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The Culture & Sustainability podcast

The Culture & Sustainability podcast

By Creative Carbon Scotland
Listen to how the arts and culture have an essential role in achieving the transformational change to a sustainable future.
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Exploring Cultural Adaptations
In this podcast, CCS' Director, Ben Twist, and Irish cultural consultant, John O'Brien, discuss climate change adaptation in Culture. Our EU-funded project, Cultural Adaptations, investigates how cultural organisations can adapt to the impacts of climate change, and how creative practices can shape city and societal responses to warmer temperatures, rising sea levels, increasing rainfall and more powerful storms. Taking place between October 2018 and March 2021, city partnerships between cultural and adaptation organisations in Glasgow, Ghent, Gothenburg and Dublin are exploring new ways to help our society to adapt to the climatic changes to come.  The podcast discusses:  what the ongoing COVID-19 response might teach us about adaptation to climate change,  how capacity to adapt to climate change is linked to social equality how cultural organisations can support community empowerment when it comes to climate change how creative practice and embedded artists can effect this work what action cultural organisations can take to adapt themselves how Ben made the career transition from theatre director to climate change expert! More about Cultural Adaptations can be found on the project website, and extracts of this podcast can be found in episodic form on the Cultural Adaptations anchor profile. The podcast adds to number of digital resources which seek to inform and support the integration of culture and adaptation. 
April 30, 2020
COP Tales and Cocktails
This podcast features recordings made at the Green Tease event COP Tales and Cocktails, which brought together people from a wide range of arts, sustainability, campaigning, and policy organisations to have a few drinks and discuss plans for creative engagement with COP26 when it comes to Glasgow in November 2020. The podcast starts with an introduction from Ben Twist, director of Creative Carbon Scotland, who discusses his previous experience of COPs in Copenhagen and Paris and offers some advice on what the barriers tend to be and what makes for the most effective work. This is followed by some thoughts from Chris Fremantle of ecoartscotland. Chris also led a performance of an extract from environmental artists Helen and Newton Harrison's Lagoon Cycle poem, which is not included in the podcast but can be read on their website.  This is followed by elevator pitches from organisations and individuals who are already making plans for COP26. In order of appearance these are: Stop Climate Chaos, Manchester Science Festival, Glasgow National Park City, Creative Climate Symposium, Ellie Harrison, artist and activist, RSPB, Edinburgh Data Visualisation Meetup Group. These recordings are being made available so that those who were unable to make it on the night due to distance, weather, or inability to get a ticket can still hear about what is being planned and get involved. Further information is available on our website at For more information, please get in touch with 
December 17, 2019
What's the social and environmental cost of recorded music?
We joined Dr Matt Brennan for the launch of his new music venture Citizen Bravo's debut album 'Build A Thing of Beauty' as part of the Green Tease events programme. The evening also launched a research film project directed by Graeme O’Hara titled The Cost Of Music; and a demonstration of an interactive musical sculpture known as the SCI★FI★HI★FI, which forms the only physical copy of the new album. We took the opportunity afterwards to interview some of the participants at the event, as well as on of the makers of the SCI★FI★HI★FI, about their views on the role of music in tackling the climate crisis! Build A Thing of Beauty draws on musical influences ranging from Jonathan Richman to Robert Wyatt, Brennan recorded the album with the help of friends including Andy Monaghan (Frightened Rabbit), Malcolm Benzie (Withered Hand), Raymond MacDonald (Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra), and Pete Harvey (Modern Studies). Brennan also found inspiration in scavenging and manipulating orphaned samples from antique recording formats and integrating them into his songs.   The short film The Cost Of Music documents Matt’s journey making the album: disillusioned by prevailing attitudes about the disposability of new music and the decline of physical formats, Matt set out to record his own songs and release them in an unusual way: not so much a ‘concept album’ as a musical sculpture that explores the concept of albums as historical artefacts. In doing so, he discovers how the cost of listening to records has changed over the past century: while the economic cost of listening to one’s choice of recorded music has never been lower, the environmental cost has never been higher.  While the album will be available for online streaming, the sole physical copy of the album is a one-off interactive musical sculpture called the SCI★FI★HI★FI. Built in collaboration an electronics engineer (Peter Reid) and metal worker (Mark Reynolds), the SCI★FI★HI★FI is what its name suggests: a science-fiction inspired hi-fi system that can play seven of the most historically significant recording formats (Edison wax cylinder, 78 rpm disc, vinyl LP, cassette tape, compact disc, mp3 on hard drive, and streaming remotely from the cloud). To listen to the album Build A Thing Of Beauty via the SCI★FI★HI★FI is to make sense of recorded music not as a fixed, frozen object but as an historical event unfolding over time. How was recorded music valued before the advent of albums, and how might it be valued after albums are gone?  This is the third podcast from Creative Carbon Scotland's Green Tease network & events programme, to share any feedback please contact To find out more about the Green Tease programme and and joining the network, visit the Creative Carbon Scotland website.  The backing track for the podcast is of course an instrumental of the title song from the album Build A Thing of Beauty by Citizen Bravo.
May 24, 2019
The denburn is flooding, don't panic! How does creativity help engage communities in flood risk?
This podcast was produced by Madeleine Jordan to help provide a deeper understanding of the Burnie Journey project.  The interviews, recordings and production took place as part of a work placement with Creative Carbon Scotland from the Edinburgh College of Art.  The Burnie Journey research project explores how adopting a creative approach to engagement could be taken by Scotland’s flooding authorities to effectively raise levels of flood awareness and preparedness in flood risk communities. Unlike traditional forms of public engagement, this project sought the skills and expertise of a creative practitioner to design and facilitate a number of engagement workshops on flooding and local flood risk management on behalf of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA). The project was funded through SEPA’s internal Research and Development Fund and was managed by SEPA’s Flooding Communications and Customer Services team. SEPA commissioned Creative Carbon Scotland to help shape and develop this project using their knowledge of the cultural sector and experience of connecting environmental and climate change organisations with those working in the arts. Creative Carbon Scotland was instrumental in bridging the gap between SEPA and project artist, Simon Gall. The project was also supported by Aberdeen City Council’s Structures, Flooding and Coastal Engineering team who provided local flooding knowledge and community contacts. To find out more about the project, visit the Floodline Scotland web-page: To find out more about our wider culture/SHIFT work visit our project page: 
May 24, 2019
Can experiencing fiction and the unfamiliar help to change the way humans act and relate to the climate crisis?
‘Biosystems – Cli-Fi: The New Weird’ is the latest project from A+E, a collective of creative practitioners who run a monthly reading group series, focusing on ecological themes and offering a lively environment to explore the pains, pleasures, problems and potentials of the fraught era we live in.   Dr Rhys Williams, Lord Kelvin Adam Smith Research Fellow in Fantasy Literature (English Literature) at the University of Glasgow. The event was supported with funding and staff time through Creative Carbon Scotland's Green Tease Open Call. This is the second podcast from the Green Tease network & events programme, to share any feedback please contact To find out more about the Green Tease programme and joining the network, visit the Creative Carbon Scotland website. 
April 29, 2019
Can art get people travelling more sustainably?
Can art get people travelling by bike, by foot, by other means of sustainable transport? This podcast on Arts & Active Travel is introduced by Gemma Lawrence, CultureSHIFT Producer at Creative Carbon Scotland with presentations from Cosmo Blake, Arts & Diversity Officer at Sustrans Scotland and Ben Spencer, independent Arts consultant. The first podcast from Creative Carbon Scotland's Green Tease network & events programme, to share any feedback please contact To find out more about the Green Tease programme and and joining the network, visit the Creative Carbon Scotland website.
March 15, 2019