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The shock of the new: a poet's response to a solar field

Posted by Chloe Uden on 18 March 2013 at 9:27 am

Those of us who think renewables are a good idea are usually really keen that everybody else would share our views, and often disappointed when they don’t for whatever reason. It can be tempting to think that if only we were more logical, or more convincing, or more impervious to detractors that we would then be successful in influencing the views and actions of others. If only others knew how great renewables are, then of course they would get on board!

It is for this reason that many consider working with artists (of all sorts) to try and sell their ideas. Artists are often purported to be experts in communication and we often think of artists as significant in influencing our views of the world. When we think of turning points, artistic output – an image, an anthem or a piece of writing can sum up our response. 

Regen SW has decided to explore the role of the arts in talking about sustainable energy, We recently appointed Matt Harvey poet, broadcaster and enemy of all that is difficult and uncomfortable to be a witness to our new industrial revolution. This isn’t about ‘selling’. It is about a broader engagement and encapsulating a zeitgeist in the context of a changing world and a struggling economy.

Matt has already written a poem called The Shock of the New which explores nimbyism and solar farms (watch it below, if you haven't got time to watch his whole short set, the poem starts 9.55 minutes in. Click here to read the poem):

He will be performing The Shock of the New at tomorrow's Renewable Energy Marketplace at Westpoint Arena, Exeter, as well as new poem about wind turbines which he will croud-source on the day. We hope the poems will encourage people to think about sustainable energy, whatever their views, and to focus our attention on the technologies and issues.

Tickets for the Renewable Energy Marketplace are still on sale. Use these codes to get a YouGen discount on entry and for the conference.

About the author: Chloe Uden is programme manager at RegenSW

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