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Get to Know Our EO Ambassador, Climate Activist and Artist Dorcas Tang

by Olivia Lai Asia Nov 27th 20213 mins
Get to Know Our EO Ambassador, Climate Activist and Artist Dorcas Tang

Learn more about one of our incredible EO Ambassadors, Dorcas Tang, a 21-year-old climate activist and artist based in Singapore. Running an advocacy page on Instagram, (@earthtodorcas), Dorcas is helping others to understand the climate crisis better, and inspiring hope and action through her colourful yet informative artworks. Her creations have since been featured by a number of Singaporean media including TODAY, The Straits Times and CNA.

Dorcas Tang is a climate activist and artist, and is using both her passion and enormous artistic talents to help advocate real change and policies to combat the current climate crisis. “Artvocacy” if you will. 

Fascinated about the intersections between climate change, social inequality, citizen participation, and biophilic architecture, Dorcas Tang creates these soft and colourful illustrations – which are shared on her Instagram account –  to highlight important climate issues ranging from extreme rainfall events and food waste to climate justice and conscious shopping. They’re all wonderful and non-confrontational; making them all the more accessible to larger audiences and engaging new people to environmental issues. 

Outside of social media, she is involved with Our Climate Story, a ground-up arts project that seeks to use community art installations to tell stories of climate change from real people, connecting science to individual action. 

“Our Climate Story is a campaign to empower the wider community to participate in the climate movement through art,” Dorcas explains. “It aims to empower the community in understanding emotions in the face of an existential crisis, reimagine better futures and use the power of creativity to advocate for what we believe in.”

Dorcas acknowledges that while we all have access to incredible amounts of facts and science regarding global warming and climate change, they often feel like faraway issues. Especially when we don’t physically experience melting glaciers, sea level rise, severe droughts and fires. She said: “It may affect other people disproportionately, but not me. Despite some saying that we’re in a “climate emergency”, it still feels distant from everyday concerns.”

This is where art comes in; it can be a powerful and “wholly underrated” tool in the climate movement. “Art enables us to connect to the crisis on a personal human level, beyond the science of climate change.” she said. “Especially since “climate action” is often thought of as practical actions such as bringing reusables or signing petitions, the emotional and imaginative work that is needed to bring us into a green and just transition is equally important too.”

“Through this small ground up, I hope that it will help us understand that all of our narratives are inextricably linked to each other – the climate crisis isn’t just some people’s problem, it’s all of ours.”

dorcas tang The response has been encouraging. People of all backgrounds and ages have come together to make art and to discuss feelings and futures that otherwise would have been difficult to express in everyday conversations. 

“I remember one of the participants from the Earth Emotions workshop saying that she didn’t connect the dots between climate change and how it affected us in Singapore. The emotion that she manifested was a mask that was peeled back, called “rawing it out”, signalling that she is now more awakened to the climate crisis and our connections to it. ”

These art workshops offer people a safe space to move past their eco-paralysis and all the overlapping discourse on social media, and provide clearer understanding on their roles in the climate crisis. 

Dorcas believes everyone has a different journey but hopes people who participate in these workshops or those who see her works on social media to at least walk away with a new understanding of their feelings and inspire them to take some action. 

“It’s my hope that they will be intrinsically motivated to then find out information on their own and plant seeds where they are, and spur a ripple effect from there”

You might also like: Get to Know Our EO Ambassador, Social Entrepreneur Laura François


About the Author

Olivia Lai

Olivia is a journalist and editor based in Hong Kong with previous experience covering politics, art and culture. She is passionate about wildlife and ocean conservation, with a keen interest in climate diplomacy. She’s also a graduate of University of Edinburgh in International Relations with a Master’s degree from The University of Hong Kong in Journalism. Olivia was the former Managing Editor at Earth.Org.

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