Along Ecological Lines: Art – Climate – Activism

For many people in the UK, the country’s political crisis is merely a distraction from what is commonly perceived as a far bigger problem we face – the Climate Crisis.

The first day of the Global Climate Strike (20th September) literally swept across the Planet. It’s an event which united peoples from all walks of life and all cultures. In an absolutely massive act of solidarity, we held the governments and corporations to account for the unfolding crisis. The renowned young climate activist, Greta Thunberg’s speech at the recent United Nations summit was incredibly powerful and moving.

Let’s also not forget the burgeoning Extinction Rebellion (XR) activist movement which is gaining new comrades day-by-day around the world. Most major cities in our country and beyond now appear to have their own XR groups. The one we have here in Manchester is huge and it put on a long weekend of colourful and noisy defiance last month for its Northern Rebellion action.

Also in Manchester we have the new arts centre, HOME – where we are proud to be based. Committed to addressing the climate crisis positively, HOME is one of the UK’s award-winning leaders in developing and promoting sustainable practice in the cultural sector. To achieve this here at HOME we work in partnership with the London-based charity, Julie’s Bicycle thatsupports the creative community to act on climate change and environmental sustainability.’

In April this year, HOME proudly joined the Culture Declares Emergency campaign: “HOME declares a Climate and Ecological Emergency. We are in a state of global climate crisis and we are on the brink of causing irreversible damage to our planet, its atmosphere, its inhabitants and our future.” #SustainableHOME

As far as art book publishing goes on this subject we recommend you check-out Gaia Project who has just published, Along Ecological Lines: Contemporary Art and Climate Crisis. Edited by Barnaby Drabble, designed by Minute Works, and spanning seven thematic chapters, this new critical anthology comprises writings and interviews by influential artists, activists and academics. It’s a beautiful and very timely book indeed, eloquently capturing the revolutionary spirit at the heart of what’s happening right now.

The iconic American curator, writer and activist Lucy R. Lippard has generously given her support for this new publication by saying, “If only more artists were following the ‘ecological lines’ laid out in this important book. It combines acute critical commentary, scientific analysis, and in-depth responses from artists whose innovative works and lives offer fresh approaches to so-called civilisation’s greatest challenges, from local to global.”

Gaia Project’s founder/curator, Jim Brady explains his passion – “Publishing is my activism and I hope it makes a creative contribution to the potent Climate Justice Revolution that’s happening right now. I believe that we will still need books and libraries when we reach the other side of the ‘collapse’. Books as beautiful objects, vessels of knowledge and inspiration should be a central part of our collective future as sensitive, civilised beings.”

If you’re looking for more inspiration on the synergy of Art, Ecology, Climate and Sustainability then please take a read of an earlier iteration of our blog.

The crucial thing about this movement is that it’s led by young people. The future is in their hands. In the meantime, we must all take a step back and start thinking and acting more ‘along ecological lines’…


Image credit: Oliver Ressler, video still (detail) from Everything’s coming together while everything’s falling apart: Ende Gelände / End of the Road (12 min. 2016). 
As featured in the book, Along Ecological Lines (2019).
Posted on 1st October 2019
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