A4 Sounds’ “We Only Want the Earth” is a programme of awards, exhibitions, and events that seeks to interrogate the goals and strategies of social change
A4 Sounds’ Programme Description
We are living through a time of sudden and unpredictable societal change caused by interlinked issues of global warming, the collapse of the neoliberal order, a resurgence of violent misogyny and nationalism, growing inequality, housing and homelessness crises, and the growth of ecofascism. The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns that we have until 2030 to overhaul society in order to mitigate some of the worst effects of climate change. Whether or not we heed this warning, broad social changes will accelerate over the coming decade. If these changes are to lead to a just society, it is essential that voices that are often ignored, or whose very existence is treated as debatable, are instead prioritised. The arts play a fundamental role in supporting or challenging cultural hegemony, and therefore have a moral obligation to attend to voices that have been silenced.
A4 Sounds and partners including Create have identified four communities whose voices will be given priority: transgender, non-binary and gender non-conforming artists; artists seeking or who have sought asylum in Ireland; migrant and ethnic minority artists, including members of the traveling community; and artists affected by the housing and homelessness crisis. In each case, the priority community does not necessarily define the subject matter of the artwork; rather, the goal is to ensure representation and material support for selected artists from these communities to respond however they see fit to the theme We Only Want the Earth.
Beginning in 2020 Create will support A4 Sounds to facilitate a programme of socially-engaged arts activities under the theme We Only Want the Earth. This title, taken from a 1907 song by James Connolly, is meant here both in its original sense of demanding the impossible, and in a literal sense related to humanity’s necessary life support systems. We Only Want the Earth is intended as a broad conversation about the goals and strategies of social change: what kind of society do we want and how should we get there?
We Only Want the Earth is kindly supported by The Arts Council’s Art Grant Funding.