Creative Climate Connections: from the Amazon to Wales

Connecting young people from the Indigenous Xingu Territory in the Amazon basin with a youth group from South Wales to share their experiences and responses to climate change through a collective art project.

Indigenous Exchange and Climate Action
Photo by Mapapalu Waurá

Project Overview

Though globally and culturally distant, the young people from the UK and Brazil engaged in this project are united by their vested interest in the global climate crisis and the power of the arts in political and cultural expression.

The project connected 20 young people aged 14–18 for six online workshops in October 2021. Together they created a multimedia performance that combined storytelling, visual arts and filmmaking. The piece captured and unified their responses to the climate crises in drastically different lived environments.

By engaging young people in activism and awareness-raising through cultural production, the research – a third long-standing PPP partnership with Dirty Protest Theatre in Wales – shed light on the role that digital technologies can play as a tool for preserving cultural heritage and combating the climate emergency, all the while reimagining cultural institutions as spaces for new kinds of climate action.

Watch the videos (CCC playlist)

The Creative Climate Connections project also provided an opportunity to address the gap between older and younger generations,  in Xingu and South Wales. In both regions, generational differences in sense of identity, relationships to traditions, and engagement with technology contribute to markedly different attitudes to the natural world and climate change.

Background & Journey

Since 2015, People’s Palace Projects has worked closely with communities in the Xingu to develop a thriving cultural exchange with the Kuikuro and Wauja. This collaboration has enabled a range of research projects, artistic residencies, exchanges, exhibitions, films and digital installations focusing specifically on Indigenous culture and the climate emergency. The work attracted over 300,000 visitors to the 2021 Venice Biennale. And the latest installation, which was showcased at Glasgow Science Museum as part of the green zone of the UN COP-26 Summit, was seen by over 60,000 people in five months.

Building on this, the Creative Climate Connections project created an unprecedented opportunity for young people in the UK to work directly with young artist-activists from Indigenous communities in Brazil.

Combined, the young voices from Xingu and South Wales offered a powerful addition to the global discourse on climate, reaching new audiences who were able to learn from their experiences through the effect of art and performance.

The final video performance premiered in November 2021 at The Xingu Indigenous Occupation – an event hosted by PPP at the Landing Hub during COP26 in Glasgow. The short film was also screened in the Ipatse and Piyulaga villages in the Xingu Indigenous Territory.

The Spark/ Glasgow Science Centre
“This unique international learning exchange will result in a powerful human connection and support them to be active protagonists in the growing global youth movement in the fight against climate change.”

Paul Heritage, director of PPP and Principal Investigator

“Through listening to the same young people who are most affected by climate change and who have the most effective and imaginative responses, we can all reconsider and act on our own climate responsibilities.”

Cat Paskell, director of Dirty Protest Theatre