Red Line Art Works Declares The Cultural Emergency

Red Line Art Works is a global arts project, formed in 2012 to reflect the fact that humanity and our civilisations are in serious trouble and we in the Arts should (and can) increase the sense of urgency and emergency among Artists and audiences.

The Climate and Ecological Emergency is already upon us and humanity is now moving into the most critical decade in its history. According to the science and according to the United Nations, if we do not turn this emergency around by 2030 humanity will have lost our only chance of doing so. In 2019 we decided to give our support to a positive new initiative (based in the UK) which is complementary to our Mission : Culture Declares Emergency (see more below). You can also see more about our Mission here.

The developing Climate and Ecological Emergency are a grave concern. They are leading humans and other species towards extinction and our civilisation toward chaos and collapse. These two big global concerns have always (through all stages of their growth) been interlocked with and interwoven with other big global concerns, inequalities and injustices. From its outset Red Line Art Works has therefore encouraged artists and creative people to create more work about ALL of these big global concerns, reflecting them in Art works of all types.

Across the whole spectrum, Art and artists can influence people to act with good values and principles, and it can validate and affirm those seeking positive changes in the wider culture. Through the global critique embedded in these art works we want to shift the 'cultural centre of gravity' to support more positive and proactive change in the world. Art can change the way people see the world and see reality - and that is necessary if they are to change it. It is clear that we should not stick with the status quo which is leading humanity towards disaster.

Chinese Proverb : "Unless we change direction, we are likely to end up where we are headed."

So, we ask all Artists and creative people across the world to reflect on the big global concerns - the ones that today threaten humanity and our only planet. In doing this, we show how the Arts can (and does) critique the global status quo. Nothing is now more urgent or imperative in the Arts. When Artists (or Curators or Arts Institutions, etc) ignore these Global Concerns they are complicit with the wrongdoers, the wrongdoings and the injustices which are endangering humanity and our only planet. So, we believe in speaking up, specifically through art.

We are in our fifth year of making two annual Awards for the best art works we receive about this. We have developed an enthusiastic global audience for these critical Art works. In our Main Gallery here you can see a wide variety of Art works from over 40 countries, and this number is growing.

We offer artists and audiences a clear and integrated view of these global concerns, inequalities and injustices. You can read about them here and follow our global Links to almost every strand of the big global concerns. They are all connected, and always have been.

Citizens around the world look to Artists and creative people for inspiration, for validation of big social causes and for confirmation of their own ideas about social and political change. The Arts can be incredibly valuable in inspiring and supporting people, especially in difficult times. Artists with intelligence, wisdom and courage can also 'Tell Truth to Power' (see examples here and here). You can also read more about What Can The Arts & Culture Do here.

CDE-Small Vertical Kitemark
Culture Declares Emergency (CDE) is a UK-based organisation whose mission is to focus artists and arts organisations on the global Climate and Ecological Emergency. When Culture Declares Emergency (CDE) announced its arrival in 2019 we quickly registered our support. It asks each artist and every arts body to 'Declare an Emergency'. Our Declaration is below.

CDE arose from conversations between arts practitioners supportive of, or involved in, Extinction Rebellion (XR) in the UK. The CDE working group is separate from XR but is an ally, and XR offers mutual support.

We commend CDE to all artists and arts organisations and we hope you will all Register with CDE and 'Declare the Emergency' as we have done. And please don't forget to send us your art works on the big global concerns - they will be considered for our next Annual Awards. You can find a Link to the CDE website here.


According to both science and the United Nations humanity is moving into the most critical decade in its history. We, Red Line Art Works, therefore declare a Climate and Ecological Emergency.

We pledge to work with and support the global arts community and all others who are tackling this Emergency, and we call on all artists and creative people, arts bodies, (and others) to do the same.



Governments, international bodies and all public broadcasters and cultural agencies, must tell the truth about the Climate and Ecological Emergency, and the factors contributing to it or exacerbating it. We call upon all these bodies to reverse inconsistent policies and through our work we communicate and amplify the urgent need for far-reaching systemic changes.

Using the arts and creative practices, we will communicate the sense of Emergency to artists, creative people, audiences and citizens generally. We will support them to discover the truth about the Emergency and its contributing factors and about the shape, scale and urgency of the changes that are now needed.


Governments must enact legally binding policy measures to reduce emissions to net zero by 2025 and to reduce consumption levels to those which are sustainable for our planet.

We pledge to work towards reducing our emissions to net zero by 2025.

We will challenge the policies and the actions (and inactions) of local and national governments, intergovernmental bodies, agencies, institutions, businesses and corporations, wherever they do not tell the truth. We will put pressure on them to reduce emissions and consumption levels at an urgent pace that reflects this global emergency.

We will actively work to imagine and model ways that arts practices and organisations (including our own) can work to protect and regenerate the planet’s resources, while advancing justice across the world.

We will, where necessary, highlight parts of the culture that operate in complicity with the wrongdoing, the wrongdoers and the injustices which are endangering humanity and our only planet.


The emergency has arisen from and in parallel with deeply systemic political and economic inequalities and injustices (see our Global Concerns here). Arts and Culture can imagine and promote shifts in the ways we relate to one another and to our world. We promote this in our values, principles and activities.

We stand with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other Human Rights standards. We adhere to these values and principles. They are at the heart of our Mission and we promote them to all.

We will support demands for more and better democracy and for improvements in leadership and governance within all the world's governments, civic institutions and intergovernmental bodies.

We will enable dialogue and expression amidst our communities and audiences about how the Emergency will affect us all and the changes that are needed.

We believe that all truth-telling, action and democratic work must be underpinned by a commitment to justice based on intersectional principles which is led by and for the mass of the world's citizens (not by or for elites) and for all marginalised people.