Safe Planet was the United Nations Campaign for Responsibility on Hazardous Chemicals and Wastes is the UNEP and Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)-led multimedia campaign for ensuring the safety of the environment and human health against toxic chemicals and wastes.
Introduced to Safe Planet by our colleague Jan-Gustav Strandenaes, Haring Woods was invited to be one of the Friends of Safe Planet and we contributed to the creative and strategic development and the arts and cultural elements of this ambitious campaign. We co-curated ‘What Will Be’ a major arts led initiative for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change COP16 in Cancun Mexico, November/December 2009.
The Safe Planet campaign gained partners and champions around the world, rapidly propelling the campaign issues into mainstream media, fusing the energy and commitment of international leaders in arts, culture, sports, science, education, business, faith and politics to motivate governments, industry, communities and individuals to respond to the urgent need for action in our interdependent world.
The visual and performing arts for a Safe Planet at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change COP16, Cancun, Mexico 29 November – 10 December 2011
WHAT WILL BE was conceived as a statement, a question and a challenge. The ongoing silent destruction of our earth, our seas and all life forms is not always visible on the surface. Deadly chemicals in our bodies, our food, and our landscape are difficult images to illustrate. It is traditionally the work of the artist to bring to reality, that which is unreal. We work in the realm of the unconscious, the invisible, the other.
Through the arts, we challenge our perceptions of hazardous chemicals and wastes and stimulate new thinking about how each of us must take responsibility for the safety of the environment and human health.
Co-curators: Eileen Haring Woods and Barbara Benish, artist, director of ArtMill, Czech Republic
Catalogue Design, Editing, Introduction: Eileen Haring Woods
Preface by Dr Achim Steiner, UN Under Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director
The Art of Stewardship essay by Eleanor Heartney, author Art and Today
Participating artists: Chris Jordan, Gideon Mendel, Jason de Caires Taylor, Anila Quayyum Agha, Gilberto Esparaza, Barbara Benish, Marcela Armas
Venues: Universidad Tecnologica de Cancun and COP16 Cancun Messe (exhibition hall)