Creative Approaches to Promoting Environmental Sustainability

The Challenge

As people across the Earth suffer from the effects of climate change and polluted environments, marginalized populations, who are least responsible for these problems, suffer the worst consequences.

The Foundstrument Soundstrument!

We believe that the arts have an important role to play in raising consciousness about these issues and for encouraging a sustainable lifestyle. Our signature sustainability program is known as the Foundstrument Soundstrument. Facilitated by Artolution artists, participants collect durable trash and found objects in their neighborhoods. They wash each object and paint them according to how they sound. The pieces are assembled into a large-scale sculpture using simple construction materials, then drumsticks are attached with wires. When complete, children have a permanent percussion instrument- sculpture in their community that they can play with. Through this process, participants learn about reusing materials and the importance of sustainability.  Artolution offers percussion workshops using the Foundstrument and teaches locals how to build and repair their instruments so that the project can live on for years to come.

Foundstrument Soundstrument projects have taken place with residents of in refugee camps in the Middle East and Europe, marginalized communities in India, Colombia and the Dominican Republic, and in Indigenous villages in Australia. Developed by Artolution co-director Max Frieder, this program includes discussions about environmentalism and how these issues affect individuals' lives.

Environmental Murals

Artolution has also explored environmental issues through its community mural projects. In the Arab fishing village of Jizr az Zarqa in northern Israel, youth addressed the degradation of their seafront and the endangerment of local species, such as the sea turtle. They created a giant public mural on the outside of their school highlighting the interconnectedness of humans and their natural environment.
In Za’atari Syrian Refugee Camp in the desert of Jordan, children and families learned about the importance of water conservation, a vital issue in their new environment. They explored this issue with local Syrian educators, and then painted murals to encourage their neighbors to get involved in the conservation efforts.Across Mexico, Artolution has worked with local environmental organizations to promote the reusing of trash, composting of waste for use in small farms, and water conservation in low income areas and indigenous villages where a lack of clean water has reached crisis levels.

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