Olive trees burn during a wildfire in Greece. Several hundred year old olive tree burns from inside and that is why it is extremely hard for firefighters to control and extinguish the fire in olive trees fields. When trees die by fire, they release into the atmosphere the carbon stored within them. This is why the effect of wildfires on emissions is among the most feared climate feedback loops - that the world's forests, which have typically been carbon sinks, would become carbon sources, unleashing all that stored gas.More burning only means more global warming, which only leads to more burning. Severe heat and drought fuel wildfires. Rising temperatures evaporate moisture from the ground, drying out the soil, and making vegetation more flammable. As drought and heat continue with rising greenhouse gas emissions, we expect more wildfires in years ahead. The fact that global warming is now hitting its wealthiest citizens is a sign of just how hard, and how indiscriminately, it is hitting.

Lost Species Day 2023: Can We Live?

15 November - 10 December

ONCA’s events programme for Lost Species Day 2023 consists of a series of participatory sessions offering space to explore the ways in which extractivism and colonialism drive and depend on terrible erasures of cultures, species, ways of life, and ecological communities.

Lost Species Day (or Remembrance Day for Lost Species/ RDLS, November 30) is a recurring annual opportunity to counter mainstream narratives around ‘progress’ and ‘development’ through grassroots storytelling, community connection, celebrating and visioning alternative ways of seeing, feeling and being.

Lost Species Day 2023 takes place in the context of devastating colonial violence and civilian bloodshed in Israel and Palestine, as well as ongoing armed conflicts in many other places. The giants behind these brutalities are the military-industrial complex: arms manufacturers, extractivist industries and fossil fuels, states, politicians and corporations vying for control of the Earth’s resources at any cost. The flames of this violence consume and kill the most vulnerable people, along with the places, ecological communities and webs of life they call home.

Please join us in the gallery and online for Can We Live? ONCA’s Lost Species Day 2023 programme. The name Can We Live? is inspired by the title of Fehinti Balogun’s film, which opens the programme.

The programme

15 November – 10 December: Can We Live?

For Lost Species Day this year, we dedicate the ONCA window gallery to a call for a ceasefire in Palestine now. The olive tree symbolises the connection of families and livelihoods to the earth – olive trees are at the centre of webs of interdependence, and the violence against them prefigures, enables and echoes the killing of humans.  The systematic destruction of olive trees to attack Palestinian food sovereignty and economic autonomy exemplifies the colonial violence that Lost Species Day seeks to highlight.

15 November, 6.30 – 8.30pm: Can I Live? by Fehinti Balogun

We are delighted to launch the programme with a screening of this lyrical film by Fehinti Balogun with Complicite, which looks at colonialism through the lens of climate and social justice, making links between oppression and resistance among communities in the UK and the global south. With a post-show discussion with Complicite impact producer Samia Dumbuya.

25 November: Family day at ONCA

For children and families, a creative day in the gallery exploring the stories of extinct species and celebrating the resilience, beauty and brilliance of those who remain.

30 November (online) 6.30 – 8pm: Spells to Bind Giants 2 – FIRE

Join Lost Species Day co-founders Feral Theatre online for their second RDLS Spells to Bind Giants workshop. Participants will explore the power of intentional words and image-making to generate a sense of collective power and agency in the face of overwhelming loss.

2 December, 1 – 5pm: The Last Dance

How might we deal with irreversible change and the aftermath of loss? What might happen when people face impossible choices? Join Feral Theatre in the gallery and witness The Last Dance, a durational performance installation centred around a suspended sculpture partnered by the performers in a strange dance as they navigate its form changing over the course of several hours. The piece is a study of loss, grief, tipping points and cycles. 

5 December (online), 6 – 8pm: ONCA Climate Café

Join ONCA’s team of facilitators for the last ONCA Climate Café of 2023. We’ll be gathering online so that people anywhere can come into community around Lost Species Day and share thoughts and feelings about extinct and critically endangered species, cultures, lifeways, and ecological communities.


Image credit: Milo Bicanski / Climate Visuals Countdown