Creative Eco-Centre for Climate Justice and Human Rights

“There is a magic machine that sucks carbon out of the air,
costs very little, and builds itself. It’s called a tree.”

George Monbiot, Author

Creative Eco-Centre for Climate Justice
and Human Rights:

Using the arts, social media and new digital technologies to promote intersections between human rights, arts, technology, climate justice and global citizenship education.

Smashing Times uses the arts to promote equality, rights and diversity and each year implements the annual Dublin Arts and Human Rights festival with a range of partners. In 2021, t6he company received a grant from the Arts Council to build a new online Smashing Times Virtual Arts Centre as a platform for the Arts and Human Rights. The new online space was launched in October 2021 as part of the annual Dublin Arts and Human Rights Festival and has a series of ‘virtual’ galleries or exhibition sites such as the Arts and Human Rights gallery and the Arts and Peace Gallery.

Smashing Times will work with four schools in Ireland, and four schools in African Nations to collaboratively create the design and content of an online  ‘Creative Eco-Centre linking climate justice to human rights’, to be housed on the new online Smashing Times virtual arts space. Our aim is to work with students from  January to December  2022, supporting the students to firstly create  visual designs and ideas for what they want the new Creative Eco-Centre to look like and secondly to create content for the Creative Eco-Centre, an online exhibition  created by the students working with an artist and facilitator to highlight global citizenship, climate justice and human rights. In summary, the  work of the artist, facilitator and students will form the content for the creation of a new Creative Eco-Centre which will be housed on the Smashing Times Virtual Arts Gallery.

 The Creative Eco-Centre will be an online space dedicated to global citizenship education and Climate Justice linked to Human Rights. We aim to work with 240 students to design the ‘look’ and ‘creative content’ for a Creative Eco-Centre highlighting awareness raising on civic action and climate justice linked to human rights and to work with a further 390 students through attendance at a live eco-performance and panel discussion.

Creative Eco-Performance:
Gathering on the Pond – Live Theatre and Song

Gathering on the Pond is a  dazzling storytelling performance suitable for all ages that is fun, magical and sparking. The play is a theatricality staged fusion of story, colourful costumes and fun moments, a mix of dialogue and song  on science, the environment, and a love of dreams! 

Professor Magpie Lovelace arrives in a panic. She is a scientist who loves birds and music. It’s her first day in her new role as Choir Director and she’s late. Well, she travelled there on the infamous number 16 bus, so say no more. Her choir, The Rockin’ Robins, have been singing the same old tired tunes for years now and with the Dawn Chorus Competition fast approaching Professor Magpie, our Professor of Ornithology, wants to try something new. She loves birds, they speak to her and she understands their harmonies and melodies which are full of passion.

But their future is bleak and under threat! Professor Magpie wishes to create, with the help of her choir, a song that will teach future generations to respect our feathered friends and keep their future safe.  A young scientist, a bus conductor, the dawn chorus and big dreams!  And especially . . .  the right to dream of a better world! What will happen next?

Active Engagement

A key aim to highlight how support for human rights needs to actively underpin action for climate justice. 

A wide range of problems exist in the world because of a lack of support for human rights and an oppressive increase in wealth inequity.  Climate justice requires radical change in society in terms of lifestyles and behaviours from ordinary citizens however it is only through action at both citizen and political and economic levels that real change will happen. 

 Real Climate Action is hard work. It requires time, effort and actions and the coming together of communities, governments and private interest groups. A key question today is how to transition to a resource efficient economy and society that is linked to human rights and a human-centred approach, ensuring that the rights of the most vulnerable people are safeguarded and that changes that need to take place do not impact unfairly on those most in need.  Our aim is to promote student’s active engagement in a project that addresses climate change as a global and local environmental issue  linked to human rights and to social, political and economic considerations, with a view to creating a world based on tolerance, equity and peace.

Sustainable World

Smashing Times is committed to working with young people to build skills in how to become engaged global citizens and leaders  of today and tomorrow, with the skills and confidence to achieve an inclusive, equal,  just, peaceful, sustainable world.

This requires an understanding of how power structures currently operate and how they are linked to human rights and issues such as climate change and secondly to explore what kind of peaceful social activism needs to take place  to bring about  climate change and the creation of a more just and fair society.

 Students explore the work of climate activist Greta Thunberg who says “We are living in the beginning of a mass extinction and our climate is breaking down . . But we can still fix this – you can still fix this.” We will explore ideas from the concept of  ‘protect and restore’, focusing on ideas such as protecting current natural habitats and planting more trees to speaking out against support or subsidies for oil, gas and coal producers. 

Students explore artworks such as the brilliant art video by American photographer Camille Seaman ‘The Distant is Imminent’ a video projection depicting still and moving images of Arctic and Antarctica that is meant to be projected on walls of cities most threatened by rising sea waters including Limerick. It is estimated that 70,000 Irish addresses are at risk of coastal flooding by 2050! https://fineacts.co/the-distant-is-imminent 

Photo: Camille Seaman, fineacts.co

We want to create an online exhibition using the arts to promote climate justice with input from young  people in terms of design and content and to raise awareness of the Dublin Arts and Human Rights festival with young people, encouraging students to engage in creative arts practice exploring links between social activism, climate justice, development education  and human rights on a local and global scale.

Global Citizenship

The project will provide an interesting and innovative way for schools to work with students on key issues related to GCE and will support schools in relation to the Global Passport Stamp Scheme as follows:

Global Passport Stamp Six: Community Engagement: Our project supports the Global Passport stamp on Community Engagement by supporting links between schools and the wider community through engagement with the Dublin Arts and Human Rights festival. The aim is two-fold. Firstly  to raise awareness of the festival and partner organisations amongst  second level students and secondly to build links between the festival, students in Ireland and students from other countries. This will encourage schools to more fully and widely embed Global Citizenship Education in their activities.

Global Passport: Stamp One: Curriculum: Our project supports the Global Passport stamp on curriculum development by increasing awareness of how the importance of GCE to the school curriculum.  The work supports the Statements of Learning (junior or senior cycle/) in relation to the following areas: exploring links between human rights, equality and climate change; looking at creative means of communication for awareness raising; communicating critical and creative thinking; working with others for collaborative engagement and social activism; managing information; and building empathy and developing reflection and self-awareness.

This project is funded by Concern and Irish Aid WorldWise Global Schools