350 Asia

350 Art on the Green Long March

Posted on: July 27, 2009

GLM Inner Mongolia CubeHere’s an update from Raya who is with the Green Long March on their “Grasslands Route” in Inner Mongolia:

GLM Volunteers Promote Sustainability with Installation Art

Kevin Buckland, of 350.org, helped kick off student training on the Green Long March Grasslands route with some creative expression. Students from Inner Mongolia Science and Technology University in Baotou were able to take part in an installation art event that supports 350.org’s goal of a 350 ppm carbon emissions cap.

Buckland’s giant canvass cubes measures 6 feet on all sides, and represent only half of the amount of CO2 every Chinese citizen emits each day. By painting solutions on the walls of the cubes, students are able to combine activism with art, and engage in a hands-on team-building activity. Buckland asked the students to envision a more sustainable world, and to help paint what that would look like for Inner Mongolia.

Wu Qiong, a graphic design major from Renmin Univeristy, believes that this kind of public art forces recognition of environmental issues that can otherwise be easily ignored. While she has participated in installation art “for fun” before, this was her first experience using public art in a “meaningful” way.

cube paintingThis was the first time painting for some, like Zou Ren, a Human Resources student from the local school. She felt that the conspicuous nature of the cube enabled “a concrete way of understanding abstract problem like carbon emissions.” After being able to visualize the concept in a three dimensional way, she hopes to see the number 350 feature in Chinese government policy.

Kevin’s involvement in community art projects has taken him from the USA all the way to Ulaanbaatar, but this was the first cube installation where language was a barrier for him. It was that much more rewarding to be able to facilitate creative expression in an environment where art may not be a priority. “There are ways to communicate through art,” says Buckland.

On October 24th, Green Long March volunteers will join 350.org’s global day of climate change action to promote the number 350 ppm to governments and policy makers around the world. The campaign comes just weeks before the UN global climate change talks in Copenhagen.

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This 24 October, 350.org and our allies are organizing an International Day of Climate Action -- hundreds of events are already planned, but we need your help!

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