The Tale of the First-Ever Entertainment + Culture Pavilion at COP : An Editorial POV

The Tale of the First-Ever Entertainment + Culture Pavilion at COP : An Editorial POV

Remember how Michael Jackson’s “Heal the World” filled us with hope, or how Mad Max: Fury Road‘s representation of a dystopian future got us thinking? That’s the incredible power of entertainment and culture – to move us, connect us, and motivate us to make a difference. And guess what? As media partners of the groundbreaking first-ever Entertainment + Culture Pavilion at COP28 in Dubai, we witnessed this power firsthand!

Imagine 12 days pulsating with energy, packed with over 100 programming events representing 60 countries and reaching a combined audience of 22 million! The E+C Pavilion wasn’t just a space; it was a global movement in action, fueled by the diverse voices and shared passion of artists, activists, and policymakers from around the world; it was a stage where cultural icons and celebrities weren’t just name drops, but passionate advocates; where music wasn’t just background noise, but a call to action; where speeches weren’t just lectures, but heartfelt pleas for a better future. That’s what we witnessed the Pavilion offer – a space where emotions ran high, connections were made, and one truth resonated loud and clear: change is possible, and it starts with the fire in our hearts and the actions in our hands. 

The essence of this editorial is to share not just the impact of the Pavilion, but to also explore how impactful narratives can spark conversations and inspire change. Ultimately, this is my reflection on the potential of entertainment and culture to become powerful tools for positive change, a message carried by every performance, panel, and conversation that unfolded within the Pavilion’s walls.

Assessing Success: A Multifaceted Triumph

At COP28, the E+C Pavilion was a movement in action, fueled by nine key themes that intertwined like musical notes to create a powerful symphony of change. Now, in order to actually understand the impact of the pavilion, let’s explore the nine key programming themes of the pavilion and also take a trip back in time at the Cop28 blue zone, B7, Building 90 of the Expo City in Dubai, to revisit some of the incredible events(only some, because there were like over 100 of them!).

Programming themes of Entertainment + Culture Pavilion

  • Creative Economy & Narrative Impact Climate Storytelling: We witnessed incredible exhibitions showcasing diverse artwork, poetry, and stories from Southeast Asia amplifying voices and perspectives often unheard in climate discussions. Workshops like the “Climate Music Workshop: Disappearing Studio Ghibli World,” merged music education with climate awareness, empowering participants to use their creativity to address environmental challenges. Moreover, events like the Indigenous Youth Perspectives on Climate Program provided a platform for young indigenous voices, highlighting the importance of intergenerational knowledge transfer and youth leadership.

A particularly engaging installation,Storytelling with Saris’ by Monica Jahan Bose, added a unique cultural perspective to the narrative. Draping colorful handwoven sarees from Bangladesh, symbolizing sustainability, this art installation was covered with collaborative climate art and climate pledges by individuals from around the world. 

“Through this initiative, Monica uplifts traditional practices in rural Bangladesh, utilizing her own traditional clothing as a tool for movement building, climate action, and empowerment. During COP, Monica will lead a performance and host a workshop at the E+C Pavilion.”

– Organizers at the E+C Pavilion

We talked to Climate Psychologist and Activist, Jessica Kleczka who believes that by harnessing the power of creative collaborations, grassroots movements can propel climate messages into the mainstream, fostering a collective recognition of everyone’s role in building a sustainable future. 

“Creativity has the potential to supercharge our campaigns, break echo chambers and reach audiences who care about the state of the planet but lack a powerful message they can identify with”

– Jessica Kleczka
  • Intersectional Artivism: The pavilion organized film screenings highlighting experiences from communities often overlooked in climate conversations. These sparked empathy and understanding, fostering the spirit of intersectional activism. Meanwhile, discussions linking science and storytelling, like the one with Christian Clauwers on climate photography, showcased innovative approaches to raising awareness.

  • Climate Communication & Cause Marketing: Powerful films like “YOUTH v GOV Film” sparked important conversations about mental health and youth advocacy. Events like the “Time for Better Earth Disco × Hope House event” combined music, dance, and community building, reminding us that climate action can be fueled by hope and collective action.

Founder of The Climate Propagandist, Julie Mallat conducted a unique workshop called “Posters for Climate Action” where she enlightened the audience on how we can craft impactful posters for climate action and what elements contribute to persuasive design, language, and storytelling. The workshop drew from the historic roots of persuasion and explored iconic propaganda posters to equip us with the tools, insights, and inspiration to encourage the cultural rebellion we so urgently need.

Climate Propagandist Workshop at Entertainment + Culture Pavilion

  • Social Impact Entertainment & Health & Mindfulness: The Time for Better Earth Disco wasn’t just entertainment; it was a space for collective joy, hope, and a sense of shared purpose in tackling climate challenges. On a more introspective note, Amina Rahma’s poetry reading offered a space for emotional expression and reflection on the human cost of climate change, promoting mindfulness and personal connection to the issue.

Some of the coolest highlights of the E+C Pavilion at COP28 was meeting iconic musicians like Ellie Goulding, Nile Rodgers and AY Young, and witnessing how passionate they are to use their art and platform to contribute in our movement to shape a better world. 

“Music culture and art are something that can break down all the barriers and build bridges to connect every facet of humanity on every level.” – AY Young, Founder, Artist & Performer at Battery Tour Movement

  • Cultural Heritage & Audiovisual Sovereignty: We enjoyed captivating performances by Singer Yana Mann and Violinist Annabelle Ho, where artistic talent intertwined with climate awareness. Events like the Trashion Kenya Expo & Open Call for Cultural Fashion Show organized by fashion activist Habiba Abdulrahman shed light on the waste challenges in Kenya using fashion and art as powerful and creative mediums while also empowering young people from different parts of the world to showcase their beautiful cultures and heritage and advocate for sustainable practices within the fashion industry. Exhibition by Bow Seat showcased student artwork centered on climate change, amplifying youth voices through creative expression. These events highlighted the power of art to connect people to environmental issues while celebrating diverse cultural heritage.

  • Sectoral Innovation & Policy: Events like the “Amazon: The New Minamata?” Film screening and discussion offered insights into the environmental impact of certain industries and potential solutions, aligning with the theme of sectoral innovation.

Film screening at Entertainment + Culture Pavilion

At this point, it’s pretty clear that The E+C Pavilion’s work at COP28 was a powerful evidence to the potential of entertainment and culture to ignite positive change. But how does this approach compare to past COPs, and what does it tell us about the future of storytelling in climate action?

Evolution of Entertainment at COPs:

While previous COP conferences have dabbled in artistic expression, it often played a marginal role while talks and policy discussions dominated the scene. The E+C Pavilion marked a significant shift, placing entertainment and culture at the heart of the conversation. This wasn’t just about raising awareness; it was about building a community, fostering empathy, and inspiring action.

Significance of this Shift:

The E+C Pavilion’s success demonstrates the immense power of engaging audiences on an emotional level. Unlike policy papers or scientific reports, stories, music, and art have the unique ability to connect with hearts and minds, bypassing cognitive barriers and sparking deeper understanding. This shift in approach at COP28 paves the way for future conferences to harness the full potential of entertainment and culture in driving meaningful change.

COP 28 Photo

Stories and Art: The Changemakers We Didn’t Know We Needed

I see you’re still reading this, so I’m sure by now, you and I both get why songs like John Lennon’s “Imagine” or Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind” echoed through history, fueling movements for peace and justice; why documentaries like “An Inconvenient Truth” or “Blackfish” ignite public outrage and policy changes around the environment and animal welfare. 

These are just a few glimpses into the vast power of stories and art. They don’t just fill us with facts; they touch our hearts, spark empathy, and push us to act. Music ignites collective action, films shed light on pressing issues, literature fosters understanding, and visual arts provoke critical thinking. I find it strikingly beautiful, how art can really change the world, one story, one song, one image at a time.

Challenges still remain.

Despite the strides, the entertainment industry isn’t exactly a superhero just yet. Let’s talk challenges and opportunities:

Access to Funding: Securing dedicated funding for climate-focused projects remains a challenge. Innovative models like impact investing and crowdfunding can offer solutions.

Greenwashing: The risk of corporations using entertainment for greenwashing needs to be addressed through stricter regulations and independent fact-checking mechanisms. We need more transparency.

Greenwashing

In a recent conversation, Founder of TUAessence, Fernanda Lopez Lima shared with us how transparency is a key theme in her vision for change in the fashion industry. 

“Differences only occur when people care. And people only care when they engage, which is only possible by learning the whole truth. Without good and real storytelling it’s impossible to create mass consciousness awareness. Therefore, the best way to change the global culture of fast consumption is to make information transparency mainstream!” – Fernanda Lopez Lima

Limited Reach: While COP28 attracted a massive audience, ensuring wider accessibility along with diverse representation in storytelling efforts remains crucial. While the E+C Pavilion actively utilized multilingual content, subtitles, and partnerships with local organizations to help bridge these gaps, climate change issues still involve jargon and a narrative that limits involvement to a specific group of people.

“This narrative needs to shift, we need to make our movements as accessible as possible and we also need to change the way we are communicating about climate change, that is more understandable, that resonates more, and draws upon people’s lived realities. Art has had and can have a huge role in helping to do this.” – Ayshka Najib, Climate Activist

But wait, there’s hope too!

Hopeful

We interviewed Max Han and Nurfatin Hamzah, the co-founders of Youths United for Earth (YUFE), Malaysia’s leading grassroots nonprofit mobilizing youths toward environmental action through storytelling, campaigns, and advocacy. Han was also one of the highlighted talents of the E+C Pavilion. Here’s what they think,

“Culture and entertainment enable us to look at the sobering reality of climate change from different perspectives while filling us with hope to keep going – even when we feel like the world is doomed. Climate change can feel complex and overwhelming, which is why some people push these thoughts aside or even deny it. But we can’t afford to do so. Culture and entertainment can break down difficult concepts in ways people can understand, regardless of language or location.”

– Max Han and Nurfatin Hamzah, the Co-founders of Youths United for Earth (YUFE)

In terms of traditional entertainment, Farzana Faruk Jhumu, Youth Advocate for UNICEF from Bangladesh, highlighted its role in creating resilience against rapid urbanization and environmental challenges. From farmers crafting songs as a source of rural entertainment to facing the climate crisis, these cultural expressions help communities cope with changes, resist urbanization, and inspire grassroots movements.

“This connection to nature, expressed through cultural activities, becomes a source of resilience, inspiring grassroots movements that emphasize the importance of culture and entertainment in shaping and sustaining our communities”

– Farzana Faruk Jhumu

So, the opportunities for overcoming those challenges and harnessing the industry’s influence are vast as well. Let’s take a look.

Collaboration: Cross-sector partnerships between artists, activists, businesses, and policymakers can leverage diverse expertise and resources for impactful storytelling. Did you notice how the E+C Pavilion championed that at COP28?

Panel event at Entertainment + Culture Pavilion

In line with the importance of collaboration in the climate and entertainment arena, Mitzi Jonelle Tan, Youth Advocate for Climate Action Philippines reflected on the intrinsic connection between entertainment + culture collaborations and the ability to construct a vision of a better world. She points out the power of culture to unite diverse communities against profit-oriented global systems. As she puts it, “Cultural and entertainment collaborations are so crucial because they can reach new audiences and bring more people into the climate movement.”

According to her, these collaborations are like VIP passes to reaching fresh audiences and getting more people on board in the climate movement. Not only that, but she sees them as essential in constructing the better world that’s living rent-free in our minds and hearts.

“Once we have an idea in the grasp of the joy and love in the safety, and the softness that we could be having in a better and cleaner future, it’s a lot easier for us to keep fighting no matter what, and culture and entertainment has the amazing power to build all this in our minds & in our hearts.”

– Mitzi Jonelle Tan

On the other hand, Winnie Cheche, the Founder of The Eco Advocate, envisions collaborations as a tag-team match, where culture and activism amplify each other’s voices.

“The goal is also to connect with people’s hearts and minds, and to portray climate action as both relatable and cool”

– Winnie Cheche

Technology: Utilizing immersive technologies like virtual reality and augmented reality can create really powerful, interactive experiences that raise awareness and drive action.

Data-driven strategies: Tracking the impact of campaigns and gauging audience engagement can really help us maximize impact. Data helps us understand what works and what doesn’t, making future efforts even more effective. 

By addressing these challenges and embracing innovative solutions, the entertainment and culture industry can unlock its immense potential to not only raise awareness about climate change but also inspire collective action and build a more sustainable future.

My take on the Entertainment + Culture Pavilion at COP

To be honest, from the point of view of a climate journalist who is always exposed to the doom and gloom of the climate crisis, it gets pretty overwhelming. But seeing it through the lens of art, music, and personal narratives really hit me differently. Instead of climate anxiety it gave me inspiration to act and play my part. Entertainment and culture, to me, have stopped being just distractions; they have become powerful tools for understanding, connection, and most importantly, action.

Panel talk at Entertainment + Culture Pavilion

By the time COP28 ended, I didn’t just have new information; I had a renewed sense of purpose. It wasn’t about waiting for someone else to save the day; it was about finding my own voice, my own story, and using it to contribute to the movement. Whether it’s sharing sustainable practices, supporting artists who raise awareness, or simply having honest conversations, there’s a role for everyone in this fight.

So, what’s our role in this story?

Are we content to be passive viewers, scrolling mindlessly through climate documentaries or tuning out powerful songs about environmental injustice? Or will we step onto the stage, utilizing the power of our choices and voices to rewrite the narrative? Such a revolution can only be possible when we all feel like playing our own roles effectively to make that happen. For that to happen, understanding the climate crisis from an empathetic point of view, not just from numbers and graphs and data, is needed. 

Mic on stage

“Getting this conversation started from a more human perspective is extremely important because facts have come out, scientists have come out, but it’s just not sticking. An important side to this is the human side, and I think that’s something that we can all connect on.”

– Maria Poonlertlarp, Thai-Swedish model, actress and singer

Here’s how we can play a major role in this (very real) apocalyptic movie:

Let’s Demand Change: Don’t be a silent supporter. Speak up! Contact your favorite streaming services, studios, and production companies. Let them know you demand climate-conscious content and sustainable practices throughout the industry. Share petitions, join advocacy groups, and raise awareness about greenwashing tactics. Show them that entertainment with a conscience is what the audience truly craves.

Amplify Diverse Voices: Seek out and share stories that go beyond the headlines. Support filmmakers, musicians, and artists from underrepresented communities who are using their talents to showcase the human stories behind climate change. Celebrate indigenous knowledge, highlight innovative solutions from developing nations, and give a platform to those often unheard in the mainstream narrative. Together, let’s create a richer, more diverse accumulation of voices fighting for our planet.

Panel discussion with musician Nile Rodgers at Entertainment + Culture Pavilion

Start Conversations: Climate change isn’t just a documentary topic or a social media hashtag. Make it a dinner table conversation, a watercooler chat, a casual chat with your neighbor. Share your concerns, listen to different perspectives, and encourage open dialogue. Remember, even small conversations can spark curiosity, plant seeds of change, and inspire collective action.

Remember, every action, every story shared, is a ripple in the pond, creating a wave of change. Let’s rewrite the narrative, turning entertainment from a distraction into a powerful tool for building a more sustainable future. But the most important question remains: what story will YOU tell?

Harmonizing Hope: Voices of Activists Amplifying the Role of Entertainment + Culture in Climate Action

Harmonizing Hope: Voices of Activists Amplifying the Role of Entertainment + Culture in Climate Action

In the worldwide effort to combat climate change, entertainment, and culture have always been influential forces in shaping perceptions and steering collective action. As COP28 kickstarted this week in Dubai, let us turn our attention to the Entertainment + Culture Pavilion, a game-changing initiative fostering collaboration, education, and inspiration for climate action. This groundbreaking initiative marks the first-ever dedicated space within the COP28 Blue Zone, exploring the dynamic intersection of Entertainment, Culture, and Climate.

Activists globally recognize the impact these aspects can have in reshaping perspectives and driving meaningful change. To dive deeper into this, let’s hear from seven activists, youth advocates, artists, and conservationists to explore the significance and interlinkage between grassroots climate activism and the realms of entertainment and culture.

Creating Resilience Through Entertainment + Culture

Farzana Faruk Jhumu, Photo by @MarieJacquemin
Farzana Faruk Jhumu, Photo by @MarieJacquemin

In terms of traditional entertainment, Farzana Faruk Jhumu, Youth Advocate for UNICEF from Bangladesh, highlighted its role in creating resilience against rapid urbanization and environmental challenges. From farmers crafting songs as a source of rural entertainment to facing the climate crisis, these cultural expressions help communities cope with changes, resist urbanization, and inspire grassroots movements.

This connection to nature, expressed through cultural activities, becomes a source of resilience, inspiring grassroots movements that emphasize the importance of culture and entertainment in shaping and sustaining our communities”

Farzana Faruk Jhumu

Marinel Sumook Ubaldo, Photo by Pau Villanueva
Marinel Sumook Ubaldo, Photo by Pau Villanueva

These underscore the profound connection between cultural activities and the resilience needed to face environmental adversities. To further emphasize the expansive influence of artists and performers, extending far beyond the stage and screen, Marinel Sumook Ubaldo, climate justice activist from the Philippines, considers integrating cultural and entertainment elements into grassroots climate activism as a dynamic and influential dimension.

Climate change is one of the most pressing challenges of our time, and the role of cultural icons places them in a unique position to inspire meaningful action.

Marinel Sumook Ubaldo

Increasing Accessibility in the Climate Movement

Ayshka Najib on Entertainment + Culture and Climate Action
Ayshka Najib, Photo by Pamela EA

To highlight the significance of cultural and entertainment collaborations, Ayshka Najib, Dubai-based climate Activist, reflected on the decolonization struggle of her home country, India. In her words, art, music, and culture are powerful tools in various decolonial movements, integrating music, songs, and visuals to convey emotions and narratives when words fall short. These tools serve a similar purpose in terms of climate activism, enhancing accessibility for all. She believes that climate change issues often involve jargon and a narrative that limits involvement to a specific group of people.

“This narrative needs to shift, we need to make our movements as accessible as possible and we also need to change the way we are communicating about climate change, that is more understandable, that resonates more, and draws upon people’s lived realities. Art has had and can have a huge role in helping to do this.”

Ashka Najib

Tania Roa
Tania Roa

Tania Roa, a passionate advocate for wildlife, environmental preservation, and social justice, had a similar perspective regarding the collaboration between grassroots climate activism and cultural/entertainment figures. In her opinion, this collaboration enhances storytelling, utilizing culturally meaningful stories that connect with more people, making it easier for the local community to understand the climate crisis.

“Simply by talking with people in non-environmentalist spaces, you can show others how the climate crisis affects them, their passions, goals, careers, and livelihoods. That’s when more people take action, and we need as many people as possible to create the greener, more just future we’re working towards.”

Tania Roa

Inspiring Actions and Bringing Changes Through Entertainment + Culture

Lamech Opiyo
Lamech Opiyo

The collaboration of activism and entertainment can be a powerful tool for inspiring action. Apart from visibility and awareness in climate activism, Lamech Opiyo, an environmentalist from Kenya, believes it can also create a shared sense of community and collaboration. They provide platforms for youth engagement, attracting large audiences through the influential figures of the cultural and entertainment spheres.

“Through high-profile collaborations and partnerships, this can attract the attention of policymakers and leaders, therefore influencing them to take more decisive action on climate issues.”

Lamech Opiyo

He also added that collaboration with cultural and entertainment figures can enhance fundraising efforts for grassroots movements through celebrity endorsements and participation in events to attract sponsors, donors, and philanthropists who may be more inclined to support a cause that has the backing of well-known personalities. 

Winnie Cheche
Winnie Cheche

On the other hand, Winnie Cheche, the Founder of The Eco Advocate, envisions collaborations as a tag-team match, where culture and activism amplify each other’s voices.

“The goal is also to connect with people’s hearts and minds, and to portray climate action as both relatable and cool”.

Winnie Cheche

Winnie believes that artists and performers’ voices can carry weight beyond the stage, acting as a tool for fostering a collective commitment to a more sustainable and harmonious world. 

In terms of cultural norms, Katharina Maier, the National Coordinator of Fridays for Future-USA considers collaborations to be shaping public discourse, influencing decision-makers, and contributing to a world where eco-friendly choices are the norm.

Artists and performers wield significant influence in shaping public perceptions, emotions, and attitudes – giving them a unique power to transform climate action from a scientific or political discourse into a cultural movement that resonates with people on a deep, emotional level. This cultural shift is essential for building a sustainable and eco-conscious global society.”

Katharina Maier

In the global movement to fight climate change, a powerful synergy emerges when grassroots climate activism, entertainment, and culture unite. From the songs of local communities to global performances, artists and cultural figures do more than entertain – they inspire. As we navigate towards a sustainable future, these collaborations light the way, encouraging us all to commit to a more harmonious and eco-friendly world that we all dream of. 

What Does Entertainment + Culture Have to Do With Climate Action?

What Does Entertainment + Culture Have to Do With Climate Action?

Can I ask you something? You can take a couple of minutes to think before answering. How can culture and entertainment play a part in driving climate action? Too tough? It’s actually not. Let me tell you why. But first, let me tell you that, there is a relationship between these three and that is exactly why there is a pavilion focusing just on Entertainment + Culture at COP28 this year.

The relationship between culture, entertainment, and climate is actually very simple. If you have ever listened to folk or country music from any part of our planet, you will find out that there are many songs from the point of view of the farmers; they express their emotions through these songs. You also might get some extra agricultural lessons from those songs too! There are different songs for the times of planting the seeds, different songs for the times of taking care of the crops, and different songs for the times of harvest. It’s not tough to understand that, the time for different agricultural tasks; from sowing to reaping; is different and depends on the seasons. So climate plays the most important part in agriculture, and for different tasks and times for those agricultural activities there are different songs, now these songs are part of a culture, and when you listen to them, they become a form of entertainment. I’m sure you’re starting to see the picture more clearly at this point.

Elders Chen Shifan, Dai Bisheng, Chen Shida and Jiang Xinglong, sing Wa Wu Mountain Song in the field in Yaozu, the Yao ethnic town in Longhui county, Central China's Hunan province on Aug 25, 2012. [Photo/Xinhua]
Old farmers Chen Shifan, Dai Bisheng, Chen Shida and Jiang Xinglong, sing Wa Wu Mountain Song in the field in Yaozu, the Yao ethnic town in Longhui county, Central China’s Hunan province on Aug 25, 2012. [Photo/Xinhua]

The Intricate Link Between Entertainment + Culture and Climate

It’s impossible to think about culture and entertainment without the role of climate. Because the environment that we all live in, which we experience differently in different parts of our planet, shapes our cultures differently, so the forms of entertainment are also heavily influenced by climate. Just like there are poems and songs and celebrations to pray for and welcome summer in the countries that go through severely cold winters, there are different forms of artistic expressions and celebrations that pray for and welcome rain or winter in the countries that experience intensely hot summers too. For example, Juhannus, the midsummer festival of Finland which is marked by bonfires, traditional songs, and dances to welcome and celebrate summer holds an ancient and important cultural value. There are similar festivals in countries that experience similar weather patterns too –  Midsommar festival in Sweden, Jaanipäev or Midsummer day in Estonia, Līgo svētki or Midsummer festival in Latvia. Similarly, countries that experience warm and hot weather throughout the longer part of the year welcome and celebrate monsoons and winters. For example, Barsha Utshab in Bangladesh, Songkran or Thai water festival in Thailand.

Songkran or Thai water festival in Thailand
Songkran or Thai water festival in Thailand

Now you might ask, why are we talking about all of these? It’s because we, human beings, are at a crucial time now regarding the health of our planet. Due to the usage of fossil fuel, usage of toxic chemicals, deforestation, overproduction, overconsumption, etc., we are at the point of a time where we need to act vigorously to prevent our global climate from changing and going to an irreversible point of no return

This is not only a threat to our lands and lives, but also to our cultures too. You might argue that if some cultures get lost in time due to climate change, it’s not a big deal, new cultures will take birth and fill up those gaps. But it’s not that simple, because the cultures that we might lose due to climate change will be lost along with the lives of the people who represent those cultures and the lands that they live in, that they call home.

Cultivating the Power Art Holds in Shaping a Better World

But instead of getting lost in the feeling of sadness and helplessness, we all can do something about it. And you know what? Entertainment + Culture can be our tools to take those actions. Music, poems, stories, acting, painting, dancing, movies – everything can help us to take action for our planet and secure a future that is safe, joyful, sustainable, and just for all. These forms of arts and entertainment can not only help us to get out of the endless black hole of feeling helpless but also they can help us to be optimistic and dream about a beautiful future. Not just that, they can actually make us feel positively powerful to take action for us and for our planet.

Now if you are still feeling unsure how this can be true. Let me tell you that, it’s not only true, it’s effective too. Entertainment + Culture can play crucial roles in igniting climate actions, bringing meaningful changes, and shaping policies. Let’s delve a little deeper into this discussion, shall we?

Entertainment + Culture Bringing Effective Changes Globally

Climate action comes in different forms and it’s important to understand that. From choosing to buy fewer products, and buying eco-friendly products to community-based actions to advocating for policy changes; all are climate actions. Leaders from different sectors of culture and entertainment have the ability to influence many people by using their voices, arts, and platforms to take such actions, and they are doing so. Prominent celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio, Joaquin Phoenix, Emma Watson, Billie Eilish have successfully influenced so many people from all around the globe to adopt a sustainable lifestyle. This clearly shows that the sector of culture and entertainment has the ability to contribute to climate actions.

The influence of culture and entertainment is not just limited to bringing lifestyle changes. From ancient times, culture and its representation as a form of entertainment have inspired community-based climate actions too. Indigenous storytelling and performance arts from all around the globe have passed down the knowledge of their ways of living in harmony with nature to the next generations. This knowledge is helping these communities not only to live sustainably but to take care of our planet. Indigenous communities account for only around 5% of the global population but they effectively manage 20 – 25% of Earth’s surface lands and take care of 80% of our planet’s biodiversity.

In modern days, such storytellers and artists are also doing the same work and inspiring community actions. For example, Tanya Tagaq is an Inuk throat singer, songwriter, and activist who raises awareness about the climate crisis, educates listeners about indigenous knowledge, and inspires climate actions through the power of her music. Artists like Olafur Eliasson, founder of The Little Sun Project, Hannah Tizedes, founder of The Cleanup Club, are inspiring community members to take action as well.

It is also important to know that the role of culture and entertainment in driving climate action can reach policy-making levels too. The best example of this could be the small country named Bhutan, nestled in the Himalayas, known for its strong commitment to environmental protection and sustainability. The country’s cultural values, deeply rooted in reverence for nature, have played a significant role in shaping its policies and actions towards achieving carbon neutrality. Not to mention, Bhutan was the first country to be recognized as carbon-negative. The country is also famous for being the pioneer in the Wellbeing Economy movement and measures its progress not in terms of GDP but in terms of GNH or Gross National Happiness. Also, I think we all can agree on the role of the famous documentary of Al Gore, Former Vice President of the United States, “An Inconvenient Truth” in igniting conversation, contributing culturally, and thus having an effect at the policymaking level too.

So, What’s Happening at the E + C Pavilion at COP28

I’m sure by now you have realized the immense power that culture and entertainment hold in driving climate action. That is exactly why, for the very first time there is a dedicated Entertainment + Culture Pavilion at COP28 this year. This pavilion is acting as a hub where people and organizations from all around our planet are engaging to amplify climate action from individual levels to the policy-making stage through the power of culture and entertainment. 

The wide range of programmings of the Entertainment + Culture Pavilion at COP28 clearly echoes the importance of entertainment and culture in climate action. Cultural leaders from all across our planet are joining in to make the voice of the pavilion stronger. From sectoral roundtables, discussion panels, interactive installations to fashion shows and musical performances to many more, the pavilion is platforming events to ignite climate action through entertainment and culture. The Enter + C Pavilion at COP28 is featuring remarkable cultural and climate leaders like Dia Mirza, Farhana Yamin, Jeffery D.Sachs, Hindou Omarou Ibrahim, Nile Rodgers, Mustafa Santiago Ali, Vanessa Nakate, Xiye Bastida, Omnia El Omrani, Laurel Kivuyo, Leo Cerda, Max Han, Habiba Abdulrahman Hemed, Isavela Lopez, Monica Jahan Bose. If the powerful voices of all of these talents believe that entertainment + culture can play a significant role in driving climate action and bringing effective changes, then it’s surely the safest bet to believe in them too!

Your Voice Matters, Your Actions Matter

Culture is an inseparable part of all of our lives. We are always consuming or taking part in entertainment in one way or another in this digital age. So it is actually possible for all of us to play our own roles in climate action through entertainment + culture. You can surely write, draw, paint, sing, act, play, perform in your own ways, and use your power to inspire others to take climate actions from individual stages to bring changes in the policies. Even if you’re someone who is not involved in any of these, you can still play an active role by sharing the messages of those who are doing those things to amplify the cause and inspire others to take climate action. It surely doesn’t take much to share songs or poems or any other form of art with your friends and have a chat with them after that to start the conversation about taking the necessary steps. Why? Because the beginning of that conversation will definitely result in some kind of climate action and it’s important. Isn’t it important to take care of our home, our only home, planet Earth? 

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