We Are The Possible

Artwork by children involved in the 'We are the Ocean' project  by Exeter University and partners in the United Arab Emirates is now adorning large window spaces and wrapping columns in Princesshay in Exeter City Centre. The artwork is a legacy of the COP28 We Are The Possible collaborative international programme, which co-created new narratives to imagine a liveable future for all. Through science, health, education, and the arts, it has brought together thousands of people from the UK and UAE to reflect upon the plight of the planet and deliver a creative and inspiring response to catalyse climate action and solutions.

The poetry and artwork were produced in the run up to COP28 in Dubai, through the Schools Across the Ocean programme that twinned 14 coastal schools in the UK and UAE. More than 400 children aged 10-12 worked with marine scientists, teachers, writers, translators, and artists to find out about and share how all living things on the planet rely on a healthy ocean.

The programme inspired the children to propose actionable solutions to protect the ocean, and create an illustrated poetry anthology, We Are The Ocean, which was published by the Emirates Literature Foundation and taken to COP28, where it was shared with policymakers.

Cecilia Mañosa Nyblon, Director of We Are the Possible, at the University, said "Children's words matter. As we proceed through the UN Decade for the Ocean, We Are the Ocean children's poetry and artwork is a powerful call to action uniting children in the UK and UAE to safeguard what we value most.

"We are hugely grateful to Princesshay for this wonderful collaboration to bring this legacy to the heart of our city to connect hearts and minds for our ocean. Together 'we are the possible' who can ensure the planet flourishes for future generations."

We Are The Possible is a partnership between the Met Office, the Emirates Literature Foundation, Khorfakkan University, British Institute for Modern Music (BIMM), The Theatre of Others, and other collaborators, and was funded by the British Embassy in United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Met Office, and UKRI..

Editor's note: I didn't know that the UAE were in the vanguard in the fight against the climate emergency. It's good to know.

John Craythorne