Direct from Copenhagen, Denmark - 15th United Nations Climate Change Conference - (8 – 18 December '09)

Acting as the official High Tide COP15 envoy, distinguished ecological artist Aviva Rahmani will be immersing herself in the burgeoning eco-political activism in the city and sharing her experiences with us via this daily blog.

Why not get involved and join in dialogue with her? Log-on to share your views! This is the gathering storm…

Produced in association with FACT

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Day 1 Copenhagen

Last night, went to hear Native author Drew Hayden Taylor speak at Leuphana University about the power of humour: the trickster, in conveying messages. Left Luneburg at noon, after breakfast with Volker Kirchberg, Sacha Kagan (founder with Davide Brocchi of cultura 21, who brought me into the fold to show with them all at the Venice Beinalle in 2007), cultural sociologists and Nino Ruschmeyer, politician. Volker made us a fabulous omelette with a youghout curry sauce and banana bread. We spent two hours discussing strategies to effectively engage with media and then left for the train.

My seat mate going north was one of the EU negotiators. We spent a couple hours discussing the process by which he learns about the values of his partners and creates an atmosphere of trust, ie., with the Russians (?!); about wetlands restoration projects in Byelarus and top down vs ground up empowerment strategies. About 3:PM we all disembarked from the train and the entire train and all us passengers got on the ferry to cross the North Sea. Arrived at 6: PM to a warmer city than I'd anticipated, after the ride up from Germany, watching the landscape flatten and turn aquatic. I was picked up by Kajsa Paludan and Nadezhda Savova of Cultura 21 Nordic and I3C (International Collaboration of Culture Centers) respectively, and we proceeded by bus to Oleg and Suzanne Koefoed's home, where he served us another lovely meal. Oleg, co-founder with Kaysa of Cultura 21 Nordic, and my host to do three days of workshops here, cooked the bread and vegetarian lasagna. I've never been feted by so many talented male cooks in a row at one time.

At dinner we discussed the mapping of various stakeholder entities coming for COP15. After dinner, we mapped all the interest groups that will be present inside and outside of the main conference in the Bella Center, their target populations and relationships between entities and where they will be active geographically in the next two weeks. The schematics revealed how much of the audience relationships for NGOs, artists & activists are self-referential, whereas the corporate stakeholders have a well-designed and networked strategy. had a long, complex discussion applying what I'd learned on the train to the possibilities for allies and strategies that cross-over to some unexpected terraine: the design of discourse as art.

Copenhagen is an island (Amasgar) created on fill. At dinner I learned Oleg's sons recently had a special class explaining how it will revert to marshland and ocean thanks to global warming. Tomorrow, I head over to the Bella Center to register with my observer status and join the other 15-20,000 official attendees. Oleg says it's a 15 minute walk and 5 minute public transport ride. It's midnight here and there are three teen-age boys still watching TV in the large living room where I will bunk for the next few days before having my own private room. I've been warned that the beautiful three-year old will join me in my singing practice in the morning. My head is full of images, ideas, feelings: I can only hope to be functional by the time I arrive at the Bella Center. I might be entering a shamanic altered state of consciousness.

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