Local MSP for the Linlithgow Constituency, Fiona Hyslop, has sponsored a Poetry in Parliament Event at Holyrood which aimed to showcase how arts and culture provide new and powerful perspectives on Climate Change.
Fiona’s event, ‘Poetry in Parliament: A Voice for the Climate Emergency’ was co-hosted by Creative Carbon Scotland and Creative Scotland and featured work by four Scotland based poets: Kathleen Jamie, the Scottish Makar; Canadian born Alycia Pirmohamed; North East based poet, Jo Gilbert and Shezar Doja, a Bangladeshi poet based in Glasgow whose family and friends are currently living with the devastating impacts of Climate Change now.
Commenting after the event, Fiona said,
“I was very pleased to sponsor such an enjoyable, challenging and important event at the Scottish Parliament this week. (Tuesday 22nd November)
“Poetry has the power to change the way we see the world and because culture is, by definition, our way of life, it is who we are, where we are, and ultimately, where we want to be. There is no issue more important when thinking about the future, than climate change, and this is particularly relevant following the completion of COP27 just last week. Poetry can be more powerful than a speech.
“The arts generally create new ways of thinking, sharing and educating and it was very inspiring and moving to hear directly from these poets who had responded to the issue of our natural environment, many of whom were climate activists themselves.
“After quoting Bangladeshi Poet Shezar Doja in a Parliament Speech on Climate Change and the Global South earlier this year, I was pleased that he could share his experiences in Parliament through his poetry.
“I would like to add my thanks to all the poets who read their work and to Creative Scotland and Creative Carbon Scotland for making the event possible. This was the first such event in Parliament, and I hope it will be the first of many.”
Ben Twist, Director of Creative Carbon Scotland, reflected,
“The arts and culture inspire, communicate, make visible the invisible, encourage new ways of thinking and almost uniquely enable collective thinking about knotty problems, and we need all of these to tackle climate change.”
Alan Bett, Head of Literature and Publishing at Creative Scotland said;
“It is always a pleasure to watch poets perform live. It was particularly so at this Poetry in Parliament event, with climate change the important theme at the heart of the work. Creative Scotland has a commitment to address environmental concerns through the Scottish arts sector. At the Scottish Parliament last night, the poets words took centre stage to inspire and challenge their audience, showing how art not only reflects the issues at hand, but can play a central role in their discussion.”