African artists display their work at EUMETSAT
54 talented artists from each of Africa’s 54 nations have created pieces of art based on their own personal feelings of how they see the threat of climate change in their countries for the exhibition “Lumières d’Afriques” (Africa’s Leading Lights).
Since 22 March, EUMETSAT has been hosting the exhibition which includes photographs, paintings, performances & sculptures and will continue to do so until 6 May at its headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany.
EUMETSAT and Africa have a long association that stretches back more than 20 years. The African continent is particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change and changes in precipitation systems have a negative effect on agriculture, food security and water reserves.
Q: Do you know why Africa is more vulnerable to the effects of climate change?
Increases in sea level combined with storm tides risk doing damage to coastal areas and leading to major population displacement. One of the principle roles of EUMETSAT is to provide satellite data to African countries, which is made available to African data users in real time and through regular training sessions that enable users to get the best use out of the data provided.
The Lumières d’Afriques was created by African Artists for Development (AAD) and was chosen to highlight the development of Africa and illustrate the importance of access to energy.
The idea was introduced as a prelude to the COP 21 Climate Conference (also known as the 2015 Paris Climate Conference) which aims to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, with the aim of keeping global warming below 2°C.
Q: Do you know any other large climate conferences?
Africa is made up of 1.2 billion inhabitants, yet it only consumes 3% of the electricity produced globally today. More than 600 million Africans live without electricity. Access to energy, particularly to electricity, plays a crucial role in the economic development and health infrastructure of a country.
AAD believe that every person should be able to have access to energy from now on as a basic human right, otherwise it is difficult if not impossible to learn, to realise plans or to develop in any way without electricity.
Q: Why do you think access to technology is important for the development of Africa?
We need energy to produce electricity and we have access to both renewable and non-renewable energies. Petrol, carbon or natural gas are non-renewable energies (also called fossil energies). There are however limited quantities of them on the planet and we use them a lot for domestic and urban lighting, to make our cars work, for our mobile phones etc.
One day, their supply will be exhausted, plus, fossil energies pollute the planet and contribute to global warming. One way to tackle global warming is to take advantage of renewable energies.
Since the start, African Artists for Development has tried to meet the United Nations Millennium Development Goals – now the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Lumières d’Afriques is a strong initiative, driven by the belief that African development and climate protection can fit together harmoniously, and that contemporary art can “add a bit of soul” to the continent’s growth.
There’s still one month to go before the exhibition leaves us – it’s definitely worth seeing for yourself! But don’t just take our word for it, here’s a small selection of the fabulous art on display!
1) Morocco, 2) Algeria, 3) Tunisia, 4) Libya, 5) Egypt, 6) Mauritania, 7) Mali, 8) Burkina Faso, 9) Niger, 10) Chad, 11) Sudan, 12) Eritrea, 13) Djibouti, 14) Central African Republic (CAR), 15) South Sudan, 16) Ethiopia, 17) Somalia, 18) Uganda, 19) Kenya, 20) Rwanda, 21) Seychelles, 22) Burundi, 23) Tanzania, 24) Comoros, 25) Zambia, 26) Malawi, 27) Mauritius, 28) Madagascar, 29) Zimbabwe, 30) Botswana, 31) Mozambique, 32) Swaziland, 33) Lesotho, 34) South Africa, 35) Namibia, 36) Angola, 37) Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), 38) Republic of the Congo, 39) Gabon, 40) Equatorial Guinea, 41) Sao Tome and Principe, 42) Cameroon, 43) Nigeria, 44) Benin, 45) Togo, 46) Ghana, 47) Ivory Coast, 48) Liberia, 49) Sierra Leone, 50) Guinea, 51) Guinea-Bissau, 52) Gambia, 53) Senegal, 54) Cape Verde