Cuba cracks down on dissent, protest music still thrives, and a talk with a tree at COP26

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(NOV. 16, 2021, WLRN South Florida)

A conversation with a tree at COP26

Do you remember the story “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein?

Every day a boy comes to visit the tree. And the tree gives him its apples and shade to play in. That boy grows up and the tree continues to give. The boy takes the branches to build a home. The tree gives and gives until it’s just a stump.

It’s a story that fits well around the conversation of climate change happening around the world. We’ve all experienced a giving tree in some way. If you could say something to your giving tree, what would you say?

“I really think that greed is going to win the day here. Self-interest. And I think a lot of you are going to be chopped down for more development,” that’s what artist and University of Miami professor Xavier Cortada told a tree at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow.

Cortada spent a few weeks at the conference and kept a digital diary about his time there. He also launched the HELLO art project, where people can express their fears and hopes for the future in regards to climate change using a name tag.

“I wanted to create the sense of urgency among these delegates so they wouldn’t see each other the way they ultimately did, which is as nation-states each competing for their own individual interest, but instead see themselves for the purpose that they came to the conference to solve,” said Cortada.

You can participate in his project here.