It is difficult to imagine a 4 Corners Festival without something about the climate crisis. If we look back over the years we have touched in this subject regularly. As an issue that impacts the world, it is bound to impact Belfast.
Like many other things our politicians have let us down. Northern Ireland has lost more nature than any other part of the UK. We’re also the only country in the UK whose government hasn’t committed vital Green Recovery Fund to turn this around. We at 4 Corners Festival want to be involved in advocacy towards change.
This year’s programme includes the film The Letter. In 2015 Pope Francis sent an encyclical around the world. Called Laudato sí this was Pope Francis’s prophetic challenge to our way of life, our consumerism and irresponsible abuse of the earth. It then calls us to "swift and unified global action.”
The Letter is a film about how Pope Francis’ letter worked its way across the world and became a starter for discussion and a call to action. The Letter tells the incredible story of how these words engaged with frontline leaders battling the ecological crisis across continents. Somehow a letter became a movement. It is powerful and ultimately hopeful.
We are delighted that after the film two young activists Dakota Reid who is conservation officer with RSPB NI and Curtis Irvine who has been working for student justice organisation Just Love will respond in insightful conversation.
This year 4 Corners Festival is taking their responsibility seriously as we attempt to offset the carbon footprint of the Festival in a tree planting project around Belfast.