Climate Activists and Scholars Unite at BIFA Makerere University to Advocate for Artistry in Climate Conservation

Ivan Sajjabi

Last Saturday, BIFA Makerere University’s main campus hosted a significant event organized by passionate climate activists, scholars, and young artists from diverse backgrounds. Their primary aim was to urge the government to integrate artistry into climate conservation efforts.

Their belief lies in the power of visible, active, performed, and danced expressions to creatively draw attention to the urgent need for environmental conservation.

The central theme of the gathering revolved around the intersection of culture, heritage, and climate change.

Understanding that culture influences behavior, collaboration, and innovation, while climate dictates the prevailing atmosphere impacting morale and performance, this event aimed to underscore their combined significance in shaping successful climate action and well-being.

During the discussions, Numulwana Hilda Victoria, Miss Tourism Buganda and Sese Islands, emphasized the invaluable role of heritage in climate action.

She highlighted that heritage harbors essential knowledge about sustainable practices from the past, advocating for learning from traditional methods in resource management, agriculture, and construction to inspire eco-friendly approaches.

The conversation also delved into the integration of art and culture into climate activism.

Ayebare Denise, a prominent climate activist, underscored the importance of engaging artists and equipping them with scientific knowledge for a more engaging and meaningful approach towards climate change advocacy.

In a statement by Hon Twekambe Kabaruli, Secretary for Information and Publicity of the 34th NEC of UNSA, there was a commitment to addressing climate conservation issues.

The statement outlined plans to plant at least 500,000 trees within schools in Uganda, citing the frequent floods in Kampala and the destruction caused by the flooding of River Kafu to highlight the urgency of environmental conservation.

The event saw a convergence of young artists and cultural practitioners at the Makerere Art Gallery, uniting to shape a future where art and culture play a pivotal role in addressing climate change challenges. The day marked the launch of “The Great Imagining,” an initiative aimed at inspiring creatives to champion climate action towards sustainability.

Key takeaways highlighted the borderless nature of climate change and emphasized the role of art and culture in visualizing climate change problems. Moreover, it emphasized the need for artists to be active influencers and advocates, playing a crucial role in fostering public awareness and inspiring action.

This event, marking the commencement of activities for 2024 at Culture Declares Emergency Uganda, witnessed the collaboration of various climate activists, artists, and policymakers in discussions, letter-writing exercises, film screenings, and captivating performances, and art exhibition at the Makerere Art Gallery.

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