Statement Pieces: After Last Week’s Devastation, Liter of Light Teams Up with UST for a Large-Scale Solar Art Installation for Climate Action - Meaningful Life

This is part of the organization’s latest initiativs, Messages for the Planet.

Liter of Light just partnered with the University of Santo Tomas (UST) for a large-scale solar art installation to raise awareness and call for urgent action on the ongoing climate crisis.

READ ALSO: Illac Diaz’s Liter Of Light Celebrates Filipino Heroes In Time For The Quincentennial—Here’s How You Can Help

The Filipino-born global grassroots solar lighting movement is building on the success of its award-winning Light It Forward campaign. Its latest initiative, called Messages for the Planet, engages the young in leading the call for change in climate policies while we are still dealing with the COVID pandemic.

The organization is inviting young climate leaders and environmental luminaries from UST to design and build a large-scale installation using its hand-built solar lights. By using its platform, Liter of Light wants to amplify these voices calling for climate action.

Youth movement

The UST installation features a large sun and the figure 1.5, to represent the critical 1.5 degree C threshold that the world must adhere to in order to avoid major climate change catastrophes, including super typhoons, which are the direct result of rising ocean temperatures.

“This week, we are confronted once again with the fact that the Philippines is on the front lines of the climate crisis. We can—we must—act now,” says Illac Diaz, founder and executive director of Liter of Light.

“Typhoon Odette destroyed hundreds of thousands of homes and lives across the country in a matter of hours,” he continues. “Through this symbolic installation with UST, we are calling for dramatic action to halt global warming that is devastating our environment and endangering our way of life.”

The installations are part of a series of pop-up artworks that Liter of Light is building across Metro Manila to raise awareness and urgency for climate action. It recently completed large-scale solar art installations in St. Andrews, Scotland with youth environmental leaders and student representatives to the global climate change conference, COP26.

After the unveiling of this week’s installation, which includes a mass in tribute to the victims of this latest natural disaster, the lights used to create the artwork will be deployed to the communities ravaged by Typhoon Odette.

Diaz stresses the need to stop global warming, as he points out that 1.5 degrees centigrade is the danger line.

“We are approaching it without urgency,” he says. “The Philippines, as many island nations, are suffering the impact of human-caused climate changes.” This leads to stronger calamities in the Pacific such as last week’s super storm.

“As we pick up the pieces of lives and communities that will take years to rebuild, we remind [all nations] to keep your COP Paris Agreement commitments to shift to cleaner energy and economies.”

Liter of Light founder Ilac Diaz

Messages of hope

Liter of Light uses village parks, helicopter pads, or public spaces all around key cities as a human-made billboard to share these Messages for the Planet that are part of the communities where we all live. Because of existing health and safety protocols, all of the messages are built with only 3 to 10 adult artists creating the installation using our hand-built solar lights.

The installations can then be viewed online through videos taken by drone, with viewers encouraged to interact with the installation from the safety of home, sharing on social media how they contributed to the artwork.

With new messages unveiled every month, Liter of Light is making a strong statement to raise awareness for climate action by giving young people an opportunity to contribute to real solutions and have a tangible impact, even at a time when public art has disappeared and people are confined to their homes.

The Philippines’ geography is one of the main factors for being most at risk from the effects of the climate crisis. The Philippines is hit by an average of 20 typhoons every year, with the intensity of these storms increasing exponentially in recent years, making it one of the most countries most vulnerable to climate change.

Many youth are nervous about the future, with billions of pesos in economic losses, and over thousands of lives already lost due to the effects of climate change. With the global pandemic, however, opportunities for youth to express their views on climate change have been severely limited.

After each of these milestone installations, the organization will donate the lights built for these installations to energy-poor villages served by its country chapters in compliance with any epidemiological, health, and safety protocols in place.

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