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Thank you 2023 and Welcoming 2024

We've entered a new year, and we wish it to be one of peace and good health for all life.


As we enter our fifth anniversary year, we want to share a round-up of 2023 and look to the future. We began the theatrical development of Letters to the Earth for the stage; developed new educational programmes; went international with our translated workshop toolkit; and ran events at multiple festivals and organisations.


And we continue to receive and amplify your Letters.


Thank you for being part of our story. Thank you for speaking up for the Earth.


 




2023 was the hottest year on record. 21 US species went extinct. Governments failed to meet their climate targets and the COP28 climate conference was controversially hosted by a petrostate. But there is hope too: world governments agreed to call on countries to reduce fossil fuels and reach net zero by 2050. Communities world-wide are taking action to protect and restore nature.


Our planet needs everyone everywhere to be a change-maker. We help people along the way by creating spaces for connection, creativity and courage.

 

In 2023 we ran letter writing workshops with Force of Nature, at the Natural History Museum, Medicine Festival, the Norfolk Youth Summit, Birmingham Rep Theatre and the Devon Transformed conference. At the Southbank Centre's 'Planet Summer' we engaged secondary school students in letter writing and amplified their voices in a 'Cultural Assembly' in the Clore Ballroom that we curated with Culture Declares Emergency that invited radical imagination to explore the future we want to create.


At the Primal Gathering we co-created a closing ceremony with storyteller Samantha Rose where people wrote their Letters to the Earth on seeded paper which they then planted in the soil: a message of love and gratitude to nature. On Earth Day we held a creative action outside UK parliament where people wrote and sent letters from species they love to the UK Environment Minister.


Co-Founder Kay Michael represented the campaign at the Financial Times Climate Capital and Net Zero Festival, where she spoke about the necessity of building our relationship with nature as companies deepen their commitments to a just transition.


'Dear Mr Walnut Tree' from our book was read by actress Vivian Oparah at Letters Live in the Royal Albert Hall, and our video of the late Vivienne Westwood's Letter was screened at the British Fashion Awards.


To close the year our Climate Justice Lead Syed Jazib Ali represented us at the climate conference in Dubai as a delegate with Julie's Bicycle, calling for Culture at the Heart of Climate Action and handing out your Letters.


 "For me, COP28 was more than a conference; it was a convergence of culture, activism, and policy. It was a testament to the diverse yet unified nature of our fight against climate change."



 


Tim Hibberd, Rudzani Moleya, Adriana Salazar, Alex Maxwell and Naomi Wirthner in our scratch performance at the Roundhouse Theatre, March 2023


Letters to the Earth for the stage


After a period of research and development at the Roundhouse theatre in London with performers and musicians we're now developing a first draft of a play text, thanks to funding from the Gulbenkian Foundation.


Our theatrical story will give voice to the many expressions - human and non human - we've heard in your Letters in response to this time of planetary crisis and change. It will explore how we can bring about a future that centres the wellbeing of all life. And excitingly, our performance text will enable future groups to add their own voices and stories from wherever they are in the world - so that it stays relevant and specific to people and place.


We've started a collaborative writing process and look forward to sharing updates and receiving your feedback in the coming months!


 



New Primary School Resources 


Thanks to the South Hams Climate Engagement Fund and in collaboration with the Devon Wildlife Trust, we developed a new Letters to the Earth Assembly for children to deliver to their schools, as well as Classroom Activities to support them in their emotional, creative and practical responses to the climate and nature crisis.


1000 children took part in our pilot programme across 6 schools in Devon, and we published books of each school's Letters for them and the children to keep. 


Schools can freely use our education resources via the link below and if you'd like to partner with us in the creation of your own unique book, write to us at education@letterstotheearth.com.



 

The year ahead...


In April we will be celebrating the 5th anniversary of our campaign. 


Join us in this moment by bringing people together and collectively speaking up for the Earth. Get organising for April now!


Use our workshop resource below to organise a letter writing event in your home, workplace, community or organisation (available in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian and Arabic). Letters can be used for local campaigning wherever you are, they can spark new ideas for action, and you can submit them to us so we can make sure they are seen and heard where they need to be.


Get in touch if you'd like to book one of our trained facilitators to run a workshop at community@letterstotheearth.com.


We're also excited to share the following from our friends and partners: 

Sign up to run climate cafes with the support of Force of Nature (where you'll find our Letter writing activity too!)

Listen to the nightingales sing with the Nest Collective.



 



 

Thank you, and a Happy New Year to you all.


 

Call me World


I am land.

I am happy for you to live on me.

Till and plough. Graze your cattle.

Build your homes upon me.

I will feed, nourish, even bury you.

But I do not belong to you.

I have no name, flag or anthem.

Call me World.

 

- Roger McGough

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