Sheffield Hallam University brings together city organisations to start talks on climate change

Community and cultural groups from across Sheffield are being brought together to start conversations about the climate crisis, as part of an innovative project by Hallam University academics.

By Angela Furniss
Monday, 21st March 2022, 12:41 pm

Ark Sheffield has been set up by Sheffield Hallam University lecturers Dr Julia Udall and Dr Tom Payne with Dr Alex De Little from Goldsmiths University and forms part of a wider project, Together in the City, led by Sheffield Theatres.

They are working with Sheffield and District African and Caribbean Association (SADACCA), Blend Kitchen, Foodhall, Heeley City Farm, Open Kitchen and design enterprise RESOLVE to explore fears and frustrations, as well as tactics and strategies to find better ways to live together in uncertain futures.

Ark Sheffield is inviting people from across the city to join a conversation about the climate crisis.

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Ark at Blend Kitchen taken by Becky Payne

From March 28 to April 8 the group is inviting schools, community groups and friends to hold a conversation around climate change and share images on social media with @ARK_Sheffield_.

A collaboratively-built ‘ark’, assembled with RESOLVE collective at SADACCA from materials which have been ‘found’, will travel through the city to the Crucible. The project will culminate in a performance at the theatre on Wednesday April 6, featuring the voices of people from across the city.

The performance will take place as part of a community takeover of the theatre across two days. The events are drop-in events which are free to attend.

Dr Tom Payne, senior lecturer in Performance at Sheffield Hallam, said: “The flood means different things to different people. For some it has already happened, for others it’s happening now. We’re bringing people from across the city together to talk about how we can respond to the many challenges that we face.”

Dr Julia Udall, senior lecturer in Architecture at Sheffield Hallam, said: “We want to co-host conversations about climate that emerge from people’s experiences, and particular contexts, and in doing so perhaps shift the landscape of how climate is understood in the city, in ways that recognise our interdependencies and support shared thinking about collaborative survival.”

Ark Sheffield is supported by Sheffield Theatres, with additional funding support from UK Research and Innovation.

Rob Cotterell, Chairperson of SADACCA, said: "This is an amazing project and opportunity to take part in the conversation everyone should be having. Our diverse communities have a whole range of structural and institutional issues to navigate, climate change is also another big part of our journey. Having multi-generation conversations/groundings is our way forward.”