Hard Rain Project and the National Union of Students launched the WHOLE EARTH? exhibition at the Eden Project and at universities and schools in the UK and Scandinavia in autumn 2015. It is based on the premise that the future belongs to today's young people - and that students and universities everywhere have a major role in making society much more sustainable.
The exhibition may be shown as a stand-alone display, but to do this would miss the point. Today’s students have a lot on their minds, and to really engage them in the issues around sustainable development the exhibition needs to be used by teaching staff across the board to explore the opportunities arising in a rapidly changing world.
Do read the comments from people who have used WHOLE EARTH? to open a dialogue between university and school students, academics, estate managers, university leaders and a wider public. They show how WHOLE EARTH? can be a catalyst for real change.
Will your university be part of this project?
In the face of climate change, all countries are “developing countries” needing to develop new ways of growing food, manufacturing, moving around and generally prospering. This demands a radically new, worldwide approach. So, to reach students on every continent, universities hosting WHOLE EARTH? in Europe are requested to send their edition on to a university or college in Africa, Asia or South America. Extensive tours have now begun in the Majority World.
WHOLE EARTH? is designed to be shown outdoors, to reach everyone on campus. It provides the kind of evidence that students need to join the debate about their future. But it’s not prescriptive; at the heart of the display are 20 questions, addressed to a range of university disciplines, which challenge students and their tutors to show how they can use their skills to support the global sustainability agenda for a resilient, healthy and just society, living within environmental limits. It also provides a platform for universities to present the ways they are forging the new sustainable world through innovative teaching, research programmes, and on their own campuses.
There is nothing as powerful as examples.
E-mail Mark Edwards at Hard Rain Project for costs and commitments.
Comments about Hard Rain/WHOLE EARTH?
WHOLE EARTH? deals with the urgent need to make peace with nature. Mark Edwards and Lloyd Timberlake have done a wonderful job showing how human beings can be natural partners with nature. Hard Rain showed in a very realistic way the problems but here we have the solutions, the hope and the possibility for change.
Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary- General, United Nations
So the lesson from Hard Rain is not only of the damage we are causing, but of the shared responsibility we all have to respond – and to do those things which, step by step, can make a real difference.
Rt Hon David Cameron MP, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
If Hard Rain is a photographic elegy it is also an impassioned cry for change. Forceful, dramatic and disturbing, it is driven by what Martin Luther King called “the fierce urgency of now” – and I believe the call for a truly global response to climate change is an idea whose time has finally come.
Rt Hon Gordon Brown MP, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Why don’t people in power understand that their money and business are worthless if the planet dies?
Mathieu Pendergast, UK
Hard Rain inspires me to try and stand again. To know that others share this bleakest outlook brings a ray of hope. At first I thought that Dylan’s lines should not be illustrated. I was wrong.
Christy Moore, singer, songwriter
Hard Rain is a piece of sustained beauty. I treasure it.
Arundhati Roy, author and environmental and human rights campaigner
So why is Hard Rain so stunning and so moving, and why does it feel so right? Part of the answer, of course, lies in the quality of the visual images. But the thematic bundling of these images with Dylan’s song could still seem gauche or exploitative were it not for two factors. The most important of these is the sheer brilliance of the dialogue Edwards has created between the words and the images, the way they synthesise into some third form that combines the stillness of a picture with the urgency of a ballad. Edwards’ conjunctions are so carefully and thoughtfully constructed that they enforce on the viewer a kind of tact that wards off mere voyeurism.
Fintan O’Toole, Times
Hard Rain has deep pathos jumping out of every page which stirs the conscience of the reader in a profound way. The pictures and words remind us of the terribly unequal world we have created and the stark privation and distress that continues to exist in human society across large parts of the globe.
P K Pachauri, Chairperson of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; Chancellor of Teri University
We need to give a damn, and here we can see, if we take a few minutes, why we should. This is the power of art.
Colin Tudge, science writer and broadcaster
This disturbing, powerfully moving work is a masterpiece that summons up the ghosts of our past and a vision of the future that is ours to change. Regret and optimism make strange bedfellows, but great artists have always known this.
Tim Smit, Chief Executive and co-founder, The Eden Project
In this extraordinarily powerful work – moving, delicate, cryptic, violent by turns – Edwards and Dylan remind us of how much is at stake.
Gerry McCarthy, Sunday Times
Everyone should see the ‘Hard Rain’ presentation. It’s powerful and beautiful. The simple honesty of the interaction between image and lyric really spoke to me. It had a profound effect on everyone in the audience.
Jo Pye, Glasgow School of Art
The fist picture I saw left me speechless. I have never been so moved in my life as I was in the 20 minutes I spent looking at Hard Rain exhibition.
Annie Ngo, NHCC
As a result [of seeing Hard Rain] we have written to our head teacher asking if we can meet her and discuss some changes we can make in our own school to make a cleaner environment. I only hope I can make the difference it calls for as well as one day creating something as moving as this myself.
Alice Ewing, Farlingaye High School, Suffolk. UK
I showed Hard Rain to my class. The intense look in everyone’s eyes was amazing. Five kids I didn’t even know came up later that day to thank me because it made such an impact on them.
Nikki Price, Manhatten Beach, California
Hard Rain was truly a life changing event for so many of us at NHCC.
Jean Kim Maierhofer, North Hennepin Community College (NHCC)
I couldn’t help but stop to look, Then I realised I had to look!
Loughborough comments board
Hard Rain caught me unawares, the same unawareness no doubt responsible for all this in the first place. It brought me back to my senses and deeply unsettled me... action is already taking place.
Paul Roche, visitor
Bob Dylan is the most influential singer-songwriter of his generation. He has won numerous awards and Grammys. In 2008, he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize Special Citation for his “profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power.” In 2013 the French government presented him with the country’s highest award, the Legion of Honour.
We are deeply grateful for permission to reproduce the lyrics of A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall which has made this project possible.
Lloyd Timberlake is an expert on sustainable development. As a writer and journalist, he has reported from more than 65 countries, mainly on environment and development issues. His articles have appeared in most of the world’s newspapers. He has served the director of communications for the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, a Geneva-based coalition of about 200 of the world’s most powerful companies. More recently he advised President Obama’s National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling.
He has written prize-winning books in his own name (Africa in Crisis, Only One Earth, When the Bough Breaks) and books for organizations such as the World Commission on Environment and Development and the UN Environment Programme.
He has appeared as juggler onstage with the Rolling Stones and in the House of Commons. He now lives in Washington DC and kayaks in the Chesapeake Bay.
Mark Edwards was the first photographer of his generation to specialise in photographing environment and development issues. The defining moment that set him on this track was getting lost in Sahara desert. A Tuareg nomad rescued him and took him back to his people. He rubs two sticks together and lights a fire; they have a cup of tea, and he turns on an old cassette player. Bob Dylan sings A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall. Edwards has the idea to illustrate every line of Dylan’s extraordinary lyric.
Assignments for magazines, NGOs and United Nations agencies (supplemented with stow-away trips on jumbo jets) have taken him to over 100 countries. One of the most widely published photographers in the world; his pictures are in museums and private collections and have been exhibited in galleries in Europe and the US.
He has presented the Hard Rain keynote at the United Nations headquarters in New York, to parliamentarians in Europe, the National Assembly of Cuba, IPCC scientists, business leaders and at universities around the world.