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Londoners use art to voice climate dreams

Words by Smiley Team

Hundreds of young people in London are addressing the impact of climate change through art. 

It's all for the Young London Print Prize, a competition that started during the pandemic as a way for young people to express their response to the climate crisis.

By the time the winners are announced in November 2022, more than 3,000 young London artists between the ages of 9 and 11 will have taken part, from neighbourhoods across the capital. 

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All the work showcased by the Young London Print Prize will be created, judged and curated by young people themselves. The competition is driven by the idea that all young people can be artists in their own right. It aims to write a new future for contemporary art in the capital that reflects the real diversity of young Londoners.

In 2021, the Prize was won by Meryl Basoa, a year 6 pupil at Heronsgate Primary School in Thamsemead for a print called ‘Climate Love’. This year’s entries and winners will be displayed at Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair from 3-7 November.

Climate through art

Over 25 schools will take part in this year’s Prize, with free teacher training sessions and more than 40 workshops delivered across the capital from Plumstead and Walthamstow to the Isle of Dogs, where pupils are taught how to make art using a technique known as relief printing and prepare their submission to the prize.

“Climate change isn’t just a science problem – it’s about our culture and behaviours," said Matt Bell, Co-Founder of Young London Print Prize. 

"It’s a product of what we value. Art shapes our world view and helps us to see things differently, as well as being a critical form of protest. That’s why this prize is so important. Each year we have seen young people express their creative response to the climate crisis and take ownership of an issue that will dramatically affect their future lives.”

Inspired to act?

FIND OUT MORE: The Young London Print Prize is run by Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair, with support from Peabody, Anthesis, LandSec, Boodle Hatfield and the Foundation for Future London. Find out more.  

TAKE ACTION: Do you want to take action against the climate? Visit Take Climate Action and find out a local campaign near you

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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