Artistic Strategies for Influencing International Norm Development on Climate Change-Related Displacement


Alongside global efforts to halt the devastating impacts of climate change, international norms — minimum agreed standards for state action — related to people fleeing from the impacts of natural hazards and climate change are undergoing a complex and politically-sensitive evolution. A multitude of actors are working to improve legal frameworks that provide inadequate protection to millions of people displaced each year. Among these actors are artists engaging climate change and displacement themes in their work. This practice-based research project aims to propose potential strategies for artists seeking to contribute to broader efforts to improve protection for people displaced by climate change impacts. It seeks to better understand why and how art’s interdisciplinary capacity to reflect emotion and affect, and to prompt critical and reflexive thinking, could influence the norm-development process. Research questions include: - How might artists influence the development of international norms addressing climate change-related displacement? - What forms of practice and collaboration could emerge between artists, research institutions, government officials, non-governmental organizations, or other actors to help artists maximize their contributions and overcome challenges they may face as “non-technical experts”? The practice-side of the research primarily relates to curating the exhibition "DISPLACEMENT: Uncertain Journeys" in close collaboration with the Platform on Disaster Displacement for two inter-governmental conferences during Migration Week in Marrakesh, Morocco in December 2018.

Lucy + Jorge Orta, Antarctic Village- No Borders and Antarctica World Passport Bureau, exhibited as part of DISPLACEMENT during the Global Forum on Migration and Development in Marrakesh, December 2018.

Photo: Gorm Ashurst

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