Tuvalu is a tiny country with an enormous problem.
Aunese Makoi Simati, Tuvalu’s ambassador to both the United States and the United Nations, estimates the nine islands and atolls that comprise the South Pacific nation are about a quarter of the size of Manhattan, where he lives while doing his diplomatic work. And as sea levels rise, the nation’s 10,000 citizens stand to be the first humans to lose their country (average altitude 2 to 3 meters above sea level) to climate change.
Simati is speaking about his country’s plight at Brandeis on Friday, March 24 as part of “Art and Environmental Crisis,” a panel hosted by Aida Yuen Wong, Nathan Cummings and Robert B. and Beatrice C. Mayer Chair of Fine Arts. Peter R. Kalb, the Cynthia L. and Theodore S. Berenson Associate Professor of Contemporary Art, will moderate, and Mark Cheetham, professor of art and an eco-art historian at the University of Toronto, will join Simati and Wong on the panel to discuss the role art can play in promoting climate activism.