Bonnections is co-organizing a GreenDrinks COP23 Welcome Party on November 6th with live music, arts and collective climate action to celebrate the kick-off of the UN climate conference which is under the presidency of Fiji.

The party takes place at The 9th, a co-working and event space in the vibrant Viktoria neighborhood near the university and city center (Stockenstr. 5, 53113 Bonn). It’s a wonderful opportunity to meet and mingle with eco-friendly locals, international visitors, climate activists and artists and get into the BULA spirit!

Bula means “welcome” (literally “life”) in the Fijian language. The government of the small Pacific Island state wants to infuse the COP23 with the “Bula Spirit” of inclusiveness, friendliness and solidarity and promote the Pacific concept of “talanoa”, a process of inclusive, participatory and transparent dialogue.

The GreenDrinks event (Nov. 6th, 7-10 PM) is free of charge and part of the KlimaTour Bonn, a city-wide initiative of the City of Bonn and partners of the UN climate summit. 

Subway Therapy Post-Its Post-Trump
(Photo by Allison Meier, CC BY-SA 2.0 license via Wikimedia Commons)


On the opening day of the 2-week summit, we invite people to express themselves and post from 10 AM to 10 PM their personal COP23 wishes, a climate action message or a prayer for mother earth on the Bula Wall of Climate Hope at The 9th, the venue of the GreenDrinks Bonn party. The wall of Post-It messages is inspired by last year’s Subway Therapy collective arts project in New York City.


We also encourage you to Have Your Sei online and sign the declaration on climate change of the Pacific Climate Warriors . They are representing 12 Pacific Island nations and will be in Bonn throughout the COP to tell the world what climate change in the Pacific looks like.

We are happy to welcome the Pacific Islanders, representatives of frontline and indigenous communities and COP23 visitors from near and far at the GreenDrinks Bonn party. Some guests will show us climate artwork from their countries.

We will also display upcycling art by Bonn artists  Uwe Schumacher and Anna Thinius  and illustrated haikus written by US climate scientist and hobby poet Gregory S. Johnson.

Climate change haiku watercolor by Gregory S. Johnson (

The oceanographer has used haiku and watercolors to condense for himself and to communicate to friends and family the daunting scientific results of global research contained in the massive 2013 IPCC report. He created 19 watercolor/haiku pairings as a personal arts project and agreed to have them published by the Sightline Institute, a Seattle-based environmental think-tank. Afterwards they went viral on social media.

The centerpiece of the pop-up exhibit will be a doplhin sculpture made by Astrid Hilt and Reham Al-Nojoom. Hilt is a stonemason and sculptor from the Saarland and Respect Earth member. She co-created the wooden sculpture two years ago with her Syrian refugee friend and fellow artist as a part of a cross-cultural climate art project for the COP21 climate summit.

Dolphin Sculpture (Photo: Astrid Hilt)

“A dolphin is a symbol for peace and harmony”, Hilt explains. “We wanted to take the dolphin to Paris, but the arts project was canceled after the (Paris) terror attacks.  I’m glad we can bring it now to Bonn for the COP23.”


Hilt will also lead a drum jam (8.30-9.30 PM) as part of a worldwide 24-hour COP23drum circle . “Everyone is welcome to join,” she says. “Through this global earth drumming event we want to connect our souls and warm our hearts for a peaceful Bula spirit and help accelerate climate action and support for Pacific Islanders and climate vulnerable populations.”

Local musicians will also perform at the GreenDrinks event, including the Happy Hippies and musicians from Indonesia and Africa.

British punk-rock legend and folk musician Billy Bragg released a climate change track in August while touring in the US. It will be featured on his upcoming mini album on November 3rd, along with  “The Sleep Of Reason” ,  “Saffiyah Smiles” and a few other politically influenced songs released by him this year. 

“Music can’t change the world, but it does have the power to bring people together”, he said ahead of his ‘Bridges Not Walls’ tour. “In such divisive times, it seems a good place to start.”

We like to close the GreenDrinks arts & music extravaganza with a sing-a-long of his re-imagined Ode to Joy.  Bragg’s Ode version not only fits well with Fiji’s COP23 vision and the overall #Uniting4climate conference theme, but also with the event location. The 9th is not far from Beethoven’s birth house.


On November 17th – the conclusion of the COP23 – the Fiesta Viktoria invites climate conference attendees and eco-friendly Bonners to a vibrant night of art and culture in the entire neighborhood, called the Viktoria Viertel. Local residents and small-business owners are embracing an urban development concept based on environmental and social sustainability and fighting against the plan to build a shopping mall in this quarter.

“The full potential of the politically contested quarter will come to life with a diverse program comprising of artists performing in unusual locations, such as a DJ set in a barber shop or a concert in a kiosk,” says Axel Bergfeld, owner of an organic deli and food store.

According to him, the previous edition saw an audience of 2,500 celebrating music, theater, literature and art. “The 4th Fiesta Viktoria will bring together not only locals with visitors from all over of the world, but also a local grassroots initiative with the global climate movement,” he says.

The entry is free as always!

GreenDrinks Bonn is an informal monthly get-together for anyone interested in the environment and sustainability and a joint initiative by Unity Effect e.V., Bonnections, The Tannenbusch House and the Bonn Energy & Environment Roundtable (BEER). We normally meet the every first Tuesday of the month (7-9 pm) at different venues to support local business and Bonn’s growing sustainability eco-system. GreenDrinks Bonn is part of the international Greendrinks network.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here