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COP27 – Art for the climate

Nov 14, 2022 | Blog |

By Rev. Rebekah Kokalis, Interfaith Power & Light

As we begin the second week of COP, Iā€™m packing enough food and water for the day and reminding myself that patience is a virtue that I have been given the opportunity to practice while at COP. As my confidence in dealing with the plethora of venue obstacles grows, I have been excited to spend a little more time enjoying the beauty of this gathering. The beauty of seeing people from so many different cultures share their traditions has been a daily joy, but as I try not to rudely stare at people wearing their traditional or indigenous clothing, I have spent some time talking to artists and appreciating the spaces that have been artistically designed with passion and attention to detail that cannot be ignored.

The first work I would like to share is by a Turkish artist, Deniz Sagdic. Having over a dozen recycled art images displayed, it is difficult not to stop and enjoy the beauty of her works. Sagdic aims to illustrate the concept of over-consumption that becomes disposable or garbage in our societies, by using disposed materials in her works.

The second set of artworks that I particularly enjoyed was discussed in a lecture about sustainable architecture. A major highlight for Egypt is the new Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) that is set to open in 2023. With a lot of new construction, especially in poor communities, we often see non-green facilities, made with materials that are not environmentally friendly, and designed without the consideration of the potential inhabitants or visitors. With the GEM, the architects considered the traditional styles of architecture and the principles of ancient Egyptian sacred geometry to help design a building that is more environmentally friendly. The use of this traditional knowledge can reduce the use of air conditioning and provide the space with more efficient weather protection. Overall, it was beautiful to listen to architects discuss sacred geometry and traditional knowledge when improving methods used to create a green facility.

Below is the art created by Fenoon Ahmed Moustafa that was discussed in describing ancient Egyptian sacred geometry.

As we listen to the debates, struggles, and challenges of creating international commitments and taking action on climate change, I appreciate the creativity expressed in the art around me. There are many pieces of local artworks and community artworks that have been presented at COP27, but today I wanted to share only these two artists that reminded me of the importance of recycling and reusing, and that there is an abundance of knowledge that can be shared by ancient cultures, religions, and indigenous communities across the globe, about how to protect and care for our Sacred Earth.

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