On 5 May, we turned New Cross Gate and Telegraph Hill into a messaging station about climate impacts. This revived its old function to relay optical telegraph messages about threats from the seas to the Government in central London. Our hilltop park has a fantastic view over central London so it’s a great place to get perspective over who has power and the impact of urban life on our planet.
The global event organised by 350 was all about the weather, joining the dots between unseasonal or extreme weather in particular places, to see the big picture of climate disruption caused by man. Unfortunately the weather was unseasonally cold and wet during the day, so we didn’t have the picnic and messaging station in the park.
Instead we set up a research station in New Cross Learning (the people’s library) in the morning, with artist Jessie Easter helping people to make dot artworks and Mahesh and Anna from the charity Down2Earth providing knowledge about climate impacts and solutions. Then we moved it up to the Telegraph Hill Centre in the afternoon. People could make their own dot message, could make a badge, do some dot-to-dot drawings, look at books and posters, have a chat and find out facts about climate change.
We took a photo on the hill, to send to the 350 team.
Then in the early evening we held a discussion about whether we can adapt to climate change, here in London and in India These are people’s thoughts in summary.
Later 300+ people came for a cycle-powered screening of the film Up. This was part of the New Cross & Deptford Free Film Festival, but it linked nicely to the climate event with the cycle powering and a short film before the main feature about oil and plastic.
All the dots were photographed and posted on this Flickr group. We had intended to join up the dots into an installation in the Top Park, alongside the film. However, we didn’t have as many dots as we needed to make the planned structure (due to weather and the closure of the Hill Station cafe). So, the plan is to use the posters and activities we have to set up the messaging station again in the Hill Station, in the Telegraph pub for the Festival of Transition, and maybe again in the library.