Images and Sounds of the Anthropocene
BRAZIL – SÃO PAULO
MIS - Museum of Image and Sound
The Museum of Image and Sound of São Paulo – MIS is one of the most important and active cultural spaces in the city, a key space for the International Film Festival, a museum that opened its doors to large audiences gathered to enjoy Stanley Kubrick, David Bowie, Rita Lee and B.B. King.
From September 12th to October 8th, 2023, the museum hosted the exhibition “Images and Sounds of the Anthropocene” held by TIME TO ACT!, offering sensory experiences with the environment through art, music, history and entertainment.
The proposal is to bring a contemporary form of education, using impactful audiovisual experiences, about the consequences of climate change to the City of São Paulo, where the museum is located. It is the largest city in Latin America and one of the largest in the world in terms of population.
Using documentaries, an immersive room and interactive expression filters, the exhibition seeks to make changes in behavior for the fundamental participation of each individual in the slowdown in global warming and in the local reality of the city that suffers from air pollution, flooding and poor urbanization planning.
SÃO PAULO and the CLIMATE EMERGENCY
The city of São Paulo and its metropolitan area with 38 municipalities are home to 20.8 million people, inhabitants of a diverse and unequal territory under the high impact of climate change along with intense and growing urban densification.
The city suffers from air pollution caused by the large number of vehicles in circulation, affecting the quality of life of its residents and users, in the form of respiratory and health problems. There are frequent floods and flooding during periods of intense rain, which reflect disorderly urbanization with soil sealing, aggravated by lack of green spaces and insufficient rainwater drainage systems. The absurd concentration of buildings, occupying traditionally residential neighborhoods and areas, alongside the asphalt and concrete in urban areas, contributes to heat islands, promoting a 10°C temperature difference between the dense urban area and the surrounding green belt and Atlantic Forest. This thermal discomfort increases energy consumption for refrigeration as well as health problems.
The ongoing risk of water shortage in São Paulo put forward a significant water crisis in recent years due to the combination of deforestation around its ground water sources, pressured by uncontrolled urbanization, and inadequate management of its water resources. The suppression of vegetation in urbanized areas and surroundings led to loss of local biodiversity, with a reduction in the area of natural habitats, threatening local species, bringing significant impact on urban ecosystems.
São Paulo has to face the Climate Emergency by reducing the emission of greenhouse gases and increasing resilience to storms and other climatic events. Reduce emissions by private vehicles and the public transport fleet involves the replacement of gasoline, diesel, and other fossil fuels with non-fossil fuels. Economic incentives for the use of Ethanol and other renewable energy sources are necessary in addition to improving the energy efficiency of vehicles. Reducing automobile usage is imperative. The city needs to promote sustainable mobility by improving public transport, encouraging the use of bicycles and walking, and reducing dependence on private vehicles and, consequently, pollutant emissions.
Waste Management should encourage waste segregation, recycling, and waste reduction, as well as to transform citizens into responsible consumers, with encouragement to buy local.
São Paulo has scarce trees and forests. The city needs to greatly increase the number of green spaces and urban trees as well as to reestablish permanent preservation areas surrounding its water sources in order to mitigate the heat island effect and improve air quality. As for the challenges for a city more resilient to flooding they include improvement of drainage systems, reduction of soil sealing and an increase in water retention areas.
The city homes, establishments and public lighting system need access to improved energy efficiency with the use of low energy consumption lightbulbs, equipment and appliances. The city needs to promote the adoption of nature-based solutions for housing, businesses and services.
For São Paulo to address climate change, the city needs new public policies to raise the population’s awareness about the challenges of climate change with environmental education actions and incentives for residents to adopt more sustainable practices for a better life in the city.
To this set of actions, special attention to climate justice must be added, with measures of reduction of inequality of living conditions of the city’s inhabitants. The vulnerability to climate impacts must be equally divided among all income classes and neighborhoods of the city. These measures represent the desire for a better city for everyone, in a more resilient and fair state and country for its population.
Luiz Villares, August 2023
Luiz Villares specializes in managing socio-environmental projects in the Amazon region and writes texts and essays for magazines and scientific publications. He is a Business Management graduate, with a master’s degree with distinction in International Management and is also the founder of the Manauara Community Association and Fiscal Councilor of the CERTI Amazônia Institute and the 5 Elementos Institute. As a researcher his publications include topics such as blockchain, sustainability, the Amazon and climate change.