sign up and learn more on http://culturedeclares.org/

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