Songs of the Earth, developed and directed by multi-disciplinary artist, musician, and Earth Day Ambassador Soumik Datta in partnership with EARTHDAY.ORG premiered at the UN Climate Change Conference, COP26.
The animated film is accompanied by an eight-track album responding to climate change, weaving issues from climate migration, extreme weather to ocean pollution, deforestation and sustainable fashion through original narrative, songs and immersive visuals.
Artist, Creator, Composer, Director of Songs of the Earth, Soumik Datta said, “At the heart of the film is a question – is our behaviour as a people sustainable? As consumers, many of us are part of a cycle of buying and discarding – and somehow, the photos of polluted oceans, landfill mountains and toxic rivers don’t always connect back to us. I’d love for young people to respond to Songs of the Earth and think about how they could make small changes to the environment around them and start valuing this behaviour as a measure of good citizenship – as a badge of humanity.”
The film is a dedication to the Global South and those who have been displaced by environmental crises and natural disasters.
With a duration of 24 minutes, the film follows Asha, a young climate refugee from Bengal, as she searches for her missing father through the flood banks of the Sundarban delta, burning forests and melting polar ice caps. It also addresses the carbon impact of the fashion industry and the plight of climate migrants.
The London-based multi-disciplinary artist won a British Council Climate Change creative commission in February to develop a film and music project in partnership with Earth Day Network. The British Council’s Creative Commissions programme, which commissioned a series of creative projects to explore climate change through art, science, and digital technology, supported Songs of the Earth.
The film was previewed at the UK Prime Minister’s office at No. 10 Downing Street and Royal Albert Hall in London.
Karuna Singh, Regional Director Asia, EARTHDAY.ORG, said: “It’s been an amazing experience working with Soumik and his team.We firmly believe in art’s power to widen the message about the need for all inhabitants of Earth to do their bit to help restore it and circumvent us reaching that point when the planet becomes inhabitable for humans.”
The project, aside from the animated film and album, is also available as an educational resource for schools and youth labs in the shape of an e-book, accessible through the artist’s Instagram.