November 2019 saw CUDS lead an exciting creative project in response to the current climate crisis. An online call-out for contributors was met with great enthusiasm and energy, and over three weeks an impressive and dynamic variety of work was produced by some wonderful creative individuals.
The project culminated in two informal sharings in the Judith E. Wilson Studio. The programme opened with a moving dance piece set to an original spoken word accompaniment 'Blow My Mind', written by Matthias Munkey-Ediger and choreographed by Atlanta Hatch, Freya Ruparel, Georgia Marker and Jasmine Coomber. This was followed by a thought-provoking video piece created by university students Scarlett Croft and Betty Townley, which used a series of voice recordings asking 'What are you most afraid of losing in the climate catastrophe?' as accompaniment for visuals exploring over-consumption and waste.
Third year student Poppy Rowe then delivered an engaging and eye-opening talk on both the amazing opportunities for expression and the dangers of waste and exploitation in the fashion industry, before two members of the XR Rebel Hoopers wowed those in attendance with an improvised routine. Twirling their hoops under electric blue lighting, Bianca De Sanctis and Rachel Quillen delivered a powerful performance set to 'We Sink' by Chvrches and accompanied with footage of floods, the October rebellion and images from Gideon Mendel's 'Drowning World' series.*
The sharing closed with a real highlight: an eight-minute dance piece set to a simply outstanding original composition by second year student Aidan Tulloch. Choreographed and performed collaboratively by Atlanta Hatch, Freya Ruparel, Jasmine Coomber, Alice Birch, Georgia Marker, Sasha Abrahams, Hazel Nicholson and Jennifer Tang, incorporating elements of different dance genres and with stunning lighting by Emily Booth, this piece undoubtedly made a strong impact on both the audience and those performing. The perfect way to close the project, this truly collaborative creation epitomised the contributors' anxieties, fears and hopes for the future of our planet.
Special thanks must go to each and every collaborator for their wonderful and passionate contributions, as well as to the CUDS committee for their support and hard work in making this project possible! We hope that for all of those who were involved this offered an important opportunity to explore feelings about the world around us, an encouragement to consider more carefully the choices we make given their implications in this world, and a springboard for further action in tackling the crisis that we now face.
To find out more about, and get involved with, the current Extinction Rebellion movement, head over to the XR website now: https://rebellion.earth/
*Mendel's powerful images can be found on his website: http://gideonmendel.com/submerged-portraits/