Wyrd Flora, YAK and Motanafas Collective: Power of Place: Earth, Gather, Form

Exhibitions: FREE

(No booking required)

Wyrd Flora, YAK and Motanafas Collective: Power of Place: Earth, Gather, Form

Saturday 04 November 2023 - Sunday 14 January 2024


Mohamed Ghonim

Scarlet McPherson, Trolley in the Colne

Ranging from the saltmarshes of Essex’s Colne estuary to the Sinai mountains of Egypt, the landscape has a huge effect on us. It shapes our sense of place, identity and connection with nature.

‘Power of Place: Earth, Gather, Form’ by Wyrd Flora, YAK, and Motanafas Collective is a unique journey that takes you through nature, culture, and the profound connections that tie us to the environment. We invite you to explore, reflect, and celebrate the power of place with us.

Featuring botanical plant sketches, embroidery and photography, along with natural pigment exploration and plant inks, Power of Place: Earth, Gather, Form reflects young peoples’ personal experiences and stories from two very different locations,  St Catherine in Sinai, Egypt, and Colchester, Essex.

Within this space, YAK and Motanafas explore visual storytelling and nature journaling, offering glimpses into personal reflections, cross-cultural experiences, histories, and stories. This cross-cultural exhibition prompts us to ask questions about preserving traditional land knowledge.

The exhibition is co-curated by Lora Aziz, Motanafas Collective, Rehab Eldalil, YAK, Firstsite’s Young Art Kommunity, and programme team staff members.

This exhibition is part of our ongoing work to challenge the traditional roles in the art sector.

“Climate change impacts are disproportionately felt in countries exposed to colonialism and are least responsible for emissions historically.”

“Climate justice is a movement within the climate change framework that seeks to redress the systems of power that continue to extract from, oppress, marginalise and harm people and planet. In this exhibition young indigenous Bedouin contributors have the opportunity to share their own formulated identity with others.” – Lora Aziz

This project was a part of the British Council COP27 Creative Commission, which brought together art, science, and digital technology to respond to climate change in innovative and interdisciplinary ways. These commissions are a collaboration between the UK and Egypt, leading up to the United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties in 2022.

‘Power of Place’ shines a light on rural indigenous relationships in the ‘global south’ and contrasts them with the experiences of young people living in urban climates in the ‘global north.’ Our historical and ongoing environmental challenges are rooted in centuries of ‘profit over planet’ attitudes, which led to the exploitation, extraction, and marginalization of non-western countries. The impacts of climate change disproportionately affect countries exposed to colonialism, despite being historically less responsible for emissions.

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