The roaring fire we gathered around at the beginning set the mood for the rest of the night: a warm search for honest answers to our climate problem. With non-stop conversation and debate, ideas were exchanged and plans were set in motion for anti-plastic campaigns, as well as tackling the big and small climate issues in our daily lives.
Portal to a whole new world
Back in 2011, Dr. Monk's Ama joined a group of creative minds in Accra - representing ACCRA[dot]ALT, FCA, IUB and others - to imagine the Chale Wote Street Art Festival. The need was to give a stage to creativity and reclaim public space - for the public.
Now, five years later, large crowds once again thronged the streets of Jamestown, Accra, for the sixth edition of the festival. Bigger than ever, this year's edition was themed Spirit Robot and brought artists from all over the world to the seaside neighborhood, for a display of visual and performance art. How proud we are of our partners for creating a magnetic hit!
We love a good challenge. This time, it emerged while watching the ground-breaking environmental documentary Cowspiracy, with insights that dropped on us like a bomb. The film takes on one of the most destructive industries today: animal agriculture. And how it impacts our land, oceans, climate. The livestock industry as a whole accounts for 51% of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions: more than cars, planes and all other forms of transport combined. And that is when five of us decided to stop eating animal products all together, for three months. Here is how it went down.
Whatever screen you’re currently staring at, whatever chair you’re sitting on, whatever clothes you’re wearing, it almost certainly came to you from far, far away. And all that stuff doesn’t magically drop on our doorsteps. 90% of what we eat, touch, drive… almost all our traded goods arrive to us by ship. 100.000 ships ply our seas and oceans every day to supply us with everything we think we need.
What can we learn from how people in different parts of the world deal with mental health? Documentary maker Sunny Bergman explores this question in the beautiful and brand new set of VPRO documentaries titled 'Sunny Side of Spirit'. Dr. Monk is involved and was asked to produced the documentary in Ghana. It aired on national television and is found online here! See the trailer below, find out more about the documentary and our involvement on our projects page, and let us know what you think of the documentary on Facebook!
Here is the deal with our climate. We have 6 to 10 years to get our act together and drastically bring greenhouse gas levels down. That’s the only way we might still keep global warming below an average of 1.5 degrees. You don’t have to look far to see that the planet is already getting angry and confused. But if we cross this line, we will regret it: dead oceans, failed crops, mass extinction, mass forced migration, wildfires, thousands of flooded coastal cities, dirty air, no chocolate. Not great!
Can't be too cool for this school! This floating beauty was built by architecture firm NLÉ for the water community of Makoko, near Lagos, Nigeria. It addresses the community's educational needs and serves as an innovative example for other coastal communities that face climate change and rapid urbanization.
In the past months, Dr. Monk and Philips have been working hard on a project around breastfeeding on the African continent. What challenges do working mothers face in breastfeeding? How is this linked to infant mortality? And what innovations can we create to empower these mothers to breastfeed more? We will now share our findings in a webinar that everyone can join!
This powerful animation is a must-watch for anyone who has ever eaten fish. Overfishing is a huge problem. At this rate, fish will have disappeared from our oceans in 50 years time. Without fish, our oceanic ecosystems will be destroyed. These ecosystems provide two thirds of our oxygen. Can you imagine what will happen to human life?
Listen to Wanlov the Kubolor's powerful meditative sound, expressing the frustrations of living in a blatantly unequal society. The wealthy few are elevated into a carefree existence, next to the masses of people who are burdened with basic survival and the real need to make progress. This video is poignant in its expression of this sentiment. As strange as it sounds: enjoy!
Ama, the sun of Dr. Monk, is featured in the New York Times! You can read the article that she helped with online, right here. Authored by Russell Shorto, it shines a light on modern-day Ghana, international heritage, slavery - topics we can ponder upon endlessly.