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Bristol's youth respond to the climate crisis in latest We The Curious exhibition

The latest exhibition at We The Curious is exploring Bristol’s climate crisis through the eyes of its young people. Their primary message? This can change.

By Sarah Dalton, SciTech Editor

The latest exhibition at We The Curious is exploring Bristol’s climate crisis through the eyes of its young people. Their primary message? This can change.

‘This Can Change’, which opened at We The Curious on 8 December, features 130 images submitted by young people across Bristol in response to the climate crisis. The project, launched just before Glasgow's COP26 event, is the result of a photography callout asking young people aged 11-18 to submit their photography on the theme ‘this can change’.

Submissions were received from schools across the city, including Ashton Park School, Bristol Brunel Academy, North Bristol Post-16 College and St Mary Redcliffe School. The final pieces were then collated into a series of prints and digital projection, showcased in 'The Box' gallery space.

For Julian Welsh, Education Programme Innovator at We The Curious, the youth involvement in this latest exhibition was essential as he highlighted: ‘Young People have arguably been leading the conversation and push for action in the climate crisis, so it’s important for us to provide a platform for secondary schools in Bristol to show us how the city looks in their eyes.’

15 year old Ruby's photographs tackle the issue of plastic littering | Epigram/Sarah Dalton

The exhibition forms part of We The Curious’ current wave of programming activities themed around the idea that ‘A Better World Is Possible’.

For 15-year-old Ruby, whose photography is featured above, it was important that her work emphasised the issue of plastic littering in Bristol. She stated: ‘For both images including the plastic bag, I wanted to present the idea that through using plastic and littering, plants and animals are suffering. I’m encouraging people to think about how much plastic they are using and how it is damaging the environment and the things living in it.’

13-year-old Charlotte added in a similar vein that: ‘I was shocked to see so much rubbish in a barren non-residential road [in Bristol] with no obvious signs of life.’

Bristol through the eyes of its youth. Their primary message: this can change. | Epigram/Sarah Dalton

The exhibition is additionally being supported by LifewithArt, a Bristol-based educational charity which uses art as a tool to enrich lives.

Discussing the coming together of art and science, David Pigott, Chair of Trustees at LifewithArt, told Epigram: ‘At LifewithArt we know what a positive impact art can have on empowering young people and giving them a voice. Sponsoring this project has given us a wonderful opportunity to engage with young people, on a topic which they feel so passionately about.’

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From the littered docks to the autumn woodland, the resulting exhibition brings fresh eyes to the city around us: what grows, lives, and lies discarded. 'This Can Change' will continue to be showcased at We The Curious until early March. Tickets to the exhibition, included in the general admission to the interactive science centre, can be found online.

Featured Image: Epigram/Sarah Dalton

Have you been to see the latest exhibitions at We The Curious yet?