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Weatherfronts - Climate Change and the stories we tell

  • By Lora Christy
  • 3rd February 2016
TippingPoint and Free Word are delighted to announce a 2-day event bringing together writers and climate change experts to explore one of the most politically relevant and urgent issues of our time.

Weatherfronts – Climate Change and the stories we tell
May 14 – 15 2016, Free Word Centre, London
TippingPoint in partnership with Free Word

Working with Writing Development Agencies and supported by Arts Council England, this event offers unique opportunities to:

  • explore the complexities of our changing climate and the implications for social justice, the natural environment
    and how we live;
  • spark ideas, contacts and collaborations from creative encounters and conversations;
  • gain access to new commissions

I will continue my work writing about climate change with a renewed hope and enthusiasm, and with a more definite grasp of the current political context.” – Weatherfronts 2014 participant

Beyond Paris

World leaders hailed the climate deal struck at COP21 as a “major leap for mankind” – and it certainly went much further than any previous attempts to achieve international consensus on a rigorous response to climate change. But as many acknowledged, Paris marks only the beginning and there is much work to do.

Both weather extremes and ‘normal’ climate patterns continue to change in ways that alarm and bemuse and intercept with other news stories. What do our experiences of the sublime and the mundane tell us of the future? Where do our local stories connect to “big pictures” of global change? How do our imaginations respond to breakthroughs such as COP21 and to the urgency and scale of what is needed now? What is the work of the writer?

A creative response

Weatherfronts will kindle creative responses to the challenges of climate change. Working with Durham University and the Writing Development Agencies in all regions of the UK, this project will generate new commissions of original writing and artistic-scientific connections to stimulate further collaborations and new opportunities for public engagement with creative works.

Following Weatherfronts in 2014 we published 5 new commissions. Acclaimed poet and climate scientist Rachel McCarthy wrote:

Without doubt, the finest example I have seen so far of a written, collective engagement with climate change [which] managed to balance accurate representation of science with our everyday emotional lives to deliver some of the brightest writing I’ve ever seen in this area.

In-depth experience

The 2-day event will give writers in-depth experience of climate issues: through presentations; discussions with leading scientific, political and cultural experts from a range of universities; creative activities and conversations; and through sharing personal encounters with the topics.

This participative experience will inform, engage and inspire, stimulating creative writing on key themes such as how we respond to changing environments; social justice in causes and impacts; visioning pasts and futures; and psychologies of change. We will launch a call out for participants to produce new commissions that draw on their Weatherfronts experiences, contacts and explorations.

You can read the commissions resulting from Weatherfronts 2014 here.

You can also:


To register your interest in Weatherfronts and receive further information, please email us.
We will be in touch by mid February.

TippingPoint is network-based organisation aiming to be a year round ‘connector’ of the arts and climate science worlds. At the heart of our work is an international programme of two-day gatherings where artists and scientists participate in an informal but intense series of meetings and exercises to provoke and engender collaborative thinking and creative work. We also offer points of engagement through one off events, conferences and public debates.

Free Word is an international centre for literature, literacy and free expression. Through our artistic programmes and public events we promote and protect the written and spoken word, and provide a space for collaboration, exploration and dissent. Our work on climate change through the programme Living Dangerously sets out to harness the transformative power of literature to explore how, as global citizens, and in the context of environmental degradation, we might live our lives differently.

It has made me feel as if I’m not just working in isolation but as part of something wider. I’ve benefited enormously from the contacts I’ve made. The cross-pollination of ideas has had a great effect on my writing.” – Weatherfronts 2014 participant

Free Word would like to thank the Ashden Trust for their support towards our Living Dangerously: Stories of Climate Change programme.



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