California Allegory Youth Fellowship

Artivism (n): The simultaneous practice of creative imagination, artistic acts and strategic political interventions to transform society at the level of heart, mind and soul.

We started this story with the realities of a troubled world. Systems of oppression continue to dehumanize the marginalized. Injustice sweeps the planet as corporations and corrupt governments maintain the status quo at the expense of our environment. And in the United States, a complex political landscape attempts to polarize and create dissonance as communities and movements weave their work to protect the planet, the things we love, and the wellbeing of society. Central to this story is California, one of many places ravaged by the climate crisis - exacerbated by drought and unsustainable resource extraction - precariously positioned to resist and rise up.
As California burns, floods, leaks and quivers with ever more frequent disasters, fueled and complicated by centuries of capitalism and colonialism, we face a singular choice: do we turn against one another or come together to solve these struggles? How do we hold simultaneously needed resistance and resilience? Over the past decade, the Beehive Design Collective has been pushing the boundaries of cultural imagination to answer these questions with bold and exponential graphics campaigns. Now, California’s story asks to be told.
The California Allegory Youth Fellowship consisted of 8 California youth activists and artists that came together to contribute to the swarm around the 2018 Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco. Through a series of co-created images and arts activism projects, the fellows worked across movements to channel creative powers in service of social change. The focus of the fellowship was on skills training, active solidarity, creative intervention and community building.
The Fellowship gathered four times in 2018, receiving mentorship, media and mobilization trainings, and time and space to dream and scheme about how best to shift the Californian narrative towards climate justice. Key practices included storytelling work, visual arts activism, street theatre, media-based organizing, spoken word and song, intercultural ritual and grief-tending. Guest activists, artists and facilitators supported the Fellowship’s strategic involvement with the Global Climate Action Summit, as well as the artistic process of producing Beehive Design Collective images about California. The resulting graphic "The California Allegory" was released at the Global Climate Action Summit.