The chronicle of Eden

By Jess Thorpe

In August 2018 15-year old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg stopped attending school on Fridays and sat outside the Swedish parliament building to call for stronger action on climate change. This was a beginning.

In May 2019 a group of 100+ young people from all over the world arrived at an ISTA festival held at the Eden Project in Cornwall to explore human being’s relationship to the natural world. This was a beginning.

What Greta Thunberg taught the world was that young people have a voice and can use it for change. Her message was clear – you are never too young or too small a group to make a difference. The power is in your hands and you have a responsibility to use it. This is your future.

It was Greta Thunberg’s words that we used to begin our creative work together in Eden in 2019. We played them like a provocation – a call to action.

I want you to act.
I want you to act as you would in a crisis.
I want you to act as if our house is on fire.
Because it is. – Greta Thunberg

We hoped that Greta’s words and Eden, with its biomes and ecosystems would provide an urgent context for these young people to engage in a dialogue around art as activism. We hoped that being in this moment together would connect them to their global community in a personal way. That the festival would be more than just an extra-curricular activity – a trip with school – and become something that would fuel them going forward. We hoped that the meaning that they found in this experience would move them to go back to their own communities and start a new set of conversations.

And this would be a beginning.

Welcome to The ISTA Chronicles

by Dinos Aristidou, Curator

The chronicle of the ISTA family

by Joachim Matschoss

The chronicle of a website

by Tommy Tonkins

The chronicle of partnerships

By Michael Ludwick

The chronicle of an ISTA book

By Emmy Abrahamson

The chronicle of TaPS

By Helen Szymcak

The chronicle of ISTA Connect

By Michael Westberg

The chronicle of Eden

By Jess Thorpe

The chronicle of an ISTA host

By Georgina Christou

The chronicle of an ISTA alumni

By Valeria Riquelme
The ISTA Chronicles were supported by funding from The Zich Trust.