Earth Day 50: Like COVID-19, Climate Change Hits Black Communities Different

Earth Day 50: Like COVID-19, Climate Change Hits Black Communities Different

Climate Change Activists Using Art and Technology to Connect Communities in Coronavirus Pandemic.

For several years’ artist, environmental activist, and creator of Storytelling with Saris, Monica Jahan Bose, has used art and experiential workshops to draw attention to the damning impact climate change is having on the environment with a particular focus on its greater devastation to communities of color across the globe.

Wrapture in Anacostia Washington, D.C. – Smithsonian Folklife

Her latest project, in partnership with video journalist Robin Bell, WARMING WATERS, is a public art project that combines communities in Washington D.C. and Katakhali Village in Bangladesh to create climate-themed saris and video projections celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day in Georgetown, Washington D.C.

“Through WARMING WATERS, Robin Bell and I highlight the climate crisis and the warming and rising waters with an installation of 22 blue and white saris and projections of the community coming together to build this project. Sitting in isolation on #EarthDay50 I am aware that both
climate change and COVID-19 more negatively impact people of color and those in lower-income communities. In the midst of these challenges, art is especially important to give us hope, empowerment, and healing.” – Monica Jahan Bose.

Birthed from Bose’s ongoing seven-year-old-project Storytelling with Saris, these massive colorful cotton handloom saris have been covered with customized woodblock printing, hand-painted images, and writings about climate change by participants residing throughout the District of Columbia. Bose has held over 20 workshops with nearly 300 residents including low-income residents, senior citizens, and people of color, as they tend to have less information about the impact of climate change and less access to the arts.

Monica Jahan Bose and Robin Bell

Now more than ever, people are turning to the arts, culture, and entertainment for social, emotional, and educational purposes during this isolation. “We will not let isolation prevent us from creating art that builds community and tackles the climate crisis. When the pandemic is over, we have much work to do, and the climate crisis needs to be addressed. This work directly speaks to challenges ahead.”– Robin Bell

In lieu of the public outdoor installation, Bose and Bell will use technology to amplify their work and mission beyond the nation’s capital. A Livestream showcase will be held on April 22, 2020 recognizing Earth Day 50. This project is supported by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Public Art Building Communities Grant Program, along with community and media partners Mayor’s Office of Asian & Pacific Islander Affairs, WPFW 89.3FM and We Act Radio.

“As the District’s arts agency, the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities is proud to support WARMING WATERS, as it directly engages DC residents in creating the art project along with the people of Bangladesh,” said Dr. Heran Sereke-Brhan, Acting Director for the Commission on the Arts and Humanities. “Through the arts, this project connects communities on different continents to learn about climate change and become empowered.”

Join the #EarthDay50 conversation!

April 22, 2020 12 pm – 1 pm – Facebook Live from the studios of Monica
Jahan Bose and Robin Bell.

Event Link

• Installation showcase, videos, and images of the workshops plus Video
Messages from Heran Sereke Brhan, Executive Director, DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, Ben De Guzman, Director, DC Mayor’s Office On Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs, Elizabeth Brandt, DC Field Consultant, Mom’s Clean Air Force, and A.Tianna Scozzaro, Director, Gender Equity & Environment, Sierra Club.

• July 22-25, 2020 – C&O Canal wall in Georgetown – Open All Day with
Projections from 8 pm – 10 pm | 1000 Potomac St, NW, Washington, DC.

(Media Inquiries) Public Relations: Kelly Davidson, [email protected], 301.300.4011
Artist websites:
Social Media: Instagram: @storywithsari @mjbose @bellvisuals #WarmingWaters
Twitter: @storywithsari @monicajahan @bellvisuals

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