Dear Mother Earth,
Not long ago, we met as concerned citizens, worried about the impact we were having on you.
We joined forces and called ourselves the Green Arts Collective, because we were a collective of artists, arts organisations and arts professionals who wanted to make a change. We marched together with the young people of Northern Ireland. We looked to our neighbours to the north, south and east – to cultural institutions who have been advocating for climate justice for years, for their best practice and their guidance.
We had a lot of catching up to do, but things were changing fast. Belfast City Council appointed a Resilience Commissioner, and one of Grainia’s top priorities was Climate Action.
Change was now inevitable, but we also needed a revolution in consciousness. We needed all citizens in Northern Ireland to join us in our collective awakening.
In January the Belfast City Council and Queen’s University launched the Belfast Climate Commission, one of only three of its kind across the UK.
In February the Northern Ireland Assembly declared a climate emergency.
And then in March the world stopped.
No-one knows yet the impact the pandemic will have on our global community, but one thing is for sure it could profoundly change everything. This crisis has exposed our vulnerability and our fragility, but also reinvigorated our appreciation for the NHS (and all types of social care), for clear skies, for local food, for kindness, for connection, for our neighbours and for our communities.
You are healing during this crisis, Mother Earth, and we need to ensure that in post-pandemic recovery we don’t let you down. We have an opportunity to rebuild the economy and reshape our way of life in a way that is led by green investment and climate action. So that we are rebuilding a society that is fairer, more sustainable; one that protects you and us all.
Sincerely, and with hope,
The Lyric Theatre & Green Arts Collective in NI