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Find out more about the Coping with COP series here.
The UN Climate Change Conference – COP26 takes place in Glasgow this coming November. It comes hot on the heels of the most recent and disturbing report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. With COP26 as the backdrop, join us this autumn for our #FirstWeds ‘Coping with COP: Reflections on the climate crisis, present and future’ series where we will be seeking wisdom and inspiration from youth, elders, and a wider cohort of community activists on the climate crisis, present and future.
Following on from our October #FirstWeds where we had the honour to hear from a panel of tremendous and inspiring youth voices, we are excited for the upcoming second session in our #FirstWeds Autumn series. For this session, ‘Where Does the Wisdom Lie? Elders on the Climate Crisis’ we are delighted to be in conversation with Shirley Alphonse, an Elder and Spiritual Advisor with the T’Sou-ke Nation located on the southern edge of Vancouver Island, B.C.
Decolonial voices on the critical and pressing questions of our time are increasingly difficult to ignore. Their very presence (an enduring one) calls out the dominant paradigm, one based on Western notions of our separation from ‘Earth’ and the promise of un-ending progress based on growth. Indeed, whether we admit it or not, we are increasingly aware of being within a system that is damaging the Earth and, at the same time, circumscribing our capacity to imagine our way into something different. Are we ourselves caught in feedback loops, trapped within a system that is finding ways around dissent and reproducing itself over and over?
Thinking about transitions to a ‘cleaner, greener future’, governments may propose solutions but many are based on the timespan of political terms or the interests of a single generation. Invariably balanced in favour of those who already enjoy wealth, security and status, these policies produce new problems for frontline communities and our wider ecosystems. There may be a shift away from fossil fuels to renewables but what is the price tag? If we pay attention we will find that it is increased mining and ‘sacrifice zones’ with frontline communities and ‘nature’ continuing to pay the cost, bear the burden.
None of this is easy, and certainly, the invitation to consider how ‘we’ (those of located in and privileged enough in the global North), ‘think’ about the critical and pressing questions of our time (including our own entanglements in and attachment to this very system) is a challenging one.
As a beginning, how might we reflect on the current crisis differently, and might that shift the response? For those interested in this proposition, please join us for our November #FirstWeds, part of our series on COP26 and the climate crisis where we will be joined by Shirley Alphonse, an Elder and Spiritual Advisor with the T’Sou-ke Nation. As an Elder in her community and a guide to the VIDEA Climate Justice team in their work, we have much to learn from Shirley about what it means to navigate failing systems at the frontline while tending the land. We also have much to learn about the damaging (and entrapping) capitalist, colonial system of which we are a part, and how we might better practice accountability to future generations of human and non-human beings.
For this November, #FirstWeds Shirley will be in conversation with Dr Eilish Dillon, Head of the Department of International Development, Maynooth University.
Join us for this unmissable conversation.
6 October, 7-8:30 PM: The Future is Now: Global Youth Voices on the Climate Crisis
WATCH THE RECORDING HERE
In October our youth panellists from Ireland and the Global South reflected and shared their perspectives on the present and the future, and their commitment and contribution to new forms of political activism. Our panellists also discussed their views of the COP26.
3 November, 7-8:00 PM: Where Does the Wisdom Lie? Elders on the Climate Crisis
WATCH THE RECORDING HERE
In November, we were in conversation with Indigenous Elder, reflecting on the cascading effects of the climate crises and biodiversity loss. What kind of paradigmatic shift is needed in response, and where does the wisdom for this lie?
1 December, 7-8:30 PM: Post-COP26: Community Activists on Where to Next
TUNE IN TO YOUTUBE LIVE
By December, COP26 will have concluded. Join our panel of community-based activists to discuss outcomes from COP and to explore how we can continue to work towards a social transformation that is grounded in justice and in responsibility for Earth and for each other.
We hope to see you there!
For any questions and to find out more, please contact Aga at firstname.lastname@example.org.
#FirstWeds events are organised in partnership with the Maynooth University Department of International Development and with the financial support of Concern Worldwide for which we are most grateful.
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