Today is Gender Action Day at the UN Climate Summit in Bonn and we invite you to join us at the Gender Tipi to share your stories and raise your voice for climate justice and a robust gender action plan.

Inspired by the Pacific “Talanoa” approach to storytelling and the overall #Uniting4Climate conference theme, we teamed up with artists, local climate and V-Day activists, Respect Earth,  Infoe,  La Via Campesina, Africans Risings and other groups to organize a series of creative outreach events during the COP23.

The Bonnections arts & storytelling project is centered around a colorful tent and focused on women-led climate action, climate justice, indigenous peoples and climate-vulnerable populations.

COP23 off the beaten path

The tepee is set up near the Climate Planet in the Rheinaue Park until Nov. 17 (Photo: Ute Lennartz-Bambeck)

The aim is to highlight community-driven initiatives and solutions to stop global warming, to connect with visiting climate activists, to listen and to learn from each other. We also like to explore with participants the relationship between climate change and migration and the root-causes of the refugee crisis as well as the role of the ocean in climate and climate change. 

The UN climate conference is held under the auspices of Fiji’s COP23 presidency. Talanoa is a term in the Fiji language that means “telling of stories, the transfer of ideas and the conversation between people and the achievement of consensus”.

The Fijian government wants to use the Pacific Islands concept of “talanoa” as a guiding principle to help steer negotiation for the rule book for the implementation of the Paris Agreement and accelerate world-wide climate action for all vulnerable societies.

In line with Fiji’s COP23 vision, we are organizing with local and global partners a series of creative actions and participatory events, such as readings, concerts, workshops, storytelling sessions, and earth drumming circles. These events take place at different venues across the city, including the Tannenbusch House, The 9th und BonnLAB.

Respect Earth members will do daily earth drumming circles, peace carpet weaving and other creative activities throughout the second conference week. Here’s the program .

The Gender Tipi – To Create a Climate of Togetherness

The tepee is a collective arts project aimed at building bridges through arts and global collaboration. The project was conceived by Ute Lennartz-Lembeck, a German artist and art teacher. The colorful tepee is set up n the Rheinaue park between the two conference areas (the Bula and Bonn zones). It will be set up near the Climate Planet and other arts installations serving as a place for human encounter. (See Map)

The so-called Gender Tipi was created  in 2015 in Brussels by Ann assistance of 400 poeple from around the globe. Since then it has travelled and been exhibited in different cities, including in New York, Taipeh and Madrid. There are actually now more than a dozen of these tepees, hand-knitted by thousands of people around the world. (See das Tipi )

Auma Obama brought colorful tepee to Kenya (Photo: Ute Lennartz-Lembeck)

One of them is located in West Kenya in Alego, which is the home village of Barack Obama’s father. The tent was brought to Kenya by his half-sister Auma Obama. She is a journalist and sociologist who has lived and studied in Germany and the founder of the Sauti Kuu foundation. Sauti Kuu means “strong voices” in Swahili. 

Today we are inviting COP23 delegates, residents and visiting climate activists to raise their voices, huddle inside the tepee and share stories of (climate) change with each other.


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