An intrinsic part of The Independent AIR is the aim of a creating a cultural concept that integrates environmental and climate-related sustainability in all aspects: Within our organisation and project activities, through involvement of project stakeholders, citizens and audiences, and through providing inspiration for other artistic and cultural projects. In working towards these aims we are financially supported by “Puljen til Grønne Ildsjæle” under the Danish Environmental Protection Agency. 

We are simultaneously working to increase and promote sustainability in three different, but interrelated, ways:

  • By integrating sustainability in the planning and realization of all our own activities
  • By promoting sustainability to partners, audiences and local citizens
  • By sharing experience and providing resources of inspiration and actionable knowledge for other cultural projects.

Sustainable activities        

During our residency/masterclass as well as in other activities we consume organic, climate-friendly and locally produced food, use clean energy, recycle and reuse our waste, and use as many environmentally friendly products and materials as possible. For transportation we strive to use bicycles or public transport or coordinate carpooling when we have drive. We compensate for carbon dioxide emissions by contributing to the planting of more forest.

We are preparing to start documenting the effects of our measures in a green account, which will also serve as one of the foundations for our sharing of knowledge with other projects.

Promoting sustainability

We work based on the assumption that more involvement of people yields better anchoring and broader dissemination of sustainable ideas and practices. Thus we strive to involve both:

  • The participators in the residency through introducing them to our measures and hosting discussions about sustainability related to photography
  • The local community through involving them in a natural economy in which they receive art prints in exchange for lending bicycles to the residents
  • The members of The Independent AIR association through combining the general assembly with an inspirational event revolving around themes relating to sustainability.  

Furthermore we have carried out the “The Independent Forest”-project in which we in an event involving local families, planted a small forest in a nearby village, and we are planning the photographic project “Sustainability/Bæredygtiged” in 2016, in which a photographer will be given the task of artistically interpreting the concepts of sustainability and responsibility towards the environment.  

Inspiring other cultural projects

We want to inspire other cultural projects to integrate a higher level of sustainability into their activities. Therefore we continuously document our experiences and insights in order to be able to provide resources that demonstrate concrete actionable options and ideas. We will be developing a strategy of how to most efficiently communicate this knowledge, which will be informed by a dialogue with local art and culture organizations and projects, and which could for example take the form of an online platform, a video or a small publication. Furthermore we are continuously forming network connections and participating in dialogues with other cultural organizations interested in increasing the integration of sustainability in cultural projects.   

© Catarina Fontoura