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.

Bangkok Welcomes the Entertainment + Culture Pavilion: A New Era in Climate Action

Bangkok Welcomes the Entertainment + Culture Pavilion: A New Era in Climate Action

Bangkok’s vibrant streets recently hosted a novel approach to climate action: one that harnessed the power of creativity and storytelling. The Entertainment + Culture Pavilion just made its first incursion in Southeast Asia with a pop-up presentation of this groundbreaking initiative, staged initially at COP28 in Dubai.

This program was designed with others such as Creative Migration, Bangkok 1899, Sauntr Media, The Convergence, Green & Beyond Magazine, and Love Frankie. In this manner, the program offered a vibrant combination of activities. It wasn’t your average climate conference. E+C Pavilion Bangkok, hosted in Bangkok 1899, became an exhilarating platform in one of the culturally rich venues in town. Artists, activists, and cultural leaders explored the different ways entertainment and culture could help shape a sustainable future.

The Entertainment + Culture Pavilion’s (E+C Pavilion) journey to Bangkok had deeper roots. It started with a simple notion: the struggle around climate change didn’t need to be an empirical and intellectual discussion about data and policy but cried out for the emotive power of stories, the unifying strength of music, and the imaginative spark of art. To find where creativity might matter, it developed the E+C Pavilion at COP28. This became a lively crossroad space where over a hundred events with artists from sixty different countries took place, reaching out to 22 million.

From COP28 to Bangkok: A Global Movement Takes Root

Energetic in every way, the Entertainment + Culture Pavilion at COP28 in Dubai opened to symbolize the global hunger for creative solutions to the climate crisis. Over 100 programming events representing 60 countries provided a kaleidoscope of artistic viewpoints: from serious films to dynamic musical shows, not just driving awareness but exciting the world.

Behind the literal lights of the stage, a figurative movement emerged. Artists, activists, and policymakers from divergent backgrounds ignited in a common cause. Workshops allowed for co-creation and opened up new cross-disciplinary ideas on how storytelling and artistic expression could underpin new approaches to climate-impact communication and action. The E+C Pavilion seeded cross-sector partnerships and cracked open silos, laying the groundwork for a new conceptualization of environmental concerns.

This collaborative spirit wasn’t bound to Dubai. Realizing the need for regional presence, the Entertainment + Culture Pavilion team paved the way to Southeast Asia. The vibrant cultural heart of Bangkok served as the stage to elevate Southeast Asian voices and their perspectives on climate action.

Bangkok 1899

Bridging the Gap: Entertainment + Culture Pavilion in the Spotlight in Bangkok

The journey to Bangkok for the E+C Pavilion was not a straight shot. Before captivating audiences in Southeast Asia, it made its presence felt at the SB60 intersessional negotiations of the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn. This strategic intervention engaged policymakers and cultural organizations at a critical moment to guarantee cultural voices were included in high-level climate debates. Riding that wave, the E+C Pavilion docked in Bangkok, Thailand, in June 2024. In the throes of the bustling city, a vivid two-day program unfolded in Bangkok 1899—a historical, cultural, and civic forum. The symbolic location demonstrated how cultural heritage can help us link traditions with innovation in the fight against climate change.

The very nature of the program proved the Entertainment + Culture Pavilion’s core mission: fostering collaboration and amplifying diverse voices. It featured a dynamic mix of activities bringing together artists, activists, and cultural leaders from across Southeast Asia. The themes ranged from the power of storytelling in education to unlock the potential of creative industries to drive sustainable practices.

Jens Radschinski, from the UNFCC’s Regional Collaboration Center (Asia-Pacific), emphasized the importance of a culture-based approach in the climate movement: “This creative industry, of course, has many other channels to reach people and make them aware of what is happening in the climate and how people can get involved and really change the culture.”

Jens Radschinski, from the UNFCC’s Regional Collaboration Center (Asia-Pacific)

Michael Schmeiser, Deputy Head of Mission at the Austrian Embassy in Bangkok and the Current President of the EUNIC Cluster in Thailand highlighted the initiative’s significance in promoting intercultural dialogue between Europe and Thailand, focusing on urgent and shared issues like the climate crisis. He explained that the conference featured four segments: practical examples from Europe and Thailand, best practices in green initiatives, policy discussions with various ministries, and the development of a toolkit to help event organizers make their events more sustainable. Michael emphasized that the project was tailored to the Thai context and aimed to inspire other countries.

Michael Schmeiser, Deputy Head of Mission at the Austrian Embassy in Bangkok and Member of the EUNIC Cluster in Thailand

A Call to a Sustainable Future

The Bangkok edition of the Entertainment + Culture Pavilion was not a culmination but a springboard. It demonstrated that entertainment and culture are critical to addressing climate change. Using the emotional power of art, music, and film, the initiative transcended dry data and policy discussions, igniting a deeper connection with climate issues. It engaged cross-sector collaboration among artists, activists, policymakers, and cultural leaders, creating a new dialogue on both the problems of climate and the solutions. In this way, the E+C Pavilion’s presence in Dubai, Bonn, and Bangkok exemplified a commitment to a global conversation while ensuring regional voices are heard.

Going forward, the future of the Entertainment + Culture Pavilion is bright. Looking towards COP29 and beyond, it has the potential to continue shaping a sustainable future. Plans include scaling up, designing data-driven strategies, strengthening partnerships, and developing educational programs to prepare the new generation of climate activists. Bangkok’s E+C Pavilion was more than an event. It was a compelling call to arms, urging us to regard climate change through new eyes—where creativity and culture become formidable forces in building a new future for humankind—together as mightier elements of the cause.

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