There is not even a Nebenrolle on a Dead Planet: We stand with Fridays for Future

Today, on the 19th of March 2021 we enter the global climate strike #7 of the Fridays for Future movement. Back in 2018 when it all started, it might have only been students that went on strike. But rather quickly this movement went global and many adults and professionals from all industries and sectors have joined and stand in solidarity. As such, a group of theatre professionals from all over Germany have taken today’s strike as an opportunity to express their support and formulated a declaration.

Pandemic vs./= Climate strike!

The Covid pandemic has hit the world population unexpectedly and hard. The global economy came to a standstill, social life as well. However, the climate crisis keeps roaring on. And so does the Fridays For Future movement continue its quest for adequate climate action and justice. During the pandemic, the activists are equipped with masks and the strikes have strict hygiene concepts in place (which they do make sure they are followed). Chapeau and respect their power, endurance and the undeniable professional organization and set up.

2021 goes #7

Today, on the 19th of March 2021 the Fridays enter another worldwide global climate strike: number 7 since 2018 (read about how it all started at the bottom of this article). They say: Going back to the time before Covid-19 is not a solution!

They demand: No More Empty Promises! It is time for action!

Protests are planned in more than 50 countries all over the world. In Germany, supporters in about 210 cities stand in solidarity and organized various activities of different size and scope.

It is very easy for everyone to take part. Either live at the many creative actions planned such as bicycle demonstrations, sit-ins, chalk and other artistic activities or online from your desk or sofa via live streaming. And of course, Social Media postings are always a powerful additional sign of support and solidarity – no matter how you choose take part at the strike.

What does it have to do with the arts?

The stone and bottom-up pressure which the Fridays movement set in motion also affected the cultural institutions. Yes, they might be a minor (compared to others) but nevertheless contributing emitter of greenhouse gas emissions. That is why they also have a role to play. The goal is to reduce overall sectoral emissions by 55% until 2030. Way we go!

Art and cultural institutions are places of mediation, encounter and critical debate. They can not only create social realities, but also question them. They have an influence on ways of behaving and thinking among the public and peers. Therefore they also bear a responsibility. They cannot evade this responsibility and hence are to rethink, examine and improve the processes of their artistic creation respectively.

In unison & collaboration

That is why theatre and opera professionals from all over Germany have come together to address this challenge – together. From Dresden, Berlin, Schwedt and Kiel all the way over to Bochum, Heidelberg and Mannheim, amongst many others, individuals united in an initiative which follows one aim.

They set out to find sustainable alternatives and solutions to their everyday common artistic practices. Hot topics are sustainable production together with procurement, use and recycling of material, transportation and mobility as well as energy efficiency, catering and other organizational tasks.

The status quo so far varies greatly. Many have already set up dedicated climate clubs inside their institution and implemented new processes. Others are just at the beginning. However, it doesn’t matter which point they are at. What matters is the commitment and dedication to change.

What matters is that they have set out on the journey to sustainability.

It is better to start with imperfection than to procrastinate with perfection.

Thomas A. Edison 

The declaration

In the context of today’s global climate strike, this initiative has formulated a declaration. In it, they affirm the Fridays For Future in their stance and express their support. They are determined to contribute to addressing the climate crisis and to take on this challenge with their power of innovation and imagination.

They, too ask themselves the questions: How do we want to treat each other and our natural resources – both in our immediate environment and globally? What kind of world do we want to live in? What does a good life look like in the future?.

They want to transmit a clear attitude, namely to be part of the solution and not of the problem. They want to create awareness and mindfulness in order to help bring forth the socially necessary change. The alliance is based on inclusion, sharing knowledge and experience, mutual support and the desire to act in an environmentally and socially sustainable way. Find and read the full declaration here.

Some more (fun?) facts

Fridays for Future: How it all started

The Fridays Movement started in August 2018 with Greta Thunberg, the Swedish then 15-year old girl who skipped school in order to strike in front of the Federal Ministry of Economics. 3 years after the Paris Agreement had been signed and ratified by 196 United Nation member states and governments, political commitment and adequate climate actions to limit global warming to 1,5 °C were still lacking. And Greta was to remind them about it: „SKOLSTREJK FÖR KLIMATET“. Thank you Greta! Thank you Fridays for Future!

Her initiative became the world’s largest civil climate movement that is to day represented in 135 countries. The world has joined Greta for climate strikes on Fridays. The demands of the students to the world leaders are simple, without denying the complexity of the problem: Stick to your word and your commitment, not to mention to the well-being of all, including future generations!

3 years later again, and the world is still not on track… so the strike keeps going.

Earth Overshoot Day

The global lockdown #1 in 2020 has led to an improvement in carbon footprint. So much that the Earth Overshoot Day has moved by 24 days in 2020! When in 2019 it was on the 29th of July, in 2020 it was on the 24th of August – still 130 days too early.

The Earth Overshoot Day marks the day when we surpass the planet’s capacity to regenerate itself. Thus it is the day when we consumed all the natural resources that planet Earth has to give. 1970 was the first year where this happened. Today, we need 1,6 earths to meet humanity’s current demands.

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