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Hard Rain Film Released on Eve of Key UN Climate Talks

Bob Dylan's powerful, prophetic song, A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall, is set to become the unofficial soundtrack to the Copenhagen climate talks

Copenhagen, 26 November 2009 - Hard Rain: Our Headlong Collision with Nature by Mark Edwards and Bob Dylan will be released on DVD at the opening of the Hard Rain exhibition in Copenhagen on 6 December - the eve of the United Nations Climate Conference.

The film, released in partnership with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), combines a rare live recording of Bob Dylan performing A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall with the photographs from Hard Rain and an extended illustrated commentary, in a moving and unforgettable exploration of the state of our planet and its people at this critical time.

The global issues highlighted in Hard Rain are like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle that define the 21st century. While each problem is understood to some degree by decision-makers, they are typically addressed as separate issues. Hard Rain puts the pieces together and shows that the world has little chance to solve any one of them until we understand how they all connect by cause and effect.

The DVD is accompanied by a specially commissioned essay by Lloyd Timberlake. The Urgency of Now cuts through the muddled thinking and failed policies that have delayed a radically new worldwide approach to climate change, poverty, the wasteful use of resources, population expansion, habitat destruction and species loss. The essay title was inspired by a response to Hard Rain from the British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

"If Hard Rain is a photographic elegy," said Mr Brown, "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."

Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director, said: "The dark and evocative lyrics of A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall echo the kind of impacts the world faces if climate change continues unchecked. But Bob Dylan had another song. One that reflects a strong and positive Copenhagen outcome that puts the world on a low-carbon path - The Times They Are A-Changin'."

Lloyd Timberlake's essay focuses on a key dilemma facing the climate negotiators. "Right now," he writes, "we have two huge challenges to life on earth. One is living and consuming within planetary means. The other is helping billions of people toward safe, fulfilled and dignified lives, meaning that many people need to consume more, not less, to have a reasonable standard of living. These would seem to be contradictory goals. Yet we must manage both, and we cannot manage one without managing the other. Poor countries will not accept a climate change treaty that prevents them from developing."

"We have to give governments a constituency to reinvent the modern world so that it's compatible with nature and human nature," says Mark Edwards. "Political change comes only when people form a movement so large and inclusive that governments have no choice but to listen - and act. The last verse of Dylan's song begins 'What'll you do now?' It's a question that cannot be left hanging when the Copenhagen talks come to a close."

Reinvent the modern world so

it's compatible with nature

and human nature

www.hardrainproject.com

To speak to Mark Edwards, to request press pictures or a review copy of the Hard Rain DVD, contact:

MarkEdwards@hardrainproject.com

Tel: +44 (0)20 8858 8307

Mobile: +44 (0)7710 099818

To attend the 6 December launch, please RSVP by 3 December:

Pia Riis, pirh@risoe.dtu.dk

Special note: You are also invited to attend a Hard Rain-UNEP presentation by Mark Edwards at 5pm on 7 December at Salen bookshop, Politikens Hus, Porten, Vestergade 28, Copenhagen K.

Introduced by environmental writer and explorer Hjalte Tin.

Free entry - all welcome. The event is followed by questions and discussion.

Notes to editors:

About the Hard Rain exhibition in Copenhagen

The Hard Rain exhibition in Kongens Nytorv, Copenhagen on 6 to 18 December 2009 is presented by the United Nations Environment Programme and Hard Rain Project.

The DVD launch and exhibit opening on 6 December will take place just before the start of the United Nations Climate Conference, COP15, which runs from 7 to 18 December 2009 in Copenhagen.

The exhibit is part of a UNEP display, open free to the public for the duration of the UN Climate Talks, which will feature a Climate Maze that people can come and "negotiate" their way through.

The walls of the maze are made from cloth banners stamped and signed by thousands of citizens around the world in support of the UN-led Seal the Deal! campaign, which asks world leaders to conclude a fair and effective climate agreement in Copenhagen. Complementing the Hard Rain commentary, the maze also contains climate change facts from UNEP in order to raise awareness about climate change.

Further venues for the exhibition

The Hard Rain exhibition also continues at St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square, until 31 December. Exhibitions and presentations are also planned for Amsterdam, Bangalore, Kolkata, Melbourne, Mumbai, New Delhi, Stockholm and the Danish Museum of Science and Technology, Helsingør.

See www.hardrainproject.com for more details.

About the Hard Rain book and photo exhibition

The book and photo exhibition Hard Rain was launched at the Eden Project in Cornwall, UK in mid-2006 to huge public and critical acclaim, attracting the support and endorsement of political and environmental leaders across the world. It has been exhibited at the United Nations Building in New York and been shown at outdoor locations in principal cities on every continent to over 12 million people.

About Mark Edwards

Mark Edwards is one of the few environmental communicators to have personally witnessed the global issues that are defining the 21st century. His photographs are published worldwide. In 1985 he founded Still Pictures, the leading photo agency specializing in the environment, social issues and nature. He has written several bestselling books on photography and co-authored Changing Consciousness with experimental physicist Professor David Bohm. In November 2009, the Royal Photographic Society awarded Mark Edwards and Bob Dylan the Terence Donovan Award for their achievement with the Hard Rain Project.

About Lloyd Timberlake

Lloyd Timberlake has reported on environment and development issues from more than 60 countries, and his articles have appeared in most of the world's major newspapers. He has worked as science editor for Reuters and writer-in-residence at the International Institute for Environment and Development. He has written prizewinning books (Africa in Crisis, Only One Earth, When the Bough Breaks) and been a visiting academic fellow at Imperial College, London, and at New York University Law School. He is building a solar-powered house on the Chesapeake Bay, USA, where he kayaks.

  • Hard Rain: Our Headlong Collision with Nature - Mark Edwards

  • A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall (live version) - Bob Dylan

  • The Urgency of Now - Lloyd Timberlake

    DVD and booklet release 6 December 2009

£10 (100 Danish Kroner)

A Still Pictures Moving Words production for Hard Rain Project

A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall live at Carnegie Hall, New York City, 26 October 1963 previously released on Bob Dylan - No Direction Home: The Soundtrack, The Bootleg Series Volume 7

© Bob Dylan/Sony BMG Music Entertainment 2005

 
Bus driving across flooded plateau, High Andes, Bolivia © M.ROGERS / UNEP / Still Pictures


 

 

Further Resources

Hard Rain Project

Hard Rain film

 

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