A Greenpeace Event Highlights The Effects Of The Climate Crisis

The three-day People For Climate is a visual voyage through the impacts of climate change on people. Attendees will be able to take guided tours of a range of exhibits - first-person accounts delivered through installations and photographs
The Museum of Memories captures the stories of the climate crisis through various possessions and items
The Museum of Memories captures the stories of the climate crisis through various possessions and items Greenpeace

Climate change is a global emergency that crosses national borders. It's a problem that requires coordinated solutions at all levels. This impacts are visible across many spheres in the world, from the impact on certain foods to the unprecedented spell of dry winter weather and scarce snowfall in the Alpine mountains which are impacting canals in Venice. To raise awareness about the severe climate crisis and the need for a more sustainable future, Greenpeace India will host the People For Climate event from February 4 to 6, 2023, in Kamaraj Arangam in Chennai.

About The Event

People For Climate is more than simply an event; it's a forum for sharing and highlighting stories of resilience, hope, and the critical need for action in the face of rapidly changing climatic circumstances. Greenpeace India's Climate Campaigner Amruta SN, Campaign Manager Avinash Kumar Chanchal, and other notable personalities will contribute unique insights, making this event a critical focus point in the ongoing discussion about climate justice.

This transformative three-day event promises a stunning visual journey through the effects of climate change on communities across India. The event will include guided tours for attendees who will be able to view a variety of exhibits, the majority of which are first-person narratives told through installations and photography from India's most marginalised populations.

Museum of Memories, is a means to tell human impact stories of the climate crisis through 26 exhibits
Museum of Memories, is a means to tell human impact stories of the climate crisis through 26 exhibitsGreenpeace

A compelling photo exhibition, featuring the works of renowned photographer Palani Kumar and students from fishing communities, will showcase the intimate connection between communities and their changing environments. The images reveal stories of resilience and cultural richness shaped by the tides, humanizing the often-overlooked narratives of coastal dwellers.

An audio booth at the event will weave together sounds of the pandemic, exposing social and economic disparities exacerbated by climate change. Meanwhile, a ground-breaking VR film offers a first-person account of Badal Das, a local farmer and fisherman from Sundarbans, capturing the daily struggles faced by millions living in vulnerable regions.

On February 5, two roundtable discussions will focus on community voices and role of the state  and stakeholders in the climate crisis, and will see notable voices from across India. The sessions will be moderated by climate strategist Ruhie Kumar and environmental lawyer Vetri Selvan. The speakers include Shankar Halder (Mukti Foundation, Sundarbans), Sindhu Napoleon (Coastal Students Cultural Forum), and Dalit activist Ajay Kumar, Sunder Rajan (Poovulagin Nanbargal), IPCC author Harjit Singh, Benisha (Chennai Climate Action Group), Sandeep Minhas (Environics Trust, Himachal Pradesh), independent journalist Smitha TK, and Greenpeace India's Climate Campaigner Amruta SN.

On February 6, Indian rapper and social activist Arivu will perform with the Ambassa band in a free concert themed "Sounds Of Solidarity." Arivu, best known for his blockbuster Tamil song "Enjoy Enjaami," which has half a billion views on YouTube, will use his creativity to raise awareness about climate justice.

The Museum Of Memories

Greenpeace’s Museum Of Memories is an attempt at telling the human stories of climate change. It is a documentation of belongings, people, animals that were lost to the climate crisis, and whose memories should serve us as a reminder of the emergency we have at hand. The display of 26 exhibits of everyday articles that tell a powerful, true story of people’s struggle while facing the climate crisis. These memories remind us that we should demand accountability, from big polluters, governments, elected representatives, civil society and ourselves. "Through 26 exhibits, each narrating true stories of loss, resilience and hope in the wake of escalating extreme weather events, this museum attempts to bring to the fore stories from some of the most climate-vulnerable groups in our country today," said Amrutha SN, Climate Campaigner, Greenpeace. "Often when we talk about climate disasters or climate change we use numbers and figures and that is important to do. However it is also important to go beyond these numbers and make the issue personal. Climate change and its impacts is a very personal issue to all of us."

Metallic Farming Basket 
In 2006, Niranjan Kumar, from Jamui, Bihar, took on the responsibility of farming, handed down by his father. Reflecting on his earlier years, he recalls, "Initially, when we needed wells, we would manually dig 10-feet wells in our fields, constructing them ourselves. However, over time, environmental changes, increased heat, and reduced rainfall caused a decline in the water levels in our fields." Presently, Niranjan emphasises that despite digging 300-feet borewells, the water yield remains insufficient. He anticipates a looming crisis in agriculture due to the ongoing disruptions in weather patterns, escalating temperatures, and fears that farmers might be compelled to resort to drastic measures such as suicide. Niranjan notes the stark contrast in the farming tools used since 2006, now considered obsolete. He describes them as traditional but acknowledges their inadequacy in the face of current challenges. Today, he is relinquishing these tools, once valued, and is offering them for others to use.

Raj’s School Bag

In the aftermath of the destructive Cyclone Amphan which struck the coastal regions of the Sundarbans in 2020—soon after Cyclone Bulbul—widespread devastation unfolded. Countless homes were on the brink of collapse, and household belongings were mercilessly swept away by the cyclone's fury. This poignant story revolves around Raj Gaazi, a young school student from Raidighi in the Sunderbans, who endured the brunt of the super cyclone. His cherished possessions, including books, pencils, an umbrella, and his beloved school bag, bore the scars of the calamity. The Gaazi family, hailing from an economically marginalised background, faced the harsh reality of losing essential household items, including Raj's favourite school bag, books, and umbrella.

The dolls are a poignant reminder of impacts of climate change
The dolls are a poignant reminder of impacts of climate changeGreenpeace

Rakiva’s Dolls

Rakiva, the two-year-old daughter of Silvi Alam, resident of Padham village in Munger district, Bihar, passed away due to a heat stroke while undergoing treatment. Rakiva's mother, Zeenat, said that Rakiva was suffering from high fever and vomiting for two days. The girl was admitted to the paediatrician's clinic located in Badi Bazaar. The treatment seemed to provide Ravika some relief and she was sent back home. However, after returning home, Rakiva’s condition deteriorated and she was referred to Sadar Hospital for treatment, where she passed away within two hours.  “Ravika was the only daughter in my family and we lost her during the heatwave. We loved Rakiva a lot. I miss her very much. She used to play with her dolls all day long, which I am giving you today.”

The Information

What: People For Climate

Where: Kamaraj Arangam, Anna Salai, Teynampet, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600006

More details here.

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