Essay_ Curators_

Curator’s statement: Carlota Font Castelló

Carlota Font Castelló is Assistent Curator for RE_NATURE. In her curator’s statement, she adresses her personal thoughts on climate change, a problem inherited from past generations. Join her call to action: let’s make future generations inherit a solution, rather than a problem.

I cannot remember when I learned about climate change for the first time. As someone born just before the turn of the millennium, the climate crisis has always been the reality we lived with. An inherited problem whose consequences are only starting to show.

What I can remember, however, is when I realized that I – as an individual – could do nothing about it. Before I reached that conclusion, I tried my best: to eat vegetarian, then vegan, to buy recycled toilet paper, to not choose products with plastic packaging, to always carry a reusable water bottle with me, etc.

Such actions are not useless, but in the big scheme of things they are not enough. What difference would it make if I took the train to Berlin rather than a plane when recently Oliver Daemon (or rather his father) paid Jeff Bezos to go to space for a ten-minute recreational ride? Or if I stopped eating my mother’s recipes because they have fish in them. What difference would it make when the Dutch government confirmed in 2020 that they were going to fail at reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 49% in 2030, a goal which had been set in 1990, years before I was even born?

Such sentiments of despair and frustration when looking at environmental destruction are now known as eco-grief, and they can be overwhelming. If you have ever felt it, you are not alone. Lots of individuals around the world feel the same way.

It is time to accept that the answer to climate change cannot be found in individual action alone. Such misconception puts too much pressure on those who are struggling to pay rent, or who need to take the car to go to work, or who do not have the means to shop in bulk. Even more for racialized minorities, or those battling mental health issues.

The answer to climate change is in collective action. In asking for accountability where it is due. The biggest polluters in the world are not grandmas who have never learned to recycle, but multinationals and governments. What I hope the RE_NATURE festival inspires in its visitors is not guilt for not being ‘perfectly ecological’ nor sorrow in the face of our climate reality, but a deeper compromise to exercise our civil rights towards a viable future.

Vote. Boycott. Create alternatives. Let the art in RE_NATURE inspire you to pursue a cause. Become a voice for those who do not have one, for the non-humans who also inhabit this planet. Think about how you can make your descendants inherit a solution rather than a problem.