by Agam Agenda | August 11, 2022 |  READ THE STORY HERE

Storytelling and art are powerful companions in facing the climate crisis. At the first-ever Philippine Book Fair (PBF) in Lipa City, Batangas, the Agam Agenda mobilized creative climate action initiatives that showed audiences how artists, writers, musicians, and storytellers give us hope and inspiration during challenging times.

Contributors and editors of Harvest Moon showcased this climate literature anthology book last August 7, 2022 during the Philippine Book Fair event in Lipa, Batangas. The event is accompanied by mural making led by young artists in Batangas in support of the When Is Now poetry/arts campaign. The Harvest Moon anthology is a book of poems, stories, and images on the climate crisis, by award-winning writers and photographers from all over the world. It is published by Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities and Milflores Publishing. Photos by Leo Sabangan © ICSC.

Collaborating with local artists and climate activists, the Agam Agenda brought poetry, performance, rhythmic music, and visual art/murals to the Lipa book fair. They showcased their latest anthology, Harvest Moon: Poems and Stories from the Edge of the Climate Crisis together with Aurea Annalyn Dagnalan, Michelle Azuelo, and Jayson Gidore of Drum Circle PH, by inviting audiences to participate in the program through a facilitated rhythm event.

Contributors to Harvest Moon spoke about the role of poetry and arts for climate action during the unique book talk. Poet and medical doctor Joey Tabula read two poems (originally written in Filipino and Kankanaey) from the international anthology. Co-editor and Agam Agenda lead strategist Padmapani L. Perez then shared the creative, trans-disciplinary process which brought together diverse voices across Africa, Asia, the Pacific Islands, and Latin America in the Harvest Moon book.

Francis dela Cruz, veteran climate organizer and advocacy adviser at the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), also spoke about the impacts of climate change and the fight to limit global warming temperatures to less than 1.5°C. Volunteers from the nonprofit organization 350Pilipinas also joined the book fair, displaying lines of poetry that call for urgent action.

The creative climate action initiatives did not stop there, as young, local artists painted a mural at the Lipa book fair venue. This mural joins other public art contributions in support of the When Is Now poetry/arts campaign, alongside other murals painted this year in Iloilo, Isabela, and a forthcoming one in Baguio.

In Lipa, the young “MuRealists” group created a mural depicting the interconnections of ecological upheavals such as rising sea levels, carbon emissions, and habitat and biodiversity loss. The mural responds to lines from a When Is Now poem contribution titled “When is we” by Helen Dixon:

Now floods and fires are at your door/you still ignore us/
When will your we stop/ and listen to us all?

Excerpt from the poem “When is we” by Helen Dixon

The contributing muralists are Nazelle Landicho, Julius Antonio, Sofia Ashley Tee, Zenobia Gomez, and Louise Ielle Mendoza. Anyone can visit the mural at The Outlets at Lipa, Batangas.

The Harvest Moon anthology will be also showcased at the Manila International Book Fair, happening next month from September 15 to 18, 2022 at the SMX Convention Center Manila. The Agam Agenda will be participating and once again bringing the spirit of creativity and collaboration for climate action.