Culture at the Forefront: Day 1 of the Entertainment + Culture Pavilion in Bangkok

Culture at the Forefront: Day 1 of the Entertainment + Culture Pavilion in Bangkok

The fight against climate change demands a multifaceted approach, one that harnesses innovation, collaboration, and, perhaps most surprisingly, culture. The Entertainment + Culture Pavilion (E+C Pavilion) is a dynamic platform that blends culture with climate action. It made its much-anticipated debut in the Asia-Pacific region on June 28, 2024, setting the stage for a transformative event in Bangkok, Thailand. Building on the momentum generated by the Creatives for Climate Action – Thailand (CCAT) conference, the E+C Pavilion unfolded at Bangkok 1899. This two-day event marked a significant expansion of the Pavilion’s global footprint, following its successful launch at COP28 in Dubai.

The E+C Bangkok Pavilion was not just another climate conference. It became a vibrant hub filled with creativity, where artists, activists, and cultural leaders converged to explore the transformative power of culture in shaping a sustainable future. Co-designed with organizations like Creative Migration, Bangkok 1899, Sauntr Media, The Convergence, Green & Beyond Magazine, and Love Frankie, the program offered a dynamic mix of activities.

Entertainment + Culture team in Bangkok giving speech

The event took place at Bangkok 1899, a cultural and civic hub established by Creative Migration, an international arts organization based in Bangkok and Los Angeles. This historic location, once the home of Chao Phraya Thammasakmontri, the father of Thailand’s modern education, was designed by Italian architect Mario Tamagno under King Rama VI.

A Look at Day One of the Entertainment + Culture Bangkok Pavilion

Culture is central to climate action, and the Entertainment + Culture Pavilion thrives on this idea. The first day’s programming showcased the vibrancy and impact of the event.

Catalyzing Culture-Based Climate Action in Thailand Reception

The event started with a reception for local ministerial authorities and representatives from the UNFCCC RCC in the Asia-Pacific region. Key stakeholders, including Michael Schmeiser (Deputy Head of Mission at the Austrian Embassy in Bangkok and President of the EUNIC Cluster in Thailand), Jens Radschinski (Regional Expert on Article 6 of the Paris Agreement and Carbon Pricing at UNFCCC/IGES Regional Collaboration Centre for Asia and the Pacific (RCC-AP) ), Susannah Tantemsapya (Founder & Executive Director of Bangkok 1899 and Creative Migration), Daniel Cervenka and Elise Orlowski (The Convergence), and Gunjan Nanda and Samuel Rubin (Co-Founders of the E+C Pavilion), discussed the importance of incorporating culture into climate action to develop effective solutions to the climate crisis.

Entertainment + Culture team with the guests of the Bangkok event

Panel Talk on Culture and Climate

A compelling panel discussion was hosted by Kamori Osthananda, a Climate Youth Negotiator at COP29 and Thai Youth Delegate at COP28. Speakers such as Kanitha Kasina-Ubol (Managing Director of The Siam Society Under Royal Patronage), Moe Moe Lwin (Vice-Chairwoman of Seacha and Co-Chair of the Culture@COP28 Working Group), and Sasiyada Naowanonsha (Diplomat of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Thai Delegate at SB60) shared their insights on the importance of including culture in the climate movement from Thailand’s and Southeast Asia’s perspectives.

Panel discussion on culture and climate

Mapping Entertainment and Culture for Climate Action in Thailand

This strategic session, hosted by the UNFCCC’s Sectoral Initiative Entertainment and Culture for Climate Action (ECCA), focused on mapping out the future of entertainment and cultural initiatives in climate action, fostering strategies and partnerships. Facilitated by Gunjan Nanda, Samuel Rubin, and Susannah Tantemsapya, the discussion included insights from Fah Bhawika (Thailand Ambassador of Tocco), Saengchai Chitboonthaweesuk (Business Development Manager of Sahachai Promotion Co., Ltd.), and Suthavee Pangkanon (Co-Founder of Meta Absolute Co., Ltd.). They shared their environmental initiatives, discussed best practices in sustainable production, and identified opportunities for improvement in Thailand.

Fah Bhawika (Thailand Ambassador of Tocco) giving speech

Gamifying Climate Action

In an interactive gamification session, Gunjan Nanda demonstrated how gamifying climate actions could make climate communication more engaging and effective. The session was followed by a couple rounds of the game Chatty Changemakers that enabled participants to not only connect among themselves but also have important conversations surrounding their climate advocacy journey.

Participants playing Chatty Changemakers with Gunjan Nanda

Impact Storytelling Workshop

Led by Daniel Cervenka and Elise Orlowski from The Convergence, the Impact Storytelling Workshop highlighted the power of narrative in driving climate action. Daniel emphasized the unique role of films in fostering empathy and bridging diverse communities, underscoring their potential to generate real-world impact, such as influencing national energy policies. Elise echoed this sentiment, drawing parallels between cultural events and storytelling, and encouraging participants to harness their own narrative abilities. The workshop fostered an inclusive environment where attendees, regardless of their background, could share insights and learn practical storytelling techniques. This collective approach aimed to amplify the voices of various communities, ensuring that their stories resonate and inspire actionable change beyond the event.

The Convergence team doing the Impact Storytelling Workshop

Crystal Bowl Sound Healing

The day concluded with a meditation session of crystal bowl sound healing led by Borriboon Suklertnuntakij, helping participants relax and refocus. The session was a generous donation from Community Lab and Sati Space.

Crystal healing bowl meditation

A Gateway to Global Participation

The first day of the E+C Bangkok Pavilion underscored the transformative potential of culture in addressing climate change. Through a diverse array of activities, from insightful panel discussions to interactive workshops, the event showcased how cultural engagement can foster innovative solutions and drive impactful climate action. Key stakeholders and experts shared practical examples and strategies, emphasizing the importance of integrating creative expression and storytelling into climate communication.

By bringing together artists, activists, business leaders, and policymakers, the Pavilion created a dynamic platform for collaboration and knowledge exchange. This event not only highlighted the significance of cultural perspectives in global climate dialogues but also prepared local institutions for a more active role at COP29. The momentum generated on this first day promises to inspire further progress and strengthen the global movement for culture-based climate action.

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