|Standing Stone, Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides. Photo: Ruth Little|
Cape Farewell known for its seafaring expeditions to the Arctic to study climate change, with scientists and artists aboard, is taking a journey closer to home.
For four weeks starting July 15, a rotating crew of thirty-two artists and nine scientists will sail around Scotland's coastal islands to investigate the effects of climate change on the island cultures and ecologies. A recent report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation warns about the 'severe impact' rising sea levels are likely to have on the coastline of the UK, and the Outer and Inner Hebrides are the 'bellwethers' for the coast. Each week will have a theme: Gaelic language; island musical tradition and story-telling; marine and environmental science; local resources and the built environment.
Cape Farewell associate director Ruth Little comments:
'One of the aims of the project is to challenge the widespread assumption that climate change impacts are only relevant to coastal communities in the global south. The environmental, social and economic situation in Scotland's island communities resonates strongly with that of other island and coastal cultures worldwide... [We] will seek to develop new forms of communication for the human experience of climate change, and new forums for collaboration and bold imaginative response to the profound changes we all face.'
The islands have a wide range of sustainability projects ongoing, and Cape Farewell will use these as a starting point for a four-year plan of artist residencies to document, disseminate and bring together
islanders around the issues of sustainability.
The expedition blog can be followed on the Ashdenizen blogroll in our left-hand column.