On Saturday 25 September there was a free mini-festival at Oldham Library giving a world perspective on climate change and its impact on people.
Voices For Action – live and online – featured music, poetry, visual and digital arts, and discussion.
The event raised the profile with audiences and participants of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 26) which took place in Glasgow in November 2021.
The event was an opportunity for people often excluded from the climate change debate to be part of the international conversation on climate change and climate justice.
There were African sounds from singer Emmanuela Yogolelo, contemporary Sufi music from Sarah Yaseen, poetry from Rabia Begum with Lubna Ali and Fatimah Fagihassan, plus special social media art commissions from Murad Chowdhury and Emmanuela Yogolelo.
Communities from Oldham, Greater Manchester and Germany were part of the global campaign on climate change with videos and social media created with Oldham Lifelong Learning, Oldham’s Fatima Women’s Association and Arabischer Frauenbund from Bremen, Germany.
The event featured a discussion with Climate Emergency Manchester, Sai Murray of the Racial Justice Network and Climate Hub Hamburg.
The afternoon launched a compilation video of media produced by local communities which played for two weeks on public screens across four libraries – Oldham, Manchester, Bremen, and Hamburg.
There was even an opportunity to play the Climate Fresk group card game.
Running alongside the event were climate change and justice-inspired family-friendly workshops with Oldham Libraries and Crossing Footprints at branch libraries.
There was a FREE music and craft workshop at Chadderton Library, Oldham on Saturday 11 September with live music and workshop from leading musicians Michael Cretu (Romania) and Mina Salama (Egypt) of the internationally acclaimed Manchester International Roots Orchestra (MIRO) plus a dollmaking workshop with artist Gloria Saya.
Over at Northmoor Library, two Oldham-based Bangladeshi heritage artists led workshops. Storyteller Apu Chowdhury entranced families with the tale of The Monkey and the Greedy Crocodile whilst Oldham artist Rabia Begum invited families to be part of a poetry and art session. Families turned their poetry and songs into a colourful web of leaves on bookshelves using simple printing.
The shelves looked amazing.