03 Feb 2022
Organisation: National Theatre of Scotland
Industry: Education & Skills Development
About the organisation:
National Theatre of Scotland is Scotland’s national theatre which showcases Scottish culture and talent both here at home and around the world. An organisation centred on breaking down the barriers to theatre, whether cultural, physical or economical, they have created a ‘theatre without walls’ that welcomes everyone to enjoy the experience of theatre and performance.
Key sustainability highlights:
As part of its commitment to reducing their carbon footprint, National Theatre of Scotland has set out a Green Plan, detailing the various ways they will work to reduce carbon emissions and raise awareness of climate change across their organisation and industry. Amongst a detailed plan across people, productions, procurement and more, commitments include establishing a team of Green Leaders who will be supported with carbon literacy training, working with partners to build skills in sustainable design for their productions, sourcing 75% of all materials for their products from sustainable sources, and commissioning productions that explore urgent climate ideas through compelling storytelling.
COP26 – The journey of Little Amal
During COP26, National Theatre of Scotland collaborated with other theatre organisations across Scotland to introduce Little Amal, the 3.5m puppet of a 10-year old Syrian Refugee, which travelled from the border of Syria to the UK.
Artists and community facilitators worked in residence with six schools across Glasgow and Perthshire, sharing their skills and knowledge about climate and migrant justice through playful drama and visual arts workshops. In the weeks leading up to COP26, the pupils had been following Little Amal’s journey and prepared for this event responding to the cause of young people across the world who will experience forced migration due to the climate emergency. The event was part art installation and part community action, that called upon Glasgow’s rich history of climate occupations, migrant solidarity actions and youth movements.
At the end of the event each school planted seed pods in a special area at Anderston Quay. After the event the children also planted bulbs or saplings in planters they have designed at each of the six schools. This youth action is inspired by the seeds Little Amal has carried with her from Syria and the seeds she has collected along her journey. This is a moment of collective and connected action, with each seed representing a young person who is affected by climate chaos.
COP26 - Exploring climate through digital interaction
National Theatre of Scotland also worked with ThinkArts, a children’s arts engagement organisation based in Kolkata, to bring Millepede.shop to Glasgow during the climate change conference. This was a playful, interactive digital art installation disguised as an online shoe shop.
Digital art exhibits, relating to shoes and feet, were displayed for visitors to discover as part of a specially created website. The artworks were created through film, photography, sculpture, spoken word, poetry and song, reflecting personal responses to climate change and the participants’ carbon footprints.
Creators from schools and community groups in India and Scotland stepped up and crafted their ideas out of whatever materials they have around them - in their homes, their backyards, and the limits of their imagination.
Each shoe design has also been paired with special analysis from leading scientists at Edinburgh Science, Scotland and Science Gallery Bengaluru, India, examining its materials, its lifecycle, and the footprint it will leave on the world. Through this the Millipede creators hoped to encourage would-be shoppers to think differently about their own carbon footprints and fire their imaginations in taking those first steps towards shaping a better world.