Tuvalu takes climate challenge to Venice art festival

Tuvalu takes climate challenge to Venice art festival

Screaming turtles, melting penguins and a prostrate Statue of Liberty greet visitors to the Tuvalu Pavilion at the 2013 Venice Biennale.

It is the country’s first taste of the world’s leading contemporary art exhibition, a dazzling soup of glamour, conspicuous wealth and Great Gatsby-esque pretentiousness.

The tiny Pacific Island nation is banking on art succeeding where politicians and scientists have failed in raising awareness of how climate change threatens its future.

If warnings that Tuvalu might slip beneath the waves by the end of this century have fallen on cold hearts, perhaps a dose of abstract realism might help?

“By delivering a statement at the UN General Assembly, UN climate talks and the COP meetings every year, we seem to be talking to deaf ears,” Tuvalu Minister of Foreign Affairs Apisai Ielemia told RTCC.

“We are talking to the very senior hierarchy, people at the top who are making decisions – Prime Ministers, Presidents, Ministers, top people in Environment Departments. We are just talking to deaf ears, and this is one way of expressing our concern.”

The Tuvalu Pavilion is open until November – for more information visit www.tuvalupavilion.com