#7.1 Longer-term and Bigger Picture: Truth-telling

This step focuses on exposing and dismantling systems of oppression and exploitation, for example by exploring histories of colonialism, supporting those in frontlines of climate impacts or tackling inequalities in cultural and environmental movements.

A person stands reading CDE displays on a wall, headered "Care", "Truth-telling", "Glabal Action"
CDE Uganda Launch

Resilience Responsibility in the longer-term and bigger-picture

There is a strong connection between repair of the natural world and reparations for injustice. Everyone should consider the need to dismantle oppression and inequalities when taking the first step (Truth-telling in your practice and organisation) but some aspects of decolonisation are more structural, and critical challenges may take time to tackle. This is a longer-term and bigger-picture process, perhaps best as the focus of collaboration with other organisations or specialised working groups in a large organisation.

A large printed sign reads "DEAR EARTH, WE CAN BE SO MUCH MORE THAN SORRY" positioned on a street post outside a building.
Car Free Day, 2023 / CDE Wharfdale and Airedale

TASK:

Decide on a way-in to this work

Choose from any of these suggestions, or generate your own ideas, to start or progress this work. 

  • Where can you hand power to people who have been denied it?
  • If children and young people are your priority, consider their needs for the future. Can you create a role to advocate for future generations, not yet born?
  • Can you run a truth commission?
  • Could you write a 100-year plan?
  • Can you influence international law, to advance the rights of future generations, or to implement an ecocide law?
  • Are all the people in your organisation cared for and treated equally and do they have a voice?
  • How can you ensure that all your public programmes and community interactions are sensitive to traumas inherited, experienced and anticipated by people at the intersections of colonial and environmental violence?

RESOURCES FOR THIS TASK

What is the power of culture for decolonising and decarbonising society?

  • If you have been affected by the histories and current impacts of harmful industries and development, use arts and culture to express yourself and connect with people’s values. If you are less directly affected, give voice to those who have been. 
  • Widen your net of cultural resources to learn from people who are nature-connected, or innovating out of traditions to regenerate places.
  • Radically restructure your programming to empower people and ensure their needs are met so they can participate.
  • Use your programming and influence to expose and dismantle systems of oppression and exploitation, in ways that are integrated with your decarbonisation efforts when possible.
  • Protect and safely restore or return intangible, indigenous heritage, in consultative collaboration.
  • Support those in the frontlines of ecocide and climate impacts.
  • What can you do to tackle inequalities in cultural and environmental movements?

Further links

  • Cultural Gardeners: Australian Cultural Alliance for climate action.
  • Coalition of Museums for Climate Justice: based in Canada but with international intent and social media reach. Climate justice and inclusion.
  • Coastal First Nations: Great Bear Initiative: an alliance of British Columbia first nations using traditional and innovative culture to generate jobs and protect the forest. 
  • Counterpoints Arts: a leading national organisation in the field of arts, migration and cultural change.
  • ONCA: creating space for change, art for social and environmental justice, in Brighton, UK.
  • People’s Palace Projects: bringing artists, activists, academics and audiences together for projects that address a wide range of social justice and human rights issues. In UK, Brazil and elsewhere. 
  • Read ‘Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save the World’ by Tyson Yunkaporta. His answers include: Develop an embodied relationship with the place, people, creatures, and land where you live, and participate in building a culture of transition and adaptation.
  • Union of Justice: European, independent, people of colour (POC) led organisation dedicated to racial justice and climate justice.

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