Mark Edwards

International exhibition WHOLE EARTH? installed at Christ Church

25 September 2015

A major international exhibition challenging people to think about how we can work and live together to meet current and future environmental needs, has been installed at the University.

WHOLE EARTH? is an outdoor exhibition based on the theory that the future belongs to young people, suggesting that universities across the globe play a major role in making society more sustainable. Co-created by photojournalist Mark Edwards and environmental writer Lloyd Timberlake, the exhibition is a sequel to the Hard Rain Project.

The installation was officially opened by acclaimed children’s novelist and Honorary Doctor of the University, Michael Morpurgo, who went on to give a public lecture entitled,The Best of All Possible Worlds. The lecture explored the subject of writing about the environment for children, which Morpurgo feels is critical to connecting children with nature.

Canterbury Christ Church University’s Director of Sustainability, Dr Peter Rands explained why aiming to make sustainability relevant to the lives of staff and students is so important. He said: “This exhibition is a challenging provocation. We want staff and students to reflect on the possibilities of adapting our approach to teaching, learning and business so we embed the principles of sustainability, as set by UNESCO and the UN.”

WHOLE EARTH? aims to provide the evidence students need to join the debate about their future, inviting them, and their tutors, to articulate the kind of world they would like to live in.

The Hard Rain project, which was also produced by Mark Edwards, attracted around 15 million people, highlighting current world issues and the need to tackle them together. WHOLE EARTH? extends Hard Rain by showcasing the ideas and movements that aim to solve these issues.

Edwards said: “What we want to show in WHOLE EARTH? is that we have solutions to the problems highlighted in Hard Rain. Many of them have been developed and researched at Universities. What is lacking is the political will to take solutions to scale.”

In 2011, the University established the Futures Initiative project, which aims to enable and empower academics and students to embed sustainability within their curriculum. Currently, the University has funded 65 Futures Initiative projects including Carbon Footprint Awareness in the Digital Era, by the School of Media, Art and Design, Social Media and Sustainability, by the Business School, andThe Sound Garden, by the School of Teacher Education.

Dr Rands continued: “My role is essentially to drive and facilitate the University towards sustainability. The concept of sustainability and limiting carbon emissions is well understood within the University, and we’ve made great strides in reducing our carbon footprint, but we need to think in a much more transformational way about how we can integrate global citizenship, environment stewardship and social justice into everything we do.”

“This is coherent with, and underpinned by, our University’s mission and values, and goes to the heart of what we’re about: transforming individuals, creating knowledge, enriching communities and building a sustainable future.”

An additional workshop, EcoReligion, will be held to explore the challenges addressed in WHOLE EARTH? from a religious perspective, asking questions such as, is sustainability faith relevant?

WHOLE EARTH? is installed on the Anselm Lawn at the North Holmes Campus in Canterbury until Wednesday 28 October and is open to all. The exhibition will then feature at the Medway and Broadstairs campuses between Monday 2 November and Monday 14 December.

Notes to Editor

Canterbury Christ Church University is a modern university with a particular strength in higher education for the public services.

With almost 18,000 students across Kent and Medway, its courses span a wide range of academic and professional subject areas.

  • 97% of our UK graduates were in employment or further studies six months after completing their studies*.
  • We are the number one choice for local people looking to study at university in Kent (2013 UCAS).
  • We are one of the South East’s largest providers of education, training and skills leading to public service careers.

*2012/13 Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey.

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Last edited: 05/12/2017 04:29:00