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It's time for action

Spanish culture and sport sign up to Climate Conference hosted in Madrid

Sunday 1 December 2019

The holding of the COP25 Climate Conference in Madrid has led to the concentration of many experts on the climate change of the planet in the city. Culture and sport are also joining in this Conference and, to that end, cultural and sports institutions attached to the Government of Spain have set in motion a series of activities which seek to draw attention from their fields to the state of the climate emergency through campaigns, debates, workshops, concerts and theatre works, among other activities.

Well-known faces from the world of culture and sport in Spain, united under the slogan "It's time for action" have selflessly collaborated in the creation of a video promoted by the Ministry of Culture and Sport that will be broadcast through the social media and those media outlets that wish to take part in this initiative with the aim of raising awareness in society and of the public authorities regarding the situation of climate emergency.

The video features the actor and producer Antonio Banderas, the film director Pedro Almodóvar, the graphic artist Suso33, the three-time badminton world champion Carolina Marín, the eight-time motorbike world champion Marc Márquez, the actresses Rossy de Palma and Belén Cuesta, the writer Ida Vitale, 2018 Cervantes Prize-winner, the pianist James Rhodes, the two-time Olympic canoeing champion Saúl Craviotto and the Betis footballer Joaquín Sánchez, among leading figures in the world of culture and sport.

Actions in museums, archives and National Library

This campaign is in addition to another one organised by national museums, State archives and the National Library of Spain, which will be broadcast through the social media. With images of some of their works, documents and photographs related to the natural environment, the aim is to "hook" a very diverse public, both within Spain and abroad, to talk about the climate emergency through art.

Participants in this campaign include the Prado National Museum, the Reina Sofía Museum, the National Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, the National Archaeological Museum, the Cerralbo Museum, the National Anthropology Museum, the National Sculpture Museum of Valladolid, the Altamira Museum, the El Greco Museum, the National Roman Art Museum and the Lázaro Galdiano Museum.

The Prado National Museum will also take part in an original initiative together with the WWF Spain, which will commence on Monday, 2 December, displaying art and its values at the service of raising the awareness of society to climate change. For its part, the National Library of Spain will spread content of its collections related to sustainability and environmental protection. Banners have also been put up advertising the COP25 on the front of the headquarters of the Ministry of Culture and Sport, as well as the Prado National Museum, the Reina Sofía Museum and the National Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum.

Radio 3 broadcasts for the planet

Radio Televisión Española [Spanish Radio-Television Corporation], through its youth channel Radio 3, also joins up to the fight for the cause of the Climate Conference, with a special programme that will be broadcast from a stage set up in the Green Zone of IFEMA - the pavilion given over to civil society at this global event. From this stage, Radio 3 will broadcast a special programme every day informing on the news as it breaks, affecting climate change and offering live performances by leading national artists who subscribe to this project.

Each day, from 6 to 7 pm, there will be performances by such groups and artists as Vetusta Morla, Carolina Durante, Manel, Izal, Amaral, Rocío Márquez, Manolo Garcia, Soleá Morente, Macaco and Jorge Pardo, among others, to show the cultural diversity that supports this station, from pop to flamenco, jazz and singer-songwriters, among other musical genres. The programme will be aired live and also streamed on the Radio 3 Extra platform each day of the Conference. You can check out the groups and artists that will take part in this special programme by clicking on this link.

Theatres, workshops and meetings

In the Mirlo Blanco Room at the Valle-Inclán Theatre in Madrid, you can see the play 'Lungs', a work by the British playwright Duncan Macmillan, which will run until 8 December. 'Lungs' portrays the drama of a couple that break up when thinking about the environmental impact of bringing a child into the world.

The Ministry of Culture and Sport, through the Institute for Cultural Heritage of Spain (Spanish acronym: IPCE) and ICOMOS Spain, together with the Ministry of Ecological Transition, has organised the meeting entitled 'Climate Change and Heritage', in which international specialists in climate and its relationship with the culture and heritage of ICOMOS will take part. Technical staff from both ministerial departments and institutes, as well as from the Spanish Association of Historical Heritage Restoration Companies (Spanish acronym: ARESPA) will discuss the needs and goals of this matter that require direct action to protect heritage effectively.

The meeting, coordinated by the Assistant Director-General of the IPCE and Fernando Vegas, a member of the Working Group for Climate Change and Heritage of ICOMOS, seeks to look for solutions, quantify problems and share experiences on the effects of materials, monuments and territories on climate change. Attendance is free, following prior registration and subject to available space, and it will be held at the headquarters of the IPCE (C/Pintor el Greco, 4, Madrid), on 11 December from 9 am to 2:30 pm. The programme and the registration form are available by clicking on this link.

Museums and Paris Agreement

Museums and other cultural institutions were explicitly recognised as key spaces to promote education and public actions at the most recent Conference of the Parties (COP) held in Katowice (Poland) in 2018. Museums constitute a channel for expression that can help citizens appreciate the challenges facing humanity and communicate the role that people can play in transforming the world. To achieve that, and on the occasion of the COP25 Conference in Madrid, ideas and experiences will be shared on how museums can contribute to education and action to tackle climate change at both a local and a global level.

To do that, the Ministry of Culture and Sport, through the National Museum of Decorative Arts, has organised the Museums and Paris Agreement Workshop. The contribution of museums to action against climate change and sustainability in a broad sense, are the subjects of this workshop, directed by Henry McGhie, a British member of the ICOM Working Group on Sustainability, and Fiona Cameron, from the Institute for Culture and Society of Western Sydney University, coordinated by Paloma Muñoz-Campos, from the National Museum of Decorative Arts. This workshop will be held on Wednesday, 11 December, from 4:30 to 7:30 pm at the National Museum of Decorative Arts (C/Montalbán, 12, Madrid).

The National Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum is also involved with the COP25 and, coinciding with the start of the Conference, will present, in collaboration with the non-profit foundation TBA21, the work Western Flag (Spindletop, Texas) 2017, by the Irish artist John Gerrard. This is a large piece with which John Gerrard sought to attract attention regarding the role of mankind in global warming. It will be displayed in the museum patio from 2 to 13 December.

The museum will also host the presentation of the report 'Ocean for Climate' on Tuesday, 3 December, an initiative by the organisation 'Because the Ocean'. The event will be attended by the Acting Minister for Culture and Sport, José Guirao, the promoters of the Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza report (Fundación TBA21), Prince Albert II of Monaco (Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation), the Minister for the Environment of Chile and President of the COP25, Carolina Schmidt, and the Acting Minister for Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera, as well as other participants at the Conference.

The museum will also hold a round table in the function room with the participation of John Gerrard, the artist Alexandra Daisy Ginsbergy, and the researcher José Luis de Vicente, presented by Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza (Tuesday, 10 December, at 7:30 pm) and will organise guided tours from 10 to 12 December, following a route based on art and the climate emergency (included in the entry price to visit the museum).

Action plan for sport with the environment

The Association for Spanish Sport has set in motion an action plan to undertake actions that foster environmental protection through sport. The project is known as Green Sport Flag and involves the participation of the Ministries of Culture and Sport, and for Ecological Transition. Actions are planned such as the start-up of an insignia for sporting events committed to nature, the study of the environmental footprint in sport, a symposium on water sports and the creation of a Sport and Environment Observatory.

Within this framework, the workshop 'Sport acts' will be held on 5 December, from 9:30 am to 2:30 pm at the National Archaeological Museum (C/ Serrano, 13, Madrid). The aim is to share knowledge among professionals, agents and companies in the world of sport, public institutions and civil society to channel sport towards sustainable development that is respectful of the environment.

Non official translation