Creative competition launched to highlight climate change impact

A CREATIVE competition has been launched as part of an art project for people living and working in Oldham to campaign about climate change.

Crossing Footprints for Oldham Libraries in partnership with Community Arts North West has launched the Climate Connections Words and Pictures Competition.

People aged 10+ are invited to take photos, make a video, write a poem, or create a slideshow on the impact of climate change on the planet.

Send in your entry, along with some information to describe the issues that matter to you and the inspiration to make change, by the deadline of midnight on Sunday, May 9, 2021.

Entrants are in with the chance of winning the first prize of £50, runners-up prizes as well as being part of a digital exhibition with Oldham’s libraries.

Winners will be announced on Wednesday, May 19 at a special online event.

For more details on how to enter, visit: crossingfootprints.com/climate-connections

Climate change is happening across the globe. As well as melting ice, rising sea levels, storms, droughts, flooding, and the likelihood of up to 1 million species dying out, climate change will force the mass migration of people.

The organisers believe the competition is particularly relevant to Oldham as scientists have asked whether the wildfires on Saddleworth moors – the 2018 fires were described as the worst in living memory – were caused by climate change.

Increasing droughts making drier moorland more susceptible to fires are expected in years going forwards, which means more fires on Saddleworth and Marsden are much more likely and have a greater intensity.

A moorland fire at Dovestone, Saddleworth in April (Pic: GMFRS)

Vicky Varley, Senior Library Officer, Oldham Libraries said: “Besides well-known activists like the teenager Greta Thunberg, the environmental movement needs different kinds of people to become active and vocal campaigners on the issue.

“The project wants to reach people and communities in Oldham who aren’t currently involved in the climate movement.”

Competition judge Alex Randall commented: “In many countries, the impacts of climate change have the potential to change where people can live.

“It could potentially mean that many places become much harder to live in due to droughts, flooding, or more frequent storms.

“Some of the changes can be prevented. People who want to do something to help can do many things, but one of the most important is to start to understand what climate change means and the impact it will have on people.”

Project director and artist Kooj Chuhan added: “Most people (76 per cent) are now either fairly concerned or very concerned about climate change.

“The time to add pressure is now: it means more voices speaking up, especially from communities and areas less known for protesting, which includes Oldham.

“This project can make the voices of local people heard. Governments and corporations constantly track the internet, and growing visibility of people’s protest through words, pictures, and video will have an impact as well as creating people’s sense of being able to do something positive together.”

This November the UN Climate Change (COP26) conference will meet in Glasgow with representatives from over the world making global agreements to prevent further impacts of climate change.

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