Resurface: Suzanne Dhaliwal

The cultural shift required to address the climate crisis calls on the cultural sector to look closely at the sites of ecocide globally, to understand the relationship between white supremacy, colonialism and ecological degradation. Frontline communities resisting extraction have been at the forefront of challenging the current rate of exploitation and exposing the absence of monitoring and restoration of vital ecosystems that have brought us to this planetary tipping point. In this talk, Suzanne explored how the climate crisis intersects with the ongoing colonial exploitation of crucial ecosystems such as the Athabasca Delta in the Canadian Tar Sands to the Niger Delta.

Suzanne shared her practice as a climate justice creative to expose the webs of corporate and financial power that have led to the current crisis. Through working in international, intergenerational solidarity, her work has sought to uplift those challenging the paradigm which has led to the devastation which characterizes the Anthropocene. Suzanne Dhaliwal was voted one of London’s most influential people in Environment in 2018 by the Evening Standard. In 2009 she co-founded the UK Tar Sands Network, which challenged BP and Shell investments in the Canadian tar sands in solidarity with frontline Indigenous communities, spurring the internationalisation of the fossil fuel divestment movement.

Her corporate and financial campaigning spans over a decade, including spearheading a European coalition to challenge the insurance industry on their underwriting of highly polluting coal and tar sands projects. Suzanne has led artistic interventions to challenge fossil fuel investments globally, and currently works as a creative practice tutor and freelance consultant.

This talk was followed by a Q&A with AND’s Creative Director, Luke Moody.

This conversation is part of Resurface, our conversations programme looking at how we work together and reshape the future of art. Tune in every Sunday, 6pm at Each conversation will be available to listen to throughout the festival, until Sunday 11 July. And tune in every Thursday for our talks series, Deeper.