Fast Forward is a series of short films that explore five artists’ dreams for a regenerative world. Featuring over 300 global voices, the films have been made by artists from Ethiopia, Senegal, and the United States.
The series explores a future that is fair and regenerative, realized through global collaboration and the centering of historically marginalized groups. It intends to reframe the prevailing political rhetoric on climate change, grounding the narrative in the lived experience and voice of global citizens.
The aim is that these artworks help to turn an often data-driven and technically heavy conversation surrounding the global energy crisis into an open, intimate dialogue, creating accessible stories and new motivation for global change.
Commissioned and produced by Olafur Eliasson‘s Little Sun, the project has been stewarded by an advisory board composed of global leaders in climate and art. The films will form the foundation of an experimental curriculum for 16-18 year olds that will be rolled out in Ethiopia, Senegal, and the US before the end of the year.
“Little Sun’s Fast Forward film series offers a vital new space for artists to reimagine the future.” Olafur Eliasson
Ethiopian mixed media artist, Ezra Wube‘s Possible World is a painted animation inspired by interviews conducted with over 100 everyday individuals across Ethiopia. In a series of beautiful and dynamic scenes, Wube brings to life his subjects’ dreams for a regenerative world, starting with existing practices that benefit both communities and the environment.
“Through their emotive reflections, artists can translate and communicate abstract ideas such as scientific statistical data into a relatable experience.” Ezra Wube.
Daregot, by Ethiopian photographer and filmmaker, Naod Lemma, addresses the importance of working together to rise to the challenges of the climate crisis. In this short documentary film project, Lemma explores the paradoxical relationship between decision makers and societies in the lowest structure of the economy, specifically in terms of energy access.
“Art is not the only component to create a regenerative world, but the unlimited power of thinking and creativity allows artists to access unorthodox exploration of the conventional world. Artists’ interventions can challenge existing systems, raise questions on power hierarchies, and create new understanding of socio-political issues.” Naod Lemma.
American artist, Jessica Segall‘s film Say When addresses the urgent need to reach net zero by mid-century. In 2014, the US Bureau of Land Management designated 250,000 acres of public land for solar infrastructure. These sites remain almost entirely undeveloped, receiving few expressions of leasing interest to this date.
The film sees Segall walks through the desert landscape holding a mirror to the sky, personifying a heliostat, a centuries old technology that generates energy from the sun. Say When reminds us of our ability to manifest a world powered by the sun.
“We all have a role to play in the future of our planet, making daily choices in consumption (material or ideas). It’s not just up to activists and policy makers. Artists have skills in visual storytelling, and in forging unexpected connections. We access the unexpected and illogical, opening up new ways of thinking.
“We need to move from fossil fuel reliance into sustainable energy production. I hope that as an artist I can contribute to a meaningful discussion on solar energy and shared climate futures.” Jessica Segall.
Jant Yi, by Senegalese artist and fashion designer, Selly Raby Kane, is a fantasy film that culminates in a real-world call to action. Set in a dystopian Dakar, in which humans must generate electricity from energy expended with their own bodies, Jant Yi invites audiences to reconsider their conception of the living and to inhabit the imaginary as a space for sowing potential futures.
Based in Dakar, Kane’s work is a tribute to Senegalese mythology and Dakar’s hidden stories.
“Jant Yi addresses the urgent need to adapt to protect communities and natural habitats. It represents the opportunity to put the creative practice at the service of preserving beauty and life.” Selly Raby Kane.
Aligned by the Sun
To make Aligned by the Sun, US collaborators, Ghost of a Dream compiled footage of the sun at the end of the day captured by artists in over 200 countries and autonomous zones across the world. The hope, according to the artists, is to show that we inhabit a single planet that is sustained by the light and warmth of the sun.
The collected suns were collaged together by layering the videos and aligning each video by the sun to spark a dialogue about equality, location, migration, and the environment.
“We hope by focusing on the sun, a resource the entire world has access to, and one that is unrestrained by our artificial borders, it will encourage people to think about the world we all share and need to take care of.
“Artists have the ability, and in our opinion a responsibility to, shed light on big issues, allowing people to see things differently. As our personal worlds became smaller during the pandemic, it was also abundantly clear that we are globally connected.” Ghost of the Sun.