'All sites of pilgrimage have this in common: they are believed to be places where miracles once happened, still happen, and may happen again.'
Victor and Edith Turner
The artist Jonathan Baxter joined us at Climate Cafe last Tuesday. He is proposing a pilgrimage to COP26. If you're interested in joining or collaborating with him, just get in touch and raise your hand. All enquiries welcome.
What we understand by the term 'miracle' is open to interpretation. Here a 'miracle' is understood to be a collective form of hope and the implementation of hope in action. How we understand the term 'pilgrimage' is also open to interpretation. Here it refers to a journey that is open, optional and creative.
In 2015 many of us journeyed to Paris for COP21 where a UN agreement was made to limit levels of global warming to less than 2 degrees centigrade above pre-industrial levels. Since that time, global temperature has continued to rise, negative impacts have been felt across the globe and public consciousness has been shaken.
With the aim of implementing guidelines for Article 6 of the Paris Agreement - guidelines that focus on the 'cooperative approaches' to tackling climate change - will COP26 rise to the challenge of our times? Will it adequately address the social, environmental and economic roots of climate change, i.e. the values that underpin a dominant economic system? Or will it merely seek to decarbonise an economy without addressing the social and ecological fractures that climate change brings to light?
It's for this reason that a pilgrimage for COP26 is being organised: a literal and metaphorical walk from Edinburgh to Glasgow with other 'pilgrims' joining the walk along the way. Starting as a spring and increasing its flow as the project develops, individuals, communities and organisations are invited to bring their concerns, imagination and resources to bear on shaping the pilgrimage and fulfilling its vision.
In addition to other voices, artists and art organisations have a key role to play in creating the conditions for a public conversation around the climate and ecological crisis. Might the pilgrimage for COP26 offer a forum to gather and share our collective resources? And of equal importance, might the pilgrimage and its growing network provide a forum to evaluate our ongoing cultural engagement beyond COP26?
To find out more or get involved email Jonathan Baxter at email@example.com. All enquiries are welcome.
To join our next Climate Cafe on Tuesday 30th March click here. You can come for the session or pop in to see what its all about.