Paint Your Climate Change Picture

Campaigns and Advocacy, Media Releases article written on the 02 Oct 2008

International aid agency Oxfam is inviting Australians to create their own piece of art that tells a story about the effect climate change is having on the developing world.
The artwork will be used as part of the Oxfam Canvas for Change project, which will feature artworks from members of the general public from all over the world.
Entries will form part of an online gallery. The best will be used at the crucial United Nations Meeting in Poznan, Poland, in December, and others will be made into postcards and posters for Oxfam’s climate change campaign.
Some canvases will be exhibited in Australia and throughout the world over the coming year. A separate category for post-secondary students will see the winning work displayed in Poznan as part of Oxfam’s global exhibition urging Australian and world leaders to take strong action when they meet to negotiate climate change solutions.
Oxfam Australia director of policy James Ensor said the project was part of Oxfam Australia’s campaign to invite people to ‘think bigger than our backyard’ – to recognise climate change as a serious humanitarian issue as well as an environmental issue.
“Drought and extreme weather have already begun to cost thousands of lives in developing countries,” Mr Ensor said.
“We’re inviting all Australians to participate in a global project to highlight these devastating impacts on some of the poorest people in the world, and to tell the stories of the resilience and resourcefulness of people who are adapting to this great challenge of our time.”
Within the Pacific region, people living in low-lying islands and river deltas are already experiencing the negative results of climate change, including rising seas and salt water inundation. This contributes to crop losses, destruction of fresh water sources and flooding. The nation of Kiribati faces the prospect of disappearing completely, as do other low-lying islands in the Pacific, including those in Papua New Guinea, Tuvalu, and the Marshall Islands.
“These Pacific nations have among the lightest carbon footprints in the world, whereas Australia has one of the highest per capita,” Mr Ensor said.
He said the artwork could represent the climate change impacts faced by communities, tell the story of them adapting to climate change – from building a sea wall to planting drought-resistant crops – or look at opportunities and possibilities for the future.
The closing date for post-secondary students is Monday 20 October. For all other entries the deadline is Monday 17 November.
For further information, including artwork specifications and educational resources on climate change, go to
For more information, please contact Laurelle Keough, Oxfam Australia, on 0409 960 100, or