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#GreenFests Summer 2014 in Review

With the 2014 summer festivals season drawing to a close, we would like to highlight the fantastic green themes present at this year’s festivals. The following are links to our #GreenFests highlights.


The Evolution will be Televised*: Performer Kate Smurthwaite is a stand-up comedian and political activist who is as often a guest on debate shows as she is in the comedy clubs. Only one of her three productions at the Edinburgh Fringe this year, The Evolution Will Be Televised is a one-hour show in which Smurthwaite talks the audience through some basic evolution and primatology.


2014 Edinburgh College of Art Masters Festival: Each year, the Edinburgh College of Art puts on two degree shows- one for artists, filmmakers, designers and architects graduating in June and one for Masters students who finish coursework in August. This year’s Masters Festival ran from 16 to 24 August and featured work from over 50 postgraduate students.

Dalziel+Scullion Tumadh | Immersion at Dovecot Studios: As the title may suggest, Tumadh | Immersion (“tumadh” is the Gaelic word for “immersion”) explores themes and perspectives of bodily experiences within the natural landscape. Dalziel+Scullion’s most recent exhibition is located partially at Dovecot Studios in Edinburgh and partially at An Lanntair Gallery in Stornoway; the works presented in the exhibition embrace relational complexities within and amongst themselves.

India Street at Gayfield Creative Spaces*: Showing in the creative hub’s “Whitespace” gallery, India Street is a multipart exhibition inspired by The Bombay Sample Book held in the National Museum of Scotland’s collection. The Bombay Sample Book contains fabric designs from Scotland’s bygone Turkey red dye industry.

Literature and discussion events

A Century on the Edge: From Cold War to Hot World, 1945-2045: As part of the Edinburgh International Festival’s ‘Culture and Conflict’ programme, Bradford University Peace Studies Professor, and consultant to the Oxford Research Group, Paul Rogers, gave a talk and prompted discussion from the position that the present century of 1945 to 2045 would encapsulate the biggest changes to international security.

Behind the Wheel*: Highlights from Robert Llewellyn’s 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe talk Electric Cars are Rubbish. Aren’t They?, as well as a visit to Eco Drama’s “Magic Van” at Summerhall.

Can Festivals Change the World?: On 14 August 2014, a room of festival organisers, arts administrators and creatives gathered at Fringe Central to share their insights into the concept of festivals and the role of festivals in today’s society.Festivals Edinburgh and Creative Carbon Scotland hosted the event, attended to maximum occupancy.

The Future of Food in Scotland: Reflections on recent events that address the past, present and future of Scottish food. Events covered include PhD in an Hour with Stacia Stetkiewicz (Just Festival), Good Low-Cost Food (Edinburgh International Book Festival), Dialogue 3: Health (Edinburgh International Book Festival) and Food Security (Festival of Politics).


Reverend Billy and the Stop-Shopping Choir- Honey-bee-lujah! : “Yeah I’m a joke preacher, but do you think I’m not serious?” Reverend Billy, along with his black-and-gold adorned Stop Shopping Choir, tour the world raising the roof with exuberant songs on the imminent ‘Shopocalypse’ and highlighting the role of big corporations, leading to an unsustainable social, economic and environmental global system.

Scottish Chamber Orchestra at Usher Hall: Explorations of the similarities between an orchestral system and ecological thinking.


John Muir: Rhapsody in Green*: Narratives from the life of John Muir, Scottish-born conservationist best known for his pioneering work in California and Alaska. In the production, Mike Maran adopted the character of Reverend Samuel Hall Young, a young missionary who met Muir during their shared time at Fort Wrangell in Alaska.

My Luxurious 50 Square Feet Life*: The availability and affordability of housing is a common burden of urban-dwellers internationally. In globalised cities such as London, New York and Tokyo, it seems that prices rise as square footage decreases. The case of these cities, however, pales in comparison to the current situation in Hong Kong. My Luxurious 50 Square Feet Life, an Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Just Festival production by Cinematic Theatre group, addresses this issue in their poignant and multi-faceted exploration of Hong Kong’s subdivided micro-sized housing units.

Out of Water*: On a darkening and stormy Sunday evening, Helen Paris and Caroline Wright’s piece Out of Water was performed for the final time on Portobello Beach, as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Creative Carbon Scotland’s Summer Festivals Production Assistant, Catriona Patterson, was witness to the traditional holiday resort’s transformation to a location of foreboding and adversity through carefully choreographed movement and ethereal sound.

Taking a Walk*: Reflections from Deveron Arts’ event Urbanscape + Ruralsprawl and A Walk at the Edge of the World by Magnetic North and Mike Maran, tracing the history of walking within the contemporary arts.

(*Nominated for the Edinburgh Fringe Sustainable Practice Award)

Did you see some of the fantastic green works across Scotland this summer? Feel free to add your own thoughts on sustainability and green themes at this year’s festivals on Twitter @CCScotland using #GreenFests.

Image: Out of Water at Portobello Beach, courtesy Tony Millings.

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