Poets for Climate is a collaborative project among the branches of Climate Reality in the Philippines, Canada, and Africa designed to contribute to a growing global creative collaboration for climate action.
The initiative is Climate Reality Philippines, Canada, and South Africa’s response to When Is Now, a global, creative collaboration for urgent climate action mobilized by the Agam Agenda, Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF), and Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities.
Through the arts, Poets for Climate aims to build connections and solidarity between the Global North and Global South for climate action, highlighting the lived experiences of people on the ground and the need for world leaders to address the vicious cycle of loss and damage experienced by communities across the globe.
Since its launch in July 2022, Poets for Climate has conducted five virtual poetry workshops, generating more than 100 poems from around 75 youth leaders, climate advocates, and poets from Cameroon, Canada, Kenya, Nigeria, Philippines, Sierra Leone, South Africa, and Zambia.
In the Philippines, Poets for Climate were brought to different parts of the country as part of Klima Eskwela, Climate Reality Philippines’ knowledge exchange platform for young climate advocates and other stakeholders to deepen and broaden their understanding of climate science, policy, and governance. Through these workshops, students in communities bearing the brunt of climate change impacts are able to share stories of loss, damage, resilience, and their hope for a better reality.
Responding to the poems generated by Poets for Climate and When Is Now, we’ve worked with artists, muralists, and climate advocates across the Philippines to create murals depicting the realities, lived experiences, hopes, and demands of the most vulnerable communities.
We worked with Artivism Iloilo, a collective of artists, social innovators, and unconventional movers, to create the mural “Lisó.” The mural located at the Marymart Center-Maryville in Delgado Street, Iloilo City was a response to the poem “When will we tire of waiting?” by South African-based novelist Yewande Omotoso, as featured in When Is Now’s digital exhibition.
We worked with art collective PintaGuhit Isabela City to create the mural “Goyak sin Kasa bannalan” at the Tourism Assistance Center.
Responding to the poem “When Is Now” by Nanditha Ram Satagopan, the Basilan mural depicts the beauty of the environment until people severed it and took it for granted.
Painted by the Artists League of Palapag (ALOP) in partnership with Sarayo Forests, a women-led regenerative land use movement in the province exploring solutions towards a more resilient coastal community, the mural is a response to the poems “Broken Cycle” by Marilee Napiri and “When is we” by Helen Dixon.
The mural puts the spotlight on how the climate crisis, coupled with the extractive and unsustainable industry of sand and gravel mining, is putting the coastal community of Palapag in danger.