As COP26 focuses global attention on the climate crisis, Vanessa Kirby, actress and Bazaar star, revealed her personal commitment to the environment. Speaking at the launch of the Women’s Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, a collaboration with Cartier that celebrates the contribution of women to society, she moderated a discussion between artists and sustainability activists.
Ahead of the conference, she spoke to Bazaar editor-in-chief Lydia Slater about her new role as an ambassador for the Amazon Frontlines charity and her commitment to bringing the untold stories of women to light.
Why did you want to speak at the Women’s Pavilion?
“This is the first exhibition in 50 years to have a women’s pavilion, which is crazy when you think about it, and its theme is “When women flourish, humanity flourishes”. And if a man goes in there and changes his mind, then that’s great. I really think it’s not about tearing down men, it’s about women realizing we’re more powerful than we’ve ever been taught – especially because there is so much going on. to do all over the world.
“I found the exhibition in the Pavilion very moving. It was like a bringing together of what I really believe in, like putting real female experiences on screen after so many decades of cinema from a male perspective.
“I feel an incredible personal responsibility to do this with my own production company Aluna Entertainment. It has to do with the fact that we wake up as women and to who we are in our own right, as well as the environment. It sounds crazy but playing a mother giving birth in Pieces of a Woman really made me understand the power of women as life givers and creators. And that’s basically what earth does – that’s why her name is Mother Earth. I think it all has to do with empowering women. “
What was the subject of your round table?
“How artists and activists are coming together in a dynamic way to try to protect the planet. We all need to find a way to cooperate and make a difference. Each of the panelists found their own way of doing it, from Nimonte Nenquina, the leader of the Waorani tribe and founder of Amazon Frontlines, to actress and director Melanie Laurent, and Salma Abdulai, who is a party to the university and then returned to her community with this particular grain called fonio, an ancient grain that is weather resistant but that no one used anymore. I’m just a coach – I’m humbled by everything I have to learn – but I want to change and I’m really open to what they want to teach me. “
Why did you take on the role of Amazon Frontlines’ first ambassador?
“I have been donating to the association for years, but I wanted to get more involved. I contacted and asked if there was a way for me to help raise awareness. These people live there. for thousands of years they have had much more wisdom on the planet than we have, and they probably have all the answers. This knowledge must not be extinguished. Nimonte can feel the forest suffering, and it acts for all of us. I am truly honored that Cartier defends such voices, because the more they are heard, the more they can reach people. ”
What changes have you made personally to lead a more sustainable life?
“Like many people, I have a growing existential fear around our discordance with nature. I don’t like to feel that we are powerless and rushing into something wrong. I’m ready to be open to what change looks like and live my life accordingly, to keep the best parts of our world but not to wreak havoc. I’ve been a vegan for almost 12 years since I read a book called Eating Animals.
“It’s captivating and beautifully written, it doesn’t preach to you, but in the end I was like: oh wow, okay, now I know… But I don’t often talk about it because there are so many contradictions in the way we all lead our lives, and we are all accomplices in one way or another. We each have to find our own way, whether by eating less meat or by donating to an association environmental charity or whatever we decide to do. “
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