Cùra Guardian -Environment, Climate change and Culture - RSA

Cùra Guardian: environment, climate change and culture

Fellowship events

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  • Arts and culture
  • Environment
  • Climate change
  • Arts and society
  • Environment

Please join us for the online portion of this fascinating launch of Cùra Guardian, a new website and roadshow

On 19 May, Heartstone with NatureScot and RSA Scotland will be launching Cùra Guardian, a new website and roadshow in Inverness.

A Highland badger called Cùra is the centrepiece of this environmental project, which aims to shine a new light on the natural world through documentary, including spectacular images, latest scientific research connected with it highlighting the issues we are facing today including the impact of climate change, and cultural story intertwined. It opens in Highland Scotland but then spreads out to make connections with cultures across the world. The preliminary phase of the website can be accessed at www.curaguardian.scot and www.curaguardian.org.

This is a powerful, engaging, insightful and inspiring route into the environment, to help us all see the world which surrounds us from a different perspective. A photolibrary of over 2m images. alongside the Cùra story, provides the starting point and foundation for the entire project. Built over a period of 30 years, this is the work of Highlands-based photographer, Nick Sidle, Heartstone’s photographer and writer and the man who created the Cùra concept. Many of the images have been gathered with special access from environmental partners within Scotland and globally and the library is still growing as new invitations are received. The environmental part of Nick’s photolibrary includes plants, animals and habitats which bring Cùra’s world in the Highlands to life. Some of the special access partners will be at this event to take you into their world. Add to this similarly powerful photostories from other continents, including as just two examples, great white sharks in the Southern Ocean and the lions of the Serengeti, plus cultural story showing how people have connected with their environment, historical background and some of the most astonishing recent scientific findings, and you have Cùra Guardian.

This event will include Nick Sidle who will be presenting some of the images, the stories and science behind them. Alongside Nick, Native American Les Left Hand of the Crow Tribe based in Montana at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, has been selected by the Rocky Mountains Tribal Leaders Council to be their presenter for the online part of the event. He will be complemented by Rajiv Bhartari, Chairman of the Biodiversity Board of Uttarakhand State in India and closely associated with Corbett National Park, in the foothills of the Himalayas, and the home of Project Tiger. They will both present stories they know from childhood connected to the animals and habitats they feel so passionately about, why these stories have been important, how they demonstrate respect for the natural world, and challenges they are both facing now from opposite sides of the world in trying to preserve the environment they know and love for future generations.

Cùra is a character from the book Heartstone was founded from, ‘The Heartstone Odyssey’. His name in Gaelic means ‘protector’ or ‘guardian’. In the story, his role is that of a protector of place and home, both social and the natural world, and he has a strong Highland historical connection, a story for children which is also capturing the hearts and minds of adults, which is why he was chosen as the centrepiece of this project.

This links to one of the other aspects of the Cùra project which makes it stand out as a unique concept, the connection which is being made through it with indigenous communities across the world. The partners currently include Canada, USA, Colombia, Peru, Kenya, India and the Pacific Islands and more are being added with time. These communities are sharing their own cultural stories for Cùra Guardian, which demonstrate the connection they have had with the environment which surrounds them over millennia and which has shaped their worlds, as well as raising some of the issues and challenges they face now especially related to the impact of climate change.

On 19 Mary, both the preliminary website and roadhshow will be launched for the first time. The online event from 4pm will provide an opportunity to meet and interact with some of the key people who have been involved, especially Nick Sidle, the creator of the concept and the overseas contributors from India and the USA who will all be providing access for new Cùra Guardian stories coming soon. .

The event will focus on the impact Cùra Guardian can have to help bring people together and influence social change on issues connected with the environment.

For further information on this event, please contact contact Sitakumari, Director, Heartstone: [email protected] or [email protected]

Image courtesy of Nick Sidle.

Heartstone is a Highland-based non-profit arts/cultural organisation which produces story – literature, photodocumentary, history – presented through exhibitions, events, performances, publication and online. Heartstone stories aim to bring people together across all cultures and backgrounds, to see a common human experience. Encompassing both social and environmental themes and designed to reach all age groups, this is a new route to get closer to and be inspired by the world which surrounds us all, to see what may be familiar with new eyes. To find out more about Heartstone, visit the website at www.hearstonechandra.com.

NatureScot is Scotland’s nature agency. Responding to the twin crises of biodiversity loss and climate change, we work to protect and restore nature by inspiring everyone to value our natural world. Our goal is a nature-rich, net-zero future for Scotland. For more information, visit our website at www.nature.scot or follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/nature_scot.

RSA Scotland - The Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, where world-leading ideas are turned into world-changing actions, is committed to a world that is resilient, rebalanced and regenerative, where everyone can fulfil their potential. The RSA has been at the forefront of significant social impact for over 260 years. Our proven change process, rigorous research, innovative ideas platforms and unique global network of changemakers, work collectively to enable people, places and the planet to flourish.

Rocky Mountains Tribal Leaders Council works to preserve the tribal homelands, defend rights of the Indian Treaties with the United States, speak in a unified voice, offer support to our people, offer a forum in which to consult each other and enlighten each other about our peoples, and to otherwise promote the common welfare of all of the Indian Peoples of Montana, Wyoming and Idaho. To find out more, visit the website: https://www.rmtlc.org.

Corbett National Park is a national park in India located in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand state in the foothills of the Himalayas. The first national park in India, it was established in 1936 in British India. Nearly a decade after India's independence, it was renamed Corbett National Park after the hunter and naturalist Jim Corbett, who had played a leading role in its establishment and had died the year before. The park was the first to come under the Project Tiger initiative launched in 1973 to safeguard one of the most endangered species in the world.

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