PRESS RELEASE - 12th APRIL 2019
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Twitter: twitter.com/CultureDeclares; #LetterstotheEarth #CultureDeclaresEmergency
Highlights video of Alex Lawther:
Highlights video of ‘End of the F**cking World’ star Alex Lawther rehearsing his recording for Letters to the Earth, written by son of award-winning playwright Simon Stephens, addressing his father:
1pm Friday: Letters To The Earth teams up with Youth Strike 4 Climate at Oxford Circus
The Letters To The Earth day of action kicks off in 52 venues around the world this Friday 12 April - showcasing the more than 1000 letters written by the public, writers and celebrities in response to the Climate and Ecological Emergency
At 1pm tomorrow Oxford Circus, Letters to the Earth will team up with Youth Strike 4 Climate, for a specially curated performance of some of the letters
Letters To The Earth is the first project of the newly launched Culture Declares Emergency, which brings the arts and cultural community together for an appropriate response to the climate emergency
Letters received include submissions from artist and peace activist Yoko Ono, American author Rebecca Solnit, award-winning poet Kate Tempest, British playwrights April De Angelis, Steve Waters and Nick Drake amongst others
As thousands of children and young people take part in this month’s Youth Strike 4 Climate in London, the Letters To The Earth team will join them at the march’s conclusion for a special performance of a selection of over 1,000 letters written by celebrities, writers and members of the general public in response to the Climate and Ecological Emergency.
The event will take place at 1pm at Oxford Circus, with letters being performed by members of Youth Strike 4 Climate, followed by interviews with them and the team behind Letters To The Earth.
Cyrus Jarvis, Youth Strike 4 Climate activist says ‘I think one of the most important things when fighting for change is creativity and becoming the people who create culture rather than consume it. It plays a huge part in changing the tide and has a very powerful impact.’
Kay Michael, one of the Letters to the Earth organisers and director, said, “Ours is a cultural response to the Climate and Ecological emergency that we invite others to be a part of. Culture Declares Emergency exists to inspire and inform with urgency and vision the need to rise to this momentous moment in history. We have seen the campaign grow exponentially in only one week since its launch, and we’ve been heartened by the public’s response.”
The Letters To The Earth text being presented at the Youth Strike is an excerpt of a longer 20 minute piece that will be released to the public on Monday 15 April for performance anywhere in the world for 2 weeks, coinciding with the School Strike For Climate and Extinction Rebellion’s International Rebellion. It includes many of the voices from the hundreds of submissions received. The public are invited to take part in readings of Letters To The Earth during the Rebellion in London from Monday 15 April.
Notable submissions include letters from artist and peace activist Yoko Ono, American author and leading feminist thinker Rebecca Solnit, Jackie Morris, writer and illustrator of The Lost Words, award-winning poet Kate Tempest, Director of Julie’s Bicycle Alison Tickell, writers Jay Griffiths, Jo Baker and Rob Cowen, TV Presenter and Vicar of Firle Peter Owen-Jones, award-winning writer, journalist and LGBT activist Matthew Todd and playwrights April De Angelis, Steve Waters, Nick Drake and Nina Segal.
Following the launch of Letters to the Earth on Friday 12 April, 52 arts venues [1 - full list below], theatres and community spaces across the world, from Zambia to Canada, from Latvia to New Zealand, will host readings of these Letters to the Earth, to coincide with the Global Youth Strike for Climate and as part of the lead up to Extinction Rebellion’s International Rebellion which begins Monday 15 April. Letters to the Earth is the first project of the newly launched Culture Declares Emergency, which brings the arts and cultural community together for an appropriate response to the climate emergency.
On Friday 12 April venues will also be hosting post-show conversations and activities to generate a discussion that can drive further action. Theatre 503 are hosting a conversation with environmental activists and climate scientists; young actors from Young Everyman Playhouse company will be performing and running an event at the Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse; and National Theatre Wales will be inviting their local Welsh community to write responses together on the day.
14 April – Earth March: the Last Leg – Hyde Park, London. Members of Extinction Rebellion are walking from as far away as Land’s End to join International Rebellion UK - Shut Down London! which begins on 15th April. They’ve braved hard weather and hard roads to join us. Let’s give them the welcome they deserve by joining in the last leg of the journey, and coming together in Hyde Park for a celebration on the eve of our Rebellion.
15 April – International Rebellion – Global. Extinction Rebellion activists in the UK and around the world are calling for a full-scale international rebellion: to demand decisive action on the climate and ecological collapse from governments around the world. Come to stay and book time off work.
This will be a full-scale festival of collective action and creative resistance, with people’s assemblies, art actions, stage performances, talks, workshops, food and family spaces.
Actor and writer Dame Emma Thompson: video invitation to rebelion “It is time to stand up and Save Our Home. On Monday 15 April of this year, the International Rebellion will begin … It’s gonna be a lot of fun, but be prepared to stay. Because now’s the time to save the planet, as we all know there is no planet B. Be there.”
Notes for Editors:
 The 52 Venues hosting presentations of Letters To The Earth throughout the day on Friday 12 April are:
Aberdeen Performing Arts
Angora Poets, Paris
Arcola Theatre, London
Arts Admin, London
As It Is Theatre Company
Ashburton Arts Centre
Auburn University, Alabama USA
Baltic Climate Chain, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia
Battersea Arts Centre, London
Bunker Theatre, London
Canada, via Zoom, hosted by Pegi Eyers in Otonabee Ontario
Centre for Alternative Technology, Wales
Centre for Contemporary Art and The Natural World, Dartington
Freedom Theatre, Palestine
Friends Meeting House, Canterbury
Fruits and Roots, Johannesburg, South Africa
The Harlow, Hallowell, Maine USA
Huddersfield Ukrainian Club
Kanyama compound, Mumbwa road, Zambia
Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse
Lucit, Pretoria, South Africa
Lyric Hammersmith Theatre, London
Metal Culture, Liverpool
Metal, South End
Museum of Liverpool
National Theatre Wales
North Wall, Oxford
Northwich Town Centre
ONCA Gallery, Brighton
Paddington Conservative Club, London
Pleasance Theatre London
Queen's Gardens, Nelson, New Zealand
Royal Court Theatre, London
Royal Exchange and Take Back Theatre, Manchester
Shakespeare's Globe, London
Shop Front Margate
St Augustines Parish Centre, Darlington
The Blue House, Mullumbimby, Australia
The Gate Theatre, London
The George Inn, Newnham
The Space, Isle of Dogs, London
Theatr Clwyd, Mold
Trowbridge Town Hall
Unit Four: The Cornucopia Room, Hawick Scottish Borders
University of St Andrews
UpStage (online platform)
Walcot Chapel, Bath
Young Vic Theatre, London
 About ‘Letters to the Earth’
We are facing an unprecedented global emergency, the planet is in crisis and we are in the midst of a mass extinction event. Scientists believe we have entered a period of abrupt climate breakdown.Carbon emissions and temperatures keep rising; ecological collapse has begun.On this course we are likely to see abrupt and irreversible devastation. The time for denial is over – we know the truth about climate change. It is time to act.
Letters to the Earth urged people to write a letter of response to this crisis. These could be a letter to or from the Earth, future or past generations, those who hold positions of power and influence, other species. The idea was open to interpretation: it could come from a personal place, be dramatic in form, be a call to action. The invitation was open to all - to think beyond the human narrative and to bear witness to the scale and horror of this crisis. It’s an opportunity to ask how this existential threat affects the way we wish to live our lives and the action we take.
All submitted letters will be released for presentation on one day of joint action on Friday 12th April across theatres, arts venues and community spaces. Some venues are opening their doors free of charge to the public, others are live-streaming. High profile readers alongside young people and local communities are involved in the presentation of these letters. Some venues are holding open conversation as part of the day's activity to bring people together in the face of this crisis.
The pieces will then be made rights free and available for anyone to download and present anywhere in the world from 15th – 28th April, coinciding with the International Extinction Rebellion and School Strike For Climate. These pieces could be taken up to be presented and performed globally, when hundreds of thousands of people will be taking to the streets worldwide to demand that governments tell the truth about climate collapse and act accordingly.
 About Culture Declares Emergency
Culture Declares Emergency, created by a group of concerned individuals and institutions from the arts and culture sector, launched 3rd April, with more than 190 leading UK arts and culture institutions and individuals having today declared a Climate and Ecological Emergency. The first wave of Declarers include some of London’s best known arts and cultural venues including The Royal Court, The Lyric Hammersmith, The Gate Theatre and Battersea Arts Centre as well as actor Tamaryn Payne from Hollyoaks and Peter Kosminsky, director of Wolf Hall and Secret State.
 About Extinction Rebellion
Time has almost entirely run out to address the ecological crisis which is upon us, including the 6th mass species extinction and abrupt, runaway climate change. Societal collapse and mass death are seen as inevitable by scientists and other credible voices, with human extinction also a possibility, if rapid action is not taken.
Extinction Rebellion believes it is a citizen’s duty to rebel, using peaceful civil disobedience, when faced with criminal inactivity by its Government.
Extinction Rebellion’s topline demands:
The Government must admit the truth about the ecological emergency, reverse all policies inconsistent with addressing climate change, and work alongside the media to communicate with citizens
The Government must enact legally binding policy measures to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2025 and to reduce consumption levels
A national Citizen’s Assembly must be created, to oversee the changes, as part of creating a democracy fit for purpose.
Declaration of Rebellion: https://rebellion.earth/declaration/
The Extinction Rebellion Climate Factsheet for Rebels
Get involved in Extinction Rebellion’s other events
Find your local group: https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=11jUqqjTHMThksd4KbvGGzb3I3Cr3PkBl&usp=sharing
Check out the International XR website, with links to the French, German, Italian and UK websites
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