Germany’s Transition Away From Coal Helped Jobs and Culture

industry

For years Germany’s transition from coal to sustainable energy has impacted communities. Many feared that jobs would be lost during this transition so plans were put in place to help workers and communities transition too. Throughout the Rhine valley coal plants have been closed down and their place new sustainable energy jobs have popped up alongside new places for arts and culture. The removal of coal power has brought a tourism boom amongst other successes.

The mines themselves have even become a cultural stage. A museum and gallery at Zollverein attracts over 250,000 visitors a year, and several other mines host music concerts, food and cultural festivals. In the nearby city of Bochum, an old industrial plant — now the site of the German Mining Museum — is surrounded with stately homes flanked by lush gardens. The change hasn’t gone unnoticed; the Ruhr was officially named Europe’s cultural capital in 2010.

The Ruhr also has become attractive for businesses to invest, say Switala. Zollverein, like many former mines, is now also home to several businesses. Artists, jewelry designers, choreographers, design firms and tourism companies are just a sampling of those who have made the trendy industrial space their home.

Read more.
Thanks to Delaney!

Architecture Should Be A Story

For architect Ole Scheeren, the people who live and work inside a building are as much a part of that building as concrete, steel and glass. He asks: Can architecture be about collaboration and storytelling instead of the isolation and hierarchy of a typical skyscraper? Visit five of Scheeren’s buildings — from a twisted tower in China to a floating cinema in the ocean in Thailand — and learn the stories behind them.

Indigenous Food and Cultural Protection

Food and ecosystem knowledge which has been passed down for centuries is constantly threatened by the modern mechanical market. To stymie this change in food (and knowledge) consumption there is a global effort to protect the sanity of food and related support systems.

The significance of sacred foods. Many indigenous communities have certain foods—including corn, taro, and wild rice—that are considered sacred and have profound teachings and practices associated with them. One of the most significant ways that indigenous peoples have demonstrated a respectful relationship to their sacred foods is through sustainable land and water practices. Because these totem foods are so highly regarded, it is considered a tragedy and a violation of fundamental rights that they are now being threatened with life patenting and genetic modification.

Native foods and ecosystem health. Native foods are markers of diversity and are often keystone species for the health of an ecosystem and the health of a people. The body of knowledge that indigenous communities hold concerning the cultivation of foods and the conservation of habitats are viable and potentially essential alternatives to some of today’s more unsustainable practices. Without healthy seeds, lands, and waters, native foods will continue to be compromised, damaged, and made scarce, and the health of ecosystems, native communities, and all communities will suffer.

Protecting indigenous peoples. Respecting indigenous communities, their land, and their traditions is an invaluable resource in our efforts to combat climate change. Defending indigenous rights involves governments implementing policies that protect indigenous groups, corporations engaging in mutually beneficial relations with indigenous communities and the environment, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) creating funding models and grants that help to support and grow indigenous societies.

Read more at WorldWatch

A Fine Example of Culture Jamming

The Yes Men are at it again and this time with Greenpeace to show how efficient Shell is….at killing all of us.

They created a website called Arctic Ready that looks like Shell is looking for crowd sourced advertising content, and of course, people around the net have submitted some pretty great messages.

Shell

Here at Shell, we’re committed to online social media. After all, it’s the fuel that lubricates the engines of internet communication.

In June, thousands of you demonstrated this by explaining, online, how Arctic energy production will transform the world and possibly provide affordable fuel for several years.

Today, we want to take the Arctic Ready message offline, directly to the drivers who benefit from Shell’s performance fuels. That’s why we’re launching a new campaign (deadline this Thursday!), from which the best ads will be printed and posted in strategic locations worldwide. With your help, we at Shell can tell the world how pumped we are about Arctic energy, and take the Arctic Ready message to Arctic-enthused drivers everywhere.

So take a moment to add your own slogan to our beautiful new collection of images. The next place you see it might be your own rearview mirror.

Because tomorrow is yesterday, accelerated.

Let’s go.

Arctic Ready

UforChange: Culture for a Better World

UforChange is all about using art and culture to make the world a better place! They focus on St. Jamestown in Toronto and have had great success engaging their community through participating in art projects that make the neighbourhood more welcoming and a great place to be.

UFORCHANGE: Creative Culture,Better World from Mad Ruk Entertainment on Vimeo.

At the core of the program is a unique methodology: an exploration of arts and life skills that is both participant guided and founded in experiential learning. UforChange provides a six month, structured and intensive arts, culture and life skills program for youth, followed by another 9 months of participant selected projects, fully facilitated by staff and volunteers. Our methodology has demonstrated proven results for youth by helping them to make friends, build skills, find confidence, formulate and follow through on a plan for their future, all while developing a stronger sense of community, belonging and pride.