“ The Burning Question” exhibition at MTN Bushfire Festival 2017
artists exploring the cause and effects of Climate Change
Our climate changes naturally; today was colder than yesterday, this summer was wetter than last summer, and this age has been warmer than the last ice age. What is troubling is that in the last decade, our planet has warmed 10 times faster than at any point in the last 10, 000 years. This increase can be attributed almost entirely to humanity. Our interference in the climate system has become dangerous; industry, agriculture and lifestyle have raised the global temperatures to a point where we are experiencing increasingly extreme weather (more droughts and more floods), rising sea levels, species extinctions, disease outbreaks, and food shortages. These are not the only consequences, and they promise to get more and more exaggerated as time goes by.
Swaziland and more broadly, Africa is already being adversely affected by climate change, but going forward, we will struggle with the infrastructure awareness and the ability to respond to extreme weather events. Southern Africa’s recent drought is an excellent, but singular example. Studies show that by 2020, up to 250 million people in Africa will be exposed to water stress. This will decrease rain-fed agricultural yield by up to 50% and increase malnutrition, disease, poverty and mortality. It is important to address these issues now and we all have a vital role to play.
The arts industry is finally waking up to the reality and urgency of climate change. The last two international summits on climate change (COP 21 and 22) saw a huge increase in the visibility of the arts in creating awareness and cultivating action and reaction towards climate change and environmental issues. Yebo Art & Design has been working on reducing its own environmental footprint through redesigned permaculture gardens, water saving and harvesting, recycling station, solar energy investments and more. This new exhibition continues this need for constant dialogue and adaptation to both a changing world and a changing climate, particularly focusing on the role that artists and the arts can play in effecting recognition, intervention and action.
For more on the open call, visit Yebo Swaziland HERE!
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Official Photographers - Bram Lanmers and Sydelle Willow-Smith