Carnival will unite people for the climate

In north London, Finsbury Park will be abustle with activity for the first ever Carnival for Climate Justice on 29 August. Organised by a Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) group of global majority heritage, XR Unify, the event will engage locals in conversations about the climate through live music, dancing, food stalls, art activities and more.

While celebrating cohesion and diversity in the community, the event will also offer locals a space to share their hopes and fears for the future. Carnival-goers are invited to join ‘Sweat for the Climate’, a dance-a-thon, to boogie for as long as possible alongside their neighbours of diverse backgrounds. Those who wish can also share their experiences, feelings and reactions to the climate crisis in open discussion spaces. 

Tottenham resident and community organiser, Bhavini Patel, has been stimulating dialogues about the climate in her local area for the last three years. She hopes she can amplify less-heard voices from the area in the climate movement, unite different groups and engage more people in climate action

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“In cultures across the global south, we talk about the difficulties we face, but we also celebrate the good things in life,” says Bhavini. “So the carnival is about the duality of celebration – joy, food, dance and music – as well as discussing the crisis on our doorsteps, ways to address it and build resilience within our communities.

“Because at this point in time, we need to work together as brothers, sisters and neighbours if we are to stay safe.”

‘Unify to survive’

The carnival will take place in Haringey, one of the most diverse neighbourhoods in Europe and home to migrants from every continent. This means that many who join the carnival will have relatives in some of the countries already hit by some of the most extreme weather events, such as Brazil, Ghana and Turkey. 

Additionally, the event follows the anniversary of the Haitian revolution of 1791 when enslaved people rose up over the night of the 22nd to 23rd of August, against the French and British colonial armies.

Co-organiser Hester Campbell says: “The power is with us, the many, who demand a liveable world, a liveable future, because at present nowhere in the world is safe. The people united will never be defeated. So we have to unify to survive.”

The Carnival for Climate Justice will take place from 12pm in Haringey on 29 August.