Curator PowPowPower writes ....

"Owen and Julia’s ClimateKeys gig as part of Pow Pow Power’s month of environmental art and events was a great success! This was the first of two ClimateKeys concerts to be held in the exhibition space of V3, where the art helped frame the messages in the music, the talk and the conversation.

Owen live is a considered performer. He tells stories before each item, introducing in English the historic folk tales then sung in Welsh. His voice carries beautifully and the music transports: one audience member, an artist from the show, claiming ‘listening, she closed her eyes and saw the hills and sky of an imagined rural landscape’. His music and stories take us to a time and place where we feel close to nature.

Julia Marques, climate change dramatist, then gave her speech on ‘Space For Thought’. Inspired by her study under Professor Mike Hulme, Julia takes on the idea that there are many perspectives on climate change. As indicated in the title of the speech, she posits that we must create space to consider what climate change means to each of us.

The conversation then, in the space shared with the artwork, took on some big questions. The first was why climate change, talking about what to do about it, seems in practice to be reserved for the most privileged few? One theory was that in line with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs - a triangular model marking out the trophic stages of human needs - basic needs must be satisfied before something as intangible and complex as climate change might be considered. We determined that more diverse voices must be heard: appeals must be made by those already suffering, or most likely to suffer first from climate change, even if the behaviours that most need to be curbed belong to the high-flying elite.

A second memorable question was the idea of how we value a human life. Are all lives equal? Is a privileged life worth more than that of someone living in poverty? Is someone from a rich country worth more than someone from a poor country? Is a life lived today worth more than a life lived tomorrow? How we value life depends on our value system.

The final question was the idea of compromise. When taking action, how prepared should we be to compromise? On a personal level, should we be vegan or is okay to simply choose to cut down on meat? If we choose to be vegan does that mean we can continue to fly around the world? On a broader level, do we work within the existing frameworks of power, or do the principles of justice and equality inherent to the climate change cause mean we need to seek for new systems where GDP isn’t the primary way of assessing a human’s worth, or apparent wellbeing?

Conversation continued upstairs over drinks at the bar after a final musical item from Owen. Both he and Julia would be happy to perform a ClimateKeys again!"