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Photography and video exhibition visually narrates global consequences of continued use of fossil fuels and explore visionary solutions.

San Francisco, CA – The COAL + ICE Project comes to San Francisco’s Fort Mason Center for Arts and Culture September 4-23, 2018. This project explores the complex consequences of climate change through documentary photography and video. The project also includes a three-week climate festival of music, dance, spoken word, food, family activities, films, educational programming, and creative dialogue that invites diverse audiences to participate in a conversation about climate change. The COAL + ICE Project is presented by Asia Society and will be open during Governor Jerry Brown’s Global Climate Action Summit.

The exhibition will be installed in the 50,000 square foot Festival Pavilion at Fort Mason, overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge. Through immersive documentary photography and video installations, the COAL + ICE exhibition illuminates the trajectory of climate change, from dirty coal mines deep within the Earth to the vanishing glaciers of the Greater Himalaya. The exhibition is co-curated by two world-renowned artists, Susan Meiselas and Jeroen de Vries, who have brought together the work of over 40 photographers and video artists from around the world, including Chinese photographers Geng Yunsheng and Song Chao, American mountaineer and filmmaker David Breashears, and Kenya-based photographer Nichole Sobecki. COAL + ICE also features a large-scale installation of multi-media artist Clifford Ross’ Digital Waves on a huge LED wall. The exhibition vividly presents the global consequences of climate change, from sea level rise to intensifying storms, and culminates in an interactive Solutions Zone that provides the opportunity for attendees to learn more about climate solutions and make a personal action pledge.

“The arresting work of COAL + ICE transforms the complex issue of climate change into an immersive experience so we can all feel greater urgency to find global climate solutions,” said Meiselas, Magnum Foundation president and photographer. “Through photographs and digital projections, the exhibition hopes to give greater presence to the consequences of climate change through both a global and local lens. We are imagining a space, both physical and psychological, to create a platform for a critical community dialogue, bringing together perspectives from artists, scientists, activists and entrepreneurs.”

The COAL + ICE climate festival will present a three-week series of cultural events featuring unlikely collaborators using creative mediums to express the challenge we all face with global climate change. As the U.S. federal government steps back from international efforts to combat climate change, COAL + ICE seeks to call attention to the perils of inaction and spark a vision of the way forward by bringing into the fold prominent artistic, literary, environmental, business, and state, regional, and local political figures.

“If there is to be any hope in stemming the tide of global climate change, the U.S. and China—the world’s leading carbon emitters—need to find ways to come together and collaborate,” said Orville Schell, executive producer of The COAL + ICE Project and Arthur Ross Director of the Center on U.S.-China Relations at the Asia Society. “By holding COAL + ICE for three weeks around the Governor’s Global Climate Action Summit, we hope to show the world that regardless of what’s happening at the federal level, states and cities are forging ahead and California can serve as a model for creative international engagement in the climate space. We plan to do this by bringing together not just government officials and policy specialists, but scientists, artists, musicians, business leaders and even restaurateurs to remind the world that we all have a stake in this challenge.”

The COAL + ICE Project is building partnerships with local and international arts organizations, universities, corporations, and environmental NGOs. Acclaimed chef and activist Alice Waters will partner with COAL + ICE to host a private dinner inside the exhibition space for approximately 500 attendees of the Governor’s Climate Summit. The international leaders and partners who tour the exhibition will experience a clear and visual reminder of the perils of climate change, as well as the hope found in creative solutions.

“When people know about the alarming consequences of global warming, they find ways to take action, and COAL + ICE will help Californians make that connection,” said Waters. “We want to connect the dots between the food system and climate change. Food is one of the best solutions, because it’s a delicious one.”

Programming partners include The San Francisco Symphony, Youth Speaks, San Francisco Green Film Festival, San Francisco Film Society, Snap Judgment, #reframeclimate—a collaboration with the Magnum Foundation and Dysturb—and many others. Additional partners will be announced soon.

For more information about The COAL + ICE Project, including a full list of participating photographers, please visit coalandice.org.


About The COAL+ICE Project

The COAL + ICE Project is a three-week documentary photography and video exhibition, and a series of cultural events taking place at San Francisco’s Fort Mason Center for Arts and Culture September 4-23, 2018. COAL + ICE illuminates the trajectory of climate change and amplifies the discussion about solutions. COAL + ICE is a project of the Asia Society’s Center on U.S.-China Relations in collaboration with Asia Society Northern California. COAL + ICE was first developed as a documentary photography exhibition for Three Shadows Photography Art Center in Beijing in 2011, and has shown across China and in Paris at the U.S. Ambassador’s Residence during COP21.

About Asia Society

Founded in 1956 by John D. Rockefeller 3rd, Asia Society is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that works to address a range of challenges facing Asia and the rest of the world. Asia Society has cultural centers and public buildings in New York, Hong Kong, and Houston, and offices in Los Angeles, Manila, Mumbai, Tokyo, San Francisco, Seoul, Shanghai, Sydney, Washington, D.C., and Zurich. Across the fields of arts, business, culture, education, and policy, Asia Society provides insight, generates ideas, and promotes collaboration between Asia and the world.