Using art to bring attention to climate change

Story by CBC Kids News • Published 2019-01-10 09:00

Youth from around the world participated in #Decarbonize #Decolonize project

As world leaders gathered in Poland last month to discuss climate change, a group of teens from around the world were having their own meeting — and it was a much more colourful one.

Eighteen youth from countries as diverse as the Philippines, Brazil, India, Cuba, Kenya and Canada met in Siemianowice, Poland, near the site of the UN climate change conference from Nov. 26 - Dec.8.

The teens brainstormed solutions to climate change and wrote their ideas down in an academic paper, which was presented at the conference.

They also made art and asked kids from around the world to submit their own pieces.

The power of youth

The theme for the project, which was called #Decarbonize #Decolonize, was to look at the impact of climate change, especially on Indigenous communities.

“Youth have a very powerful voice,” 17-year-old Raynne Penconek from Edmonton said on why he travelled to Poland to take part in the project.

“We should be included,” he said. “We should be listened to.”

Colourful computer-generated drawing shows crying woman with flowing hair holding a flower to her heart.

Edmonton’s Raynne Penconek made this piece, called Protect Mother Earth, on his iPad Pro as a response to climate change. (Submitted by Raynne Penconek)

Making art is one way for young people to reach a wide audience, said Penconek, who is an illustrator.

He contributed a piece he made on his iPad Pro called Protect Mother Earth, which shows Mother Earth holding her heart — in the form of a flower — and crying.

Penconek said he wanted people to relate to the Earth as a person, not just a planet to live on.

Check out the video at the top of the page to hear more from Penconek and see artworks that were submitted from around the world.

Group shot of a bunch of smiling kids in front of a building.

Eighteen teens from as far away as Canada, the Philippines, Brazil and Kenya met in Siemianowice, Poland in early December to discuss climate change solutions. (Submitted by Sarah Flynn)

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