Call for change

Art and sustainability collide as the winner of #CreateCOP26 is announced
By Bailey Slater | Art | 4 November 2021

Camila Jaber Cenote, ‘I Am Cenote’

This article is part of Eco Watch

As world leaders and key political figures alike gather in Glasgow for COP26, the United Nations’ Climate Change Conference, the fashion industry is currently plotting its own green future. Our industry is responsible for producing 10 percent of global carbon emissions, and nearly 20 percent of the world’s wastewater alone, so Art Partner believe it’s time to sort this the only way we know how: by making things.

Teaming up with UNESCO’s Regional Bureau for Sciences in Latin America and the Caribbean for an open call of art that engages themes of climate change and sustainability, #CreateCOP26 is a competition-cum-virtual exhibition that seeks to mobilise the artists of today on the perilous future of the planet. Because, in case you’ve been living under a rock for the last year, we’re currently nearing an irreversible environmental catastrophe. 

The project received hundreds of submissions, and the likes of Lidia Brito, UNESCO’s Regional Bureau Director, American photographer and filmmaker Tyler Mitchell, artist Han Feng and Matt Williams, a curator at Camden Art Centre, were invited to select the exhibition’s featured artists from a roster of over 50 countries and six countries, all with their own unique environmental causes.

Mexican artist Camila Jober ended up taking home first place for her subterranean ode to the ocean in I Am Cenote. The work explored the Mexican artist’s life as a national record-holding freediver, and called upon the tourism industry to acknowledge their part in harming the ocean’s many freshwater ecosystems. Following close behind was sustainable designer Hikima Mahamuda, who snagged second place for her Pure Water Raincoat. Mahumuda’s creation was comprised solely of packaged water bags, a major pollutant in her native Ghana, which were cut, spliced, ironed and eventually sewed into an alternative and potentially far more attractive glimpse into the future of disposable materials.

Find out more about the competition’s other winners and their environmental missions at #CreateCOP26’s virtual exhibition


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