In 2015, world leaders agreed on 17 common goals for the world, which all countries must help to achieve by 2030. The 17 UN SDGs are about how we can work together towards a more sustainable and equitable world with less poverty. Based on the 17 SDGs, the project "Children, Art and Sustainability" focuses on children's natural ability to question and reflect on the world's major challenges. The project will explore how artistic activities and aesthetic processes can contribute to creating understanding and awareness of sustainable development.
The project, which is led by Viborg Kulturskole, started in September 2018, when a number of artists from Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Latvia met for a first exchange seminar in Riga. There they agreed on a strategy to work with sustainability as a theme in their art education for children for the following 7 months. The artists have met twice since then - first at an international conference in Silkeborg "Children, Art & Culture + Sustainability", and then in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden. The meetings have been about exchanging experiences and together developing a concept for a final 'art camp' for children in connection with Snapsting for Children in June 2018. The exchange meetings are supported by the Nordplus Junior programme under the Nordic Council of Ministers.
The project is based on an already established network between art and culture schools in the Nordic-Baltic countries, which have worked together in other projects. Among others, they have been involved in the 2017 project European Cultural Children, which was led by Kulturprinsen in Viborg. Several of the project partners also participated in last year's Snapsting for Children workshop "Saints and City Gates", where children and artists from Iceland, Norway, Latvia and Denmark built city gates from different materials at Borgvold.
The aim of this year's art camp is to give participating children and artists the opportunity to meet and share experiences and ideas related to the theme of sustainability and the 17 SDGs. The core questions of the project are: How can children work with sustainability through artistic and aesthetic processes? It is first and foremost about creating a forum for children to create together, express themselves artistically and engage in dialogue with each other. It is essential that children's curiosity and desire to explore are brought into play. Therefore, the camp will have a strong focus on children's participation in all processes from idea development, practical execution and dissemination.
Another important goal of this year's camp is to create a space for participating artists to learn from each other's experiences, mindsets and workflows. The camp will thus form the basis for further collaboration between the artists and strengthen the Nordic-Baltic network now focusing on how art and culture can contribute to making 'sustainable development' part of children's education.
It will all take place at Borgvold as part of "Snapsting for Kids", where there will be a lively audience of children of all ages throughout the week.