art & conversation on climate & change

ABOUT WQ

In 2014, lead artist and WQ Founder, Teresa Konechne, had an epiphany after watching her brother die. (read more) She invited artists and thought leaders who each brought unique perspectives to help build the foundations of WQ.

WQ is more than about climate change. We are sprouting seeds to power global movement of communities transforming into viable, proactive, creative forces. By weaving a net of collaboration between us, we lean into and respond to climate change, together.

Our art-based process breathes life, beauty and possibility into the apparent hopelessness and paralysis around climate change.

Wicked Questions is a home base, a place to be inspired, to find collaborators, and to grow a global commons where ideas and work can be shared. Make WQ your own and run with it!

WQ Team

Artist ? Join Us!

WQ Story
WQ MISSION

The Wicked Questions process unearths what’s in our hearts about climate change and transforms it into Art and Action.

WQ VISION

A global movement of communities using WQ as a guide to connect, create & address climate change.

WQ VALUES

• inclusivity and diversity
• always circle back to creativity and art
• be wickedly fun and radically creative
• encourage cross-spectrum pollination
• offer freely our knowledge and skills
• create a global commons
• empower individuals/ communities
• value artist time and skills
• align with organizations that share our values

The WQ Team

Core Team/Founders

We are a small group of artists igniting the fire of what WQ is going to become. We are also leaders, activists, educators, and organizers engaged in our communities and our worlds. Please enjoy our unique Team and check out our work. We are looking for more Core Team members. JOIN US!

J. Michael Short 

Blessed from birth with a life rich in experience of The Wild in my native Pacific Northwest, I am an indepen-dent documentary photographer with extensive photojournalism and documentary work in Mexico, Texas and the U.S./Mexican border in particular. My environmental con-cerns stem directly from living a life immersed in Nature. I fear with little direct experience of The Wild, con-temporary citizens suffering Nature Deficit Disorder have little capacity for an empathic understanding of environmental issues, thus my WQ...

How can our sacred connection to the Earth be one of the answers?

Paloma De Los Nopales 

I am a visual artist of indigenous + European bloodlines, living in Yanaguana, Tejaztlan aka San Antonio, Texas, USA. I led the collaborative effort & illustrated the WQ characters that help WQ speak from our hearts. I visualize our sister/brother kin of plants & animals & my children,Tonantzin, Nahui Ollin & Citlalcintli / Citlalicue hunkering down through the coming changes. It may be possible to adjust to drought and higher temps in TX if we learn to live minimally and take much less from Pachamama.

My WQ: "Will permaculture allow humans to survive?"

Teresa Konechne 

I make various kinds of art and films, and I help people reconnect to their bodies through food. I live in the upper Midwest, USA.

My WQ comes from my deep, deep grief about what we humans are doing to all other life on the planet who don't have a voice and are paying the price for our greed and indifference. I'm not going to lie, I'm rooting for them.

My WQ: How do I tell you I’m sorry?

Co-Founders

Ju-Pong Lin 

I am a lifelong migrant, born in Taiwan to a family of farmers who migrated to the island seven generations ago. I struggle to pass on to my beloved sons, ancestral knowledge that I hang onto by a very thin thread, worn to near-breaking point by the wear and tear of assimilationist immigration policies and the legacy of colonialism. In my art, I fuse story-making, video, needlecraft and community organizing to reclaim space for restorative, sustainable communities.

My WQ: "How can cultural wisdom help us face unfathomable loss & imagine a livable future?"

Ibrahima Traore 

I am an language educator dedicated to promoting literacy in native tongues. Born in the Republic of Guinea, West Africa, I am now a U.S.A. citizen living in NJ.

When I went home in 2007, I saw people cutting trees, pesticide bottles in rice fields, 30% of farmlands taken by mining companies and the river we used to swim was almost dry. We have done this - we must put our finger to ourselves.

My WQ: Are we willing to be the doom of ourselves and everything else?

Kevin Pourier 

I am a Lakota Artist living on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, USA. I am a bridger of worlds by bringing traditional and locally sourced materials together with contemporary themes and designs.

My WQ: "What will the Earth be like for our 7th Generation?"

This is a question that was asked for generations by my ancestors. We have a responsibility to our children and what we leave for them. It's a question of Love.

Mairi Gunn

I'm a video installation artist and researching lecturer from Aotearoa / New Zealand.

My WQ: "How do we include everyone in this conversation?", reflects my interest in reclaiming the commons for the common good.

Contributors

Ricardo Levins Morales. Artist - WQ Logo 

Pajara De Los Nopales. Artist - WQ Characters: Wickedly Dear, Best Beloved, Pio Pio 

Brian Alves. Artist/Designer. WQ Website Concept and Design 

Grant Stromgren. Website Guru/Builder 

Become an ARTstigator!

Join us! We are expanding our Core Team of artists, and are looking for more members, particularly from outside the U.S. If you are dedicated to climate change and interested in becoming a part of our ARTstigator TEAM, check out our application link at the right!

WQ Beginnings

In October, 2013, my brother breathed his final labored breath. His organs had been slowly dying as the ironic result of the technology that saved his life 35 years earlier. The doctors told him how he would die - his lungs would fill with fluid and he would suffocate. It was predictable. He needed lung and heart transplants, but after two open-heart surgeries and full body radiation when he was young, his rib cage was too fragile. The very structure of his body was disintegrating. Every time he left the hospital, he felt he had defeated death and the people who predicted it. I recognized that human/hospital death is often more about technology, leaving little room for grieving or facing fear.

The previous year I had begun the film project ReEarthings, story vignettes of how people were reconnecting to land. I believed that it was our discon-nect to earth's sacredness that was causing climate change and that if we could just reconnect to her, we would stop treating her and all life as commodities. And we could beat this impending disaster.

Four months after my brother died, the stark and frightening parallels of his death and climate change collided in an instant of insight that felt like it had been orchestrated. In a conversation with Ju-Pong, friend and collaborator, I agonized "these land stories aren't urgent enough - what if we're in hospice and we refuse to believe it?" I recognized in me the same anguish, fear, anger, disempowerment and de-sire to shake my brother and scream WAKE UP and deal with what's happening to you, as I had been screaming internally to myself and the world for decades about climate change.

Wicked Questions was born then, in the dull frenetic pain of knowing sur-render is not an option. And I under-stood my brother's denial. He couldn't stop fighting, no matter how bleak. And I must ask - "what did his denial cost him and us?" and equally "what is OUR denial costing ALL life?"

The heart in our logo is both my brother's heart and our mother's life force. We intend for WQs to be a refuge, a place to slow down, to grieve our continuing losses, to grow roots in the rising, suffocating waters, and find ways to hold equally our fears, joys, possibilities and hope.

Play ReEARTHINGS "film seedlings"

We intend for WQ
to be a
refuge,
a place
to slow down,
to grieve our
continuing losses,
to grow roots
in the rising,
suffocating waters,
and find ways to hold equally
our fears, joy,
possibilities,
and hope.

My dream for WQ is to catalyze and unite us through our stories, questions and conversations, as humans that share this planet, to act in the best interest of ALL life, and to build a movement based on sacredness, creativity, humor, beauty, sacredness and fierceness to face our challenges so we can powerfully and decisively move into an unpredictable future awaiting us.

-- teresa konechne

interrogate, activate, create, circulate
— wickedly.