Christchurch City Libraries blog hosts a series of regular podcasts from New Zealand’s only specialist human rights radio show Speak up – Kōrerotia. This show is created by Sally Carlton.
This episode discusses issues around the UN climate change conference, the “Conference of Parties” or COP 22 which is underway in Marrakech and questions whether it’s an effective way of combatting climate change. Also discussed are –
scientific and political understandings of the realities of climate change
History of COP especially COP-3 (Kyoto), COP-15 (Copenhagen) and COP-21 (Paris)
The Paris Agreement – What? Why? How has it been received?; the Agreement as enabler for grassroots environmental advocacy
New Zealand’s climate record
The panel for this show includes host Sally Carlton, Hamish Laing, Jeff Willis and Pubudu Senanayake.
FESTA is a “biennial weekend celebration of urban creativity” and one of the coolest events on Ōtautahi’s calendar. It is on this Labour weekend, kicking off with the SuperWOW disco at the Dance-o-mat on Friday 21 October, and ending with PechaKucha on Monday 24 October at 7.30pm. The unmissable big event is Lean Means on Saturday 22 October.
I had a chat to FESTA’s director Jessica Halliday to get a flavour of FESTA 2016.
What is FESTA?
It is about creating a collective positive experience for the people of Christchurch and visitors.
FESTA helps people reconnect to the central city, to rebuild that severed relationship. A big street party is a positive experience, and connects them with places that are regenerating. It catalyses changes in architecture and design. The collective making of a big project like this is a microcosm of the cooperative way we can work together.
What’s on at FESTA 2016
Lean Means is on Saturday 22 October, and is the biggest event of FESTA with 10,000 to 15,000 people expected. There will be 18 projects to experience. The tallest is around 6 metres and most are about 4 metres. Some will be integrated into existing structures.
There is a full programme of events with a lot of workshops, speakers, and a symposium on the resuse of materials (organised by Rekindle working with Objectspace), and a session with artist Hannah Beehre on drawing Christchurch architecture. Events for kids include creative junk and mutant monster workshops.
If you want to experience a Human Library, Talking Books and Freerange Press bring together a collection of passionate experts on a range of topics including the state of the city,music, and brewing beer. You can book a twenty-minute, one-on-one conversation with a human talking book.
Utilising waste streams – Sustainability, Re-use
Jos de Krieger of Superuse Studios in Rotterdam is a specialist in urban installations and interventions and the creative director of FESTA 2016. He developed the concept, visited, and gave lectures and design workshops, and also met with New Zealand and Australian studios. The idea is to get a brief and a budget, then look for waste materials in the vicinity to be reused. Using such materials requires a lot of research.
The materials for Lean Means are lightweight – plastics, cardboard, bottles, post-consumer plastic bags and are local to the studios. The pavilion for the Ōtākaro Orchard is made of hundreds of metres of frost cloth from the Big Barn in Sydney – it can come over easily on the plane with the students as it’s so light.
Re-use is part of what FESTA is now. Students were re-using stuff anyway, with one of 2014’s projects using plastic bottle rejects on their way to China for recycling. They went on to be recycled after appearing at FESTA CityUps.
FESTA closes the loop with connections back to sustainability all the way through. Cassels will be there, and they are working on cleaning up the Heathcote, and Punky Brewster have a focus on reducing water in beer sales. There will be a second hand market with upcycled things for sale.
We are trying as best as we can to make it consistent.
Art and architecture
CreativeNZ funding has enabled three artists from three different disciplines to be involved: Juliet Arnott of Rekindle, artist Julia Morison and movement artist Julia Harvie.
Julia Morison has been integrated into a team from Massey University, School of Design at the College of Creative Arts. Her philosophy is that art shouldn’t be a “brooch pinned on at the end”, and that artists should be involved in informing the development of projects.
Moving artist Julia Harvie will suspending herself of the COCA gallery gantry and weave herself a nest from coppiced hazel shoots. The performance teases out ideas of making a city that nurtures children, and what parents can do to influence the creation of that environment.
Help FESTA transform Christchurch by supporting Lean Means, and share in a positive reimagining of the city – full of lights, colours and people. This Labour Weekend, we will transform central Christchurch with a large-scale reimagined city called Lean Means, live for one night only, free and open to all, on Saturday 22 October.
FESTA 2014 – CityUps
FESTA 2013 – Canterbury Tales
FESTA 2012 – LuxCity
Libraries and reading
As a kid, Jessica went every week to Hornby Library. Her main preoccupations were:
The Christchurch City Draft Annual Plan is now open for submissions and you have until Tuesday 10 May to participate. It can all feel a bit daunting, so the Christchurch City Council has provided options geared for the quick and easy submitter (like myself) and those who wish to make a more indepth submission. You can view the documents at a library or service centre and fill out a submission form. In a new initiative, you can also submit feedback via Twitter and Facebook by using the hashtag #cccplan. Explore your options: How to have your say.
The library has this list which should help get the creative juices flowing. Cities around the world are dealing with many of the issues that we face, and these titles are a good spread of ideas and experiences that could just be the idea that the Christchurch City Council wants to hear about.
The truth: By the year 2066 we will be eating insects as a significant part of our diet. Current population growth will mean that we cannot sustain our existing farming methods, be they of the animal or plant variety.
Let’s be very clear on this – we will have to supplement our diets with insects, or we will die.
Bugs have been much in the news lately – you can barely open a magazine or a newspaper these days without being hit in the face by headings such as :
Frankie Magazine Issue 70 March/April 2016 with an article by two gorgeous young Sydneyites who want us to eat more bugs and have started a bug dinner party business .
It really is only the Western world that has this revulsion for roaches, crickets, silkworms, spiders and maggots as food. The rest of the world has already realised the nutritional value of these critters. And the library is right on target with this trend as well. Here’s the pick of my crop of helpful reads for future Entomophagists (that’s us in 2066):
Cockroach by Marion Copeland is a fascinating account of this much despised critter. Copeland’s book includes recipes for cockroach dishes and a surprisingly attractive section on the cockroach in art.
In my opinion, there are only three types of people in this world: People who hate cockroaches but can kill them (that’s me). People who hate cockroaches but who can’t kill them (they are admittedly messy when crushed. That would be my daughter). And finally, people who are quite indifferent to roaches and probably would be able to eat them. That would be my husband, who has already eaten silkworms, tarantulas and mopani worms, so he is well on his way.
But if you are only going to brave reading one book on insect eating, make it The Insect Cookbook. Be warned though, bugs are surprisingly hard to conceal in food and the photo of the maggoty cheese and a child eating a mealworm ice cream cone made me feel decidedly queasy. I made the mistake of reading this book on my daily café treat, maybe don’t do that if this is all new to you. But what really sets this book apart is that it is accompanied by excellent research articles on insect eating like Chef Pierre Wind’s essay: “You Have to Eat Away the Fear.”
Finally, if you are sensitive about what you eat, What’s Eating You is a brilliantly researched, hilarious, horrifying book about all the parasites that you host. As a result of this book, I have removed Equatorial Guinea from my “places to visit” bucket list. There it is possible for a person to be infected with a Guinea Worm which, when fully grown to three feet, bursts from your skin and has to be wound out daily using a stick. The book explains how to do this – with beautiful little diagrams.
“You are what you eat” is about to take on a whole new meaning. Get ahead of the pack. Read these books.
Changing your life for one year may sound like the ultimate boredom-buster, but the proliferation of books in this area has made me wonder if we all have rather low attention spans? What happens after the year, are changes maintained – or once the book deal is signed do these authors go back to all of their bad habits?
A.J Jacobs in his latest book Drop dead healthy : one man’s humble quest for bodily perfection is perhaps the most extreme. He had to consult a team of medical advisers, and subject himself to a gruelling regimen of exercises, a range of diets, and an array of practices to improve everything from his hearing, to his sleep, to his sex life; all the while testing the patience of his long-suffering wife.
John Kralik documented 365 thank yous. Over one year he wrote thank you notes for the small acts of kindness that came his way and Judith O’Reilly, in A year of doing good : one woman, one New Year’s resolution, 365 good deeds attempted to do one good deed each day. According to the publishers both authors experienced profound changes in their lives – but being of a rather cynical disposition I am curious to know if these changes remained permanent?
Why is a Writer’s Festival like a box of chocolates? Because there’s something inside for everyone.
Today I saw Tony Murrell, from Radio Live’s garden programme, host a lively session with The Gardener magazine editor Lynda Hallinan and sustainable gardening writer Janet Luke. All three are highly regarded gardening experts. They’re passionate about plants and their enthusiasm was infectious. I’ve never seen the microphone passed to so many people so quickly. It seemed everyone in the audience had a question to ask or a comment to add.
Tony Murrell has noticed a huge resurgence in interest in growing food at home in recent years. He laments the fact that many of today’s gardeners have lost the skills needed to grow veges successfully and have to spend money on re-education, tools, catalogues, fertilisers, etc. This results in expensive crop of perpetual spinach, lettuce and tomatoes which people get bored with and ‘turn back into camellia hedging’.
His panelists disagree. “It’s not all about money, Tony,” said Janet. “You are such an Aucklander!”
Linda said, “Don’t spend anything! Don’t build raised beds, don’t hire a garden designer, don’t buy a tonne of compost. Just buy a spade, dig a hole and plant things.” She believes gardening journalism has made it sound difficult and it’s not. “It’s natural. Plants grow and produce fruit because they are fulfilling their biological function. People think it’s harder than it is.”
Some sustainable gardening tips:
Lasagne your compost heap
Pile fallen leaves into a black polythene bag, tie it off, punch a few holes in it and store behind your garden shed for a year. It makes great compost.
If your plants look great above the soil but have nothing beneath, your garden has too much nitrogen and not enough potassium.
Blue flowers attract bees. Plant rosemary and borage to help pollination.
Chop out the middle of your lemon tree and prune to a vase shape.
Avoid systemetic sprays – they hurt bees.
If you’d like to know more, visit your library and check out Linda Hallinan’s Back to the land and Janet Luke’s Green Urban Living. They’ll give you plenty of helpful advice on how to get your garden doing what comes naturally.
Handy little things, bookmarks. Always popular. You may think that all they do is save your place in a book – but the NZ Ecoexpo bookmark can help you do your bit to save the planet with two-for-one adult entry into this weekend’s event.
So get to a library before the weekend to get your bookmark – supplies will be limited. You can visit our sustainable living pages to help find some great reading too.
Along with all the stands and exhibitors at the Christchurch Convention Centre, there’s also a selection of films – including the visually stunning, totally non-verbal Baraka.