Vigil of Art and Empowerment

As part of the Climate Emergency Overnight Vigil, The Campaign against Climate Change and Christian Ecology Link have organised an Art and Empowerment Event that will fill the hours between 11pm and 5am, overnight 15th to 16th May. This unusual event combines protest, art, discussion and live music outside the Palace of Westminster, the seat of government, just after the general election.

We have use of St Jude's Community Centre, St Georges Road, London SE1 6EZ where Brixton Tea Party will provide refreshments. We also have use of Lambeth Methodist Mission 3 – 5 Lambeth Road, London, SE1 7DQ, which will be available for quiet reflection and meditation organised by Christian Ecology Link and tea/coffee throughout the night. There may be classical music at one of these venues.

There will an exhibition of work by the artist Marisa Rehana Mann at St. Jude's Community Centre (see map here).
 
The event will culminate in a new composition for brass ensemble calling for a Low Carbon Dawn. Breakfast will then be provided for a small cost at St. Jude's by The Brixton Tea Party.
We ask anyone who is concerned about climate change to come along and call on the new government to declare a climate emergency.
 
We will assemble at 11:00pm outside St Martins-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square. There will be a church service organised by Christian Ecology Link, inside St Martin's..
 
This will be followed by a midnight candlelit procession to Old Palace Yard opposite the Palace of Westminster where we will be greeted by some Irish dancing music.
 
Masks of the new cabinet members will hold banners calling for a Climate Emergency and messages will be spelt out in candles calling on the New Government to make climate change their top priority.
 
At 12:30am people will be welcomed to the vigil and our packed timetable of events will start...
 
12:30 - 1am Speeches - We plan having half an hour of speeches from climate change specialists and activists from the UK.
 
1am - Join The Mutiny - Join the Mutineers for a one-off special session in which we will be putting Black Gold on Trial. 15 minutes of speed debating will get you in the mood for the main rapid, round table discussion on The Effect of War on The Environment. We will question whether environmentally-friendly bullets are inappropriately named, how the scramble for oil is displacing millions and how capitalism hides its thirst for this oil behind Islamophobia and lies. See jointhemutiny.org for more information.
 
2am - Poetry Time
 
We have featured performances from:
 
Helen Moore 'Climbing out of a Dog Eat Dog World' - ecopoet Helen Moore "keeps our fires burning, reignites, smoulders and lights fuses where they need to be lit!" (Suzy Edwards, Friends of the Earth). 
Helen Moore is an ecopoet, children's author and Forest Schools leader based in Somerset. Helen regularly performs her poetry at events and conferences around the UK. Her children's books Hope and the Magic Martian and Hope and the Super Green Highway (Lollypop Publishing) offer a hopeful response to climate change. See www.natures-words.co.uk
 
Niall McDevitt was winner of The Verb’s Urban Poetry Contest 2005 (BBC Radio 3) and was John Peel’s pidgin translator on Home Truths. He is an expert on the work of William Blake. McDevitt has campaigned to secure the future of the Rimbaud/Verlaine House at 8 Royal College Street, and for the release of poet Saw Wai from Insein prison in Burma.
 
Tim Padmore reads his new poem Nightmare of Westminster - moral turpitude and the Palace of Westminster, zombies and Churchill. What will the New Government think?
 
Open space for any poets who want to read their work. Sign up on the night if you want to read.
 
2:30 am - Funeral for Extinct Species - Led by Feral Theatre

A performance/ ritual to reflect on the impact of human beings on biodiversity. Some of the dead are victims of climate change. A chance to hear eulogies for lost species and to say your own goodbyes. Wear something black!

3am – Ritual of Despair and Empowerment
Climate Activist and Artist John Hoggett has been researching the work of eco-psychologist Joanna Macy in the last few years. He has prepared a ritual that uses some simple ideas from Macy's work to enable us to reflect on and discuss ideas around climate change that may hold us back from taking effective action. A bold but simple event that everyone can take part in.
 
4am - Climate Change - Pub Style Quiz
Jonathan Whittaker Campaign Against Climate Change Steering Group member will be leading a Climate Change Pub Style Quiz. Find some friends, form a team and see if you win the prize!
 
5:00-5:30am - Zero Carbon Dawn
Letty Stott of the Guildhall School of music has created an inspirational Call to Action including a serenade for Alphorn calling across the city for a Zero Carbon Dawn. This fabulous sound, echoing off the Palace of Westminster will mark an end to our amazing and original festival of art and empowerment which we hope will leave you all inspired in the fight against climate change.
 
ONGOING EVENTS THROUGHOUT THE NIGHT
 
There will be many diverse music performances taking place in between the other scheduled events.
 
The History of the World
Artist and activist Tim Padmore will create The history of the Planet as a time-line from Lambeth Bridge roundabout to the Lambeth Methodist Mission.
 
The Plinth – 1 Minute 45 Seconds
Kofi Anaan said that one person dies, on average, every 1 minute 45 seconds as a result of climate change. Participants and passers by will be asked to stand on a plinth for this time. They will be given a choice of placards to hold up and will asked if they want their photograph taken. A drum beat will mark each 1 minute 45 seconds. Piece by Tim Padmore.  https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2009/may/29/1
 
Poems for the new Prime Minister
People will be invited to write Haiku's, a Japanese form of poetry, on the subjects of, “Nightmares and Dreams,” about climate change. These will be given to the new prime minister later in the week as an artistic petition calling for drastic action on climate change. Another piece by Tim Padmore.
 
Mural Making
Climate Activist and community artist Jonathan Whittaker will be asking people to make a cloth mural on various themes around climate change throughout the night. The finished mural will be used to communicate the need to declare a Climate Emergency to the new government in a way that is yet to be decided.
 
Luke Smith - Messages for the new Prime Minister
With the help of those present and passers by Luke will produce a photographic record of peoples climate messages to the ministers. Printed using bicycle generated power.


People are invited to write their own message to the ministers on a chalk board. To then pose on the bike generator, with their message. They will then be asked to pedal in order to power a photograph printer resulting in a 15x10cm photograph. This photograph is then presented to the participant.

Subsequently each image will be reprinted, again using the bike generator. These will be made into a photo book and sent to the prime minister. They will also form an exhibition beginning 24th May in the Norwich University College of the Arts Library.

Recycled material craft
If you need to chill out, and fancy learning a new recycling craft, come and learn how to make a rag rug using unwanted materials, recycled chopsticks and old toothbrushes. Hosted by Carol Chapman (Sustainable Streatham's recycling guru)
 
We will then process to breakfast at St Jude's prepared by the Brixton Tea Party.
 
In between these fabulous and inspiring events will be a full programme of varied live music.
 
We still have room for more events and musicians. So if you want to perform or contribute please get in contact with the events coordinator John Hoggett - hoggett1[at]hotmail.com