Yearly Archives: 2019

Environmentalism Behind the Scenes on Broadway and Beyond

Sustainability and Broadway are two words that, on the surface, might not go together. Sustainability is a complex concept that seeks to ensure the natural environment is able to meet current and future needs, while Broadway is a cultural hub where theatregoers can escape and immerse themselves in the worlds of plays and musicals. But sustainability and Broadway are much more interconnected than you might think.

Ten years ago, more than 250 theatre professionals gathered in New York City to discuss the growing climate crisis. David Stone, the producer of Wicked, had just seen the documentary An Inconvenient Truth and, like many others, realized how imperative it was to take action. Stone and his team hosted a Town Hall at the Gershwin Theatre, bringing together theatre professionals interested in making, or already working to make, theatre more environmentally friendly. After an inspiring keynote speech from Allen Hershkowitz of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the Wicked team and participants discussed ways to make theatre greener.

One of the actions discussed at this Town Hall was to form a committee that would act as a central resource on environmental issues for the theatre community. So, in November 2008, the Broadway Green Alliance (BGA) was formed as an ad hoc committee of the Broadway League.

Collecting electronic waste at the BGA’s Fall E-Waste Drive in September 2018

Since its inception, the BGA’s mission has been to educate, motivate, and inspire the entire theatre community and its patrons to adopt environmentally friendlier practices. This is a seemingly immense undertaking. But the BGA’s work is built on the recognition that environmental issues are caused by the cumulative effect of millions of small actions and that effective change comes from each of us doing a bit better every day. We don’t aim to be fully “green,” but rather work to be “greener” than we were yesterday.

One of the BGA’s main objectives is to communicate information to our members and the general public in order to encourage everyone to make environmentally responsible decisions. We host several events a year, including an annual Town Hall for the theatre community and beyond on issues like plastic pollution and green energy, as well as four collection drives – two for electronic waste and two for textiles – in Times Square. Our collection drives have diverted over 20,000 pounds of e-waste and hundreds of bags of textiles since 2016. We also circulate written materials to educate individuals on more sustainable practices. BGA newsletters frequently contain new eco-friendly initiatives that can be implemented within the theatre community and beyond, and we create guides and resources on things like e-waste recycling and how to close a show in a greener manner.

Buyi Zama backstage at The Lion King Gazelle Tour, encouraging company members to go green.

In addition, we run the BGA’s Green Captain program. One person, or several people, involved with a production, organization, or venue serves as the go-to person(s) for questions, ideas, issues, or problems about sustainability. Green Captains work behind the scenes to make their productions or venues greener, with support from other Green Captains and BGA members. There are no specific requirements – the BGA just asks that individuals do what they can, when they can. Some Green Captains make an effort to stay informed, educate their casts and companies, and post information about greener practices backstage. Mara Davi, a former BGA Green Captain on The Play That Goes Wrongexplains that some of the basics of the role include providing green tips to company members and collecting recyclables backstage. Other Green Captains have specific passion projects to which they dedicate their time. For example, Satomi Hofmann, from The Phantom of the Opera, was searching for a sustainable way to dispose of used NYC metrocards. She found an artist in Williamsburg, Nina Boesch, who uses them to make collages. Now, thanks to Satomi’s dedication, the BGA collects metrocards from all Broadway shows and sends them over to Nina, keeping them out of landfills.

Since 2008, over 300 individuals on Broadway have volunteered to be Green Captains on their productions. This program has since expanded to include Off-Broadway venues, college theatre departments, and touring productions and venues.

Members of the Broadway community often share information, through the Green Captain program and other means, about greener practices, which leads to sustainable improvements. One of the most visible ones was the upgrading of marquee and outside lights at Broadway theatres to energy-efficient LEDs and CFLs. This one action has saved energy and money, and has reduced Broadway’s footprint by seven hundred tons of carbon a year. Another example of environmentalism behind the scenes was the switch to rechargeable batteries. Since Broadway began using microphones, productions have needed batteries. To be certain that microphones wouldn’t fail during a show, the standard Broadway practice had been to put new batteries into each microphone before every performance. Wicked switched to rechargeable batteries, reducing annual battery consumption from over 15,000 batteries to less than 100, saving money and the environment without compromising the performance. Many other productions around the world, including in Australia and London’s West End, have made this switch – often after hearing of the Wicked team’s success.

Mara Davi, former Green Captain on Dames at Sea and The Play That Goes Wrong, sorting items for recycling in the BGA office.

Other improvements include using environmentally friendly cleaning products and dilution centers, more extensive recycling programs, running Energy Star appliances, switching to energy-efficient indoor lighting, aggressively insulating heating pipes, installing bike racks, and coating roofs with reflective paint to reduce heat absorption.

The actual carbon footprint of Broadway and the greater theatre community is modest, especially considering how traditional practices have improved over the last ten years. But, as we share our eco-friendly successes, we continue to see positive changes. And because theatre’s cultural influence is far-reaching, when we show the hard work being done to reduce our environmental impact, it encourages others to take action.

The BGA’s members have shown over these past ten years that sustainability and Broadway can, and should, go hand in hand. Most of the success we’ve seen backstage began with an individual or group trying something new, which ignited similar actions and improvements by others. We can’t wait to see what the next ten years will hold.

(Top image: BGA Textile Drive, November 2017.)

This article was originally published on HowlRound, a knowledge commons by and for the theatre community, on March 28, 2019.

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Alice is a sustainability advocate with a strong interest in all things theatre. Alice joined the Broadway Green Alliance in October 2017, effectively combining her professional background and her interest in the arts, and is currently the Assistant Director of the organization. She works on a variety of programs to ensure that theatre across the country is being done in the most environmentally responsible manner. Alice’s academic background is an MA from the Climate and Society program at Columbia University and, following that, she worked in Canada, the US, and South Africa on issues of environmental justice and sustainability. 

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Artists and Climate Change is a blog that tracks artistic responses from all disciplines to the problem of climate change. It is both a study about what is being done, and a resource for anyone interested in the subject. Art has the power to reframe the conversation about our environmental crisis so it is inclusive, constructive, and conducive to action. Art can, and should, shape our values and behavior so we are better equipped to face the formidable challenge in front of us.

Go to the Artists and Climate Change Blog

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Call for Proposals: Ecosomatics, near Ann Arbor, Michigan, April 23-25 2020

We are inviting contributions to a three-day residential symposium at the Pierce Cedar Creek Institute in Michigan (April 23rd to 25th, 2020), funded and supported by the University of Michigan (Departments of English, Dance, Theatre, National Center for Institutional Diversity, Initiative on Disability Studies, Graham Sustainability Institute and the Program in the Environment) in collaboration with the Black Earth Institute.

We are looking for:engagements with Body/World in movement, in touch and sense, in somatic play, technique, repetition and training, in relationship. We welcome full-mouthed messy matter and fleshy multispecies engagement across and beyond boundaries. We hope to shape a complex tool-set for living in a changing natural world which impacts people differently, dependent on histories of violence and their attendant environmental effects.

The symposium invites creators/critics of performance, movement, somatic training, writing, and visual/social practice related to emergent genres such as solarpunk, climate fiction, eco-arts, and interspecies dialogue, and their relationships to social justice organizing and experimental practice. The academic aims of this project make interventions into disabled futurities (Kafer, 2014), kinship networks (Haraway, 2016), and organizing (brown, 2017), and extend the discussions begun in our Movement, Somatics and Writing symposium (2010) and in the collection Somatic Engagement(Kuppers, ed., Chainlinks, 2011).

The symposium hopes to be a training ground and a research site where we figure out how participatory and artistic practices can allow us to feel things and livelinesses differently, and how we can invent new appreciation and embodiment practices for human and other eco-diversities. We will be in praxis together. Thus, we are not looking for papers, finished performances, portfolios, or readings; we plan to experiment. Come and share the excitement of your creative and critical research, and present an (indoor or outdoor) generative workshop, exercise, or technique session based on your passions. Keep in mind that our host is a nature center, environmental education center, and biological field station, and won’t have particular performance technologies. We will provide disability access (please let us know of your needs).

Deadline: August 1st (participants will be informed of acceptance by September 11th).

Selected participants have the opportunity to be published in our “Ecosomatics” issue of the Journal of the Center for Sustainable Practices in the Arts.

Participants will receive free room and board at the Institute, and up to $250 as partial reimbursement for travel expenses.

Application Process:

Please send the following to petra@umich.edu and cvfair@umich.edu:

A CV, a sample of your writing (creative, experimental, performative, or critical), and a brief statement about why and how you would like to participate. You can also send URLs etc. for performance or visual arts material.

We are looking forward to hearing from you,

Catherine Fairfield and Petra Kuppers (Symposium Directors)

Confirmed Participants:

Aimee Meredith Cox is an Associate Professor of Anthropology and African American Studies at Yale University. In all of her work, she enjoys exploring the seamlessness of dance, ethnography, pedagogy, and the the politics and poetics of writing in making community across the boundaries of institutional spaces and disciplinary mandates.

Angela Hume, assistant professor of English and creative writing at University of Minnesota, Morris, is currently at work on a critical book about poets’ and poetry’s relationship to radical women’s and LGBTQ+ health movements. Her full-length poetry book is Middle Time (Omnidawn, 2016) and a new chapbook, Meat Habitats (DoubleCross), will be out in 2019.

Kanta Kochhar-Lindgren, Ph.D., Director, Folded Paper Dance and Theatre (Hong Kong/Seattle), creates work that links heritage, performance and ecology across geographical locations. Her recent work, At the Water’s Edge (Maryland Institute College of Art) on climate change will be expanded into a set of traveling workshops and portable performances in Hong Kong and India.  A Fulbright-Nehru Scholar (2017-2018, Kerala), she is currently developing her research on Traveling Exchanges into a series of articles and performance projects as well as serving as the inaugural editor of Journal of Performance and Cultural Studies (The Centre for Performance Research and Cultural Studies in South Asia).

DJ Lee is author/editor of eight scholarly books, most recently The Land Speaks: New Voices at the Intersection of Oral and Environmental History (Oxford University Press, 2017). Her creative work has appeared in Narrative and The Los Angeles Review of Books. She is director of the NEH-funded Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness History Project, and her creative nonfiction work about the wilderness, Remote: A Love Story, is forthcoming from Oregon State University Press.

Bronwyn Preece lives in British Columbia, where is honored to be a guest on the Traditional Territory of the Salish Peoples.  She is an improvisational, site-sensitive performance eARThist, author, editor, community-engaged applied theatre practitioner, pioneer of earthBODYment, poetic pirate, avid hiker and boundary-pushing renegade.  Her PhD was titled Performing Embodiment: Improvisational Investigations into the Intersections of Ecology and Disability.

Conference Directors:

Catherine Fairfield is a PhD candidate in English & Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan. She earned her BA in English at the University of Exeter. Her research interests include environmental humanities, feminist theory, and experiential education. Her dissertation explores the role of literature in how we learn to sustain, care for, and survive with our material environments. When not writing or teaching, Catherine likes to learn about the world through bird-watching and sketching her dog, Gracie.

Petra Kuppers is a disability culture activist, a community performance artist, Professor of English and Women’s Studies at UM, Artistic Director of an international disability performance collective, The Olimpias, and co-director of Turtle Disco, a somatic writing studio. She is a Fellow of the Black Earth Institute (2018-2020), and a 2019/2020 Hunting Family Faculty Fellow at UM’s Institute for the Humanities, with her new book project, “Eco Soma: Speculative Performance Experiments.”

Wild Authors: Kathleen Dean Moore

by Mary Woodbury

This month’s feature on authors who explore global warming in fiction covers Kathleen Dean Moore. Moore’s background in environmental activism and nature writing is abundant, though this article will also spotlight her newest novel Piano Tide (Counterpoint, 2017), winner of the 2017 Willa Cather Award for Contemporary Fiction and short-listed for the ASLE Environmental Creative Book Award.

Kathleen is best known for her books of nature-focused essays – Riverwalking: Reflections on Moving Water, winner of the 1995 Pacific Northwest Book Award; Holdfast: At Home in the Natural World, recipient of the 1999 Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award; The Pine Island Paradox, winner of the 2004 Oregon Book Award for Creative Nonfiction; Wild Comfort, finalist for the same award; and Great Tide Rising (Counterpoint, 2016).

Kathleen explained Piano Tide to me when we first chatted:

In a remote boardwalk town in maritime Alaska, we meet Axel Hagerman, who has made a killing by selling off the salmon, the herring, the yellow cedar, the spruce. But when he decides to sell the water from a salmon stream, he runs headlong into Nora Montgomery, just arrived on the ferry with her piano and her dog. The clash, when it comes, is a spectacular and transformative act of resistance.

Reviewers compare Piano Tide to Ken Kesey’s Sailor Song and Ed Abbey’s Monkey-wrench Gang. Bill McKibben says it is a “savagely funny and deeply insightful novel of the tidepool and rainforest country she knows so well,” and Dave Foreman says it is “about putting a spear into the ground and saying, “‘I will defend this place however I can.’”

Piano Tide is her first novel.

I asked Kathleen about some of her thoughts when writing this novel as well as creative nonfiction.

How do you think people can explore global warming, or really any environmental “character” in fiction, and try to be fresh from tired dystopian tropes?

I don’t read dystopian literature. I’m already frightened enough, but it’s more than that: Meeting the climate and extinction emergencies will require the greatest exercise of the human imagination the world has ever seen. It’s an all-hands-on-deck moment, requiring writers to race to their stations to do what they know best how to do. Yes, it is important to warn, and the dystopian literature has an essential role here.

But the harder work, the next work, is to imagine a better world into existence. How will we find the courage to stand against the corruption that is on track to irredeemably destroy the life-sustaining systems of the planet? How, exactly how, will we live on Earth without wrecking it? Who will we have to become, we humans? What are the sorrows, what are the beauties, of that transformation? These are the stories I want to read.

If writers are so worried and worn-down that we can’t even envision a better world, how can it be created? But if we put our very best imaginative minds to the challenges, we at least have a chance to create a new narrative for humanity. That’s what fiction is – imagining a story with a different ending, maybe a surprise ending.

How different is it to write nonfiction and fiction?

I think that nonfiction and fiction have the same elements – the setting, the characters, the challenge/question/seeking. The writer puts the people in place and poses a problem. Then, in nonfiction, the writer provides the answer through reportage or reflection or argument. But in fiction, the characters have to do it themselves. Here they are, all in their costumes and all in their places, maybe holding a dog on a leash or cooking baba ghanoush, and then something astonishing happens. They come to life. It’s a “hold on to your hat” moment for a fiction writer. What will they find inside themselves? What will they stubbornly refuse to understand? How do they act out who they are, in that place and time?

That distinction made, I am all for blurring boundaries. Clearly, the world needs a new human narrative – not a narrative of business-as-usual or a narrative of disintegration and despair. As Joanna Macy points out in Active Hope, the necessary new human narrative is a story of radical transformation, new answers to the most fundamental questions: What is the world? What is the place of humans in the world? How then shall we live?

I love to explore the diversity of storytelling voices when it comes to this literature, so any thoughts on that would be welcome.

This may require new narrative forms or hybrids. In an ASLE editorial, I suggested a bunch of new forms of story-telling – The Drumhead Pamphlet, the Apologia, the Radical Imaginary, the “Broken-hearted Halleluiah,” the Indictment, the Witness.

For myself, I am working hard to create a new genre that I call the “Lyric Polemical.” All around me, beautiful writers are abandoning what we used to call “lyric prose,” musical prose, in favor of the argumentative piece. That’s a natural response to all that is awful. But I wonder if we writers can do both: I wonder if we can write beautifully about moral outrage and clarity of thought.

“Write as if your reader were dying,” Annie Dillard advised. “What would you say to a dying person that would not enrage by its triviality?” Now we must write as if the planet were dying. What would you say to a planet in a spasm of extinction? What would you say to those who are paying the costs of climate change in the currency of death? Surely, in a world dangerously slipping away, we need courageously and honestly to write a better ending to this story.


Kathleen reveals a refreshing thought process when it comes to writing about climate change and weaving in stories, or reflections, about the subject. The lyrical polemic seems a brilliant idea. In Orion Magazine, Kathleen wrote about those who are fighting Canadian oil sands pipelines. And in Piano Tide, the author fictionalizes similar acts of resistance as characters try to preserve natural resources in the Pacific Northwest, home to wild rainforests, endangered species, fresh water, and fish. A man named Axel Hagerman, well-known as the “town father” in the remote Alaskan village, makes his living – and more – by selling the needed resources: rainforest trees, herring, halibut, and now he wants to export fresh water from a salmon stream. Nora Montgomery, new to the village, and a woman with a piano looking for an isolated place to make her new home, clashes with him when he wants to start a bear pit.

With Kathleen’s knowledge of local culture, fauna, and flora, she builds a sometimes serious and sometimes humorous novel that is both believable and magical.

This article is part of our Wild Authors series. It was originally published on Dragonfly.eco.

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Mary Woodbury, a graduate of Purdue University, runs Dragonfly.eco, a site that explores ecology in literature, including works about climate change. She writes fiction under pen name Clara Hume. Her novel Back to the Garden has been discussed in Dissent Magazine, Ethnobiology for the Future: Linking Cultural and Ecological Diversity (University of Arizona Press), and Uncertainty and the Philosophy of Climate Change (Routledge). Mary lives in the lower mainland of British Columbia and enjoys hiking, writing, and reading.

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Artists and Climate Change is a blog that tracks artistic responses from all disciplines to the problem of climate change. It is both a study about what is being done, and a resource for anyone interested in the subject. Art has the power to reframe the conversation about our environmental crisis so it is inclusive, constructive, and conducive to action. Art can, and should, shape our values and behavior so we are better equipped to face the formidable challenge in front of us.

Go to the Artists and Climate Change Blog

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The 2019 Artists & Climate Change Incubator – New York

New York City
Monday-Friday, July 22-26, 2019
10am-5:30pm
Fee: $385
Leader: Chantal Bilodeau

Calling all artists, activists, scientists, and educators who want to engage or further their engagement with climate change through artistic practices! Join The Arctic Cycle for the third year of the Artists & Climate Change Incubator, July 22–26, 2019 in New York City. All disciplines are welcome and individuals from traditionally underrepresented populations and communities are encouraged to attend. The Incubator is an inclusive environment that supports diverse perspectives.

During this 5-day intensive, participants interact with accomplished guest speakers from fields such as environmental humanities, climate science, climate change activism, and visual and performing arts. Work sessions allow everyone to dig deep into the challenges and concerns of working at the intersection of arts and climate change such as embracing activism without sacrificing personal vision and artistic integrity, letting go of the idea of “product,” and bringing the arts to non-traditional audiences. Group exercises and discussions cover a range of topics including:

  • How to think about climate change as a systemic issue
  • How to effectively engage communities
  • How to take the arts out of traditional venues to reach underserved populations
  • How to develop collaborative projects with non-arts partners to achieve specific goals
  • How to reframe climate change narratives to energize audiences

Limited to 20 participants. 

All sessions will take place at The Lark, 311 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036. Availability is on a first come, first serve basis. Participants are responsible for their own travel and accommodation. For more information, visit the website or contact The Arctic Cycle at: info [at] thearcticcycle [dot] org.

The Incubator will also be offered in Alaska in May. For more info, click here.

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Artists and Climate Change is a blog that tracks artistic responses from all disciplines to the problem of climate change. It is both a study about what is being done, and a resource for anyone interested in the subject. Art has the power to reframe the conversation about our environmental crisis so it is inclusive, constructive, and conducive to action. Art can, and should, shape our values and behavior so we are better equipped to face the formidable challenge in front of us.

Go to the Artists and Climate Change Blog

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Opportunity: New MSc in Managing Environmental Change

An exciting new MSc Managing Environmental Change has been launched by The University of Edinburgh

The Centre for Sustainable Forests and Landscapes is delighted to host a new MSc in Managing Environmental Change.

This masters programme will be delivered by The University of Edinburgh, and offers unique opportunities for engaging with practitioners, policy makers, and NGO and community-based organisations. Students will also benefit from a four-month professional placement as part of the programme, where they can apply their skills in real-word contexts.

Hope for positive change

Programme Director, Dr Casey Ryan is excited about the opportunities for the programme. “In today’s world, examining environmental change can be demoralising at times. However, we think it needn’t be, and through this programme we will explore the opportunities, innovations and solutions that are emerging. Perspectives are changing and a young global movement is mobilising. We think there is plenty of hope for positive change.”

The programme, hosted through the Centre for Sustainable Forests, will explore how opportunities, technologies and strategies can be implemented in complex real-world settings to deliver positive outcomes for people and the environment. The diverse Centre staff, drawn from across several institutes and schools in the university, will contribute to highly interdisciplinary learning experience.

Says Dr Ryan, “what is unique to the programme is the four-month placement or project opportunity, so students can apply their knowledge to real world policy and practice. We are delighted with the support from the Centre for Sustainable Forests and Landscapes, where they will help identify suitable placements and draw on possibilities suggested by their partner organisations. Their ability to provide a wide range of opportunities for professional placements, can potentially lead to subsequent employment possibilities.”

The Centre provides excellent connections with many organisations working in environmental change, across Scotland and globally. Their connections span public bodies, corporations, private enterprises, non-governmental agencies, and community initiatives.

The programme starts in September 2019, however early applications are encouraged to avoid disappointment.

For full details and to apply, visit the website:

https://www.ed.ac.uk/studying/postgraduate/degrees/index.php?r=site/view&edition=2019&id=977

The post Opportunity: New MSc in Managing Environmental Change appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.

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Creative Carbon Scotland is a partnership of arts organisations working to put culture at the heart of a sustainable Scotland. We believe cultural and creative organisations have a significant influencing power to help shape a sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.

In 2011 we worked with partners Festivals Edinburgh, the Federation of Scottish Threatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network to support over thirty arts organisations to operate more sustainably.

We are now building on these achievements and working with over 70 cultural organisations across Scotland in various key areas including carbon management, behavioural change and advocacy for sustainable practice in the arts.

Our work with cultural organisations is the first step towards a wider change. Cultural organisations can influence public behaviour and attitudes about climate change through:

Changing their own behaviour;
Communicating with their audiences;
Engaging the public’s emotions, values and ideas.

Go to Creative Carbon Scotland

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The Greatest Story of the 21st Century

Last week’s most important news story – the biodiversity crisis that threatens our own existence – was buried by celebrity coverage of royal births, Met galas and throne games. In the United States, it was simply not reported at all by the majority of prime-time networks.

This week, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels exceeded the 415 ppm threshhold for the first time in human history.

And just a few days ago, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jared Diamond said the unspeakable: “The chances are about 49 percent that the world as we know it will collapse by about 2050… Which means that by 2050 either we’ve figured out a sustainable course, or it’ll be too late.”

In our lifetimes.

For the first time in years, I am not able to focus. American comedian Jimmy Kimmel joked that “If pizza were in danger of going extinct … we’d ban together to protect our national pepperoni reserves.” But the extinction of one million of our shared planets’ eight million species due to human influence? Meh.

The haunting score to Leonardo DiCaprio’s 2016 film, Before The Flood, fits my mood perfectly:

Overwhelmed by feelings of existential angst and rage, I turn to my favorite women writers for words of wisdom. Rebecca Solnit’s Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities has long been my go-to. But today, I am particularly drawn to Robin Wall Kimmerer‘s sublime Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants.

I flip through the dog-eared pages, hunting for sapience. I re-read, then meditate upon, my favorite passage in Kimmerer’s book:

When times are easy and there’s plenty to go around, individual species can go it alone. But when conditions are harsh and life is tenuous, it takes a team sworn to reciprocity to keep life going forward. In a world of scarcity, interconnection and mutual aid become critical for survival. So say the lichens.

So say the lichens. I love you, Robin. Your words feel like medicine. Thank you for sharing your Indigenous wisdom. We need it desperately. Braiding Sweetgrass should be required reading for… everyone.

But later, I cried when I read poet/writer/activist Emily Johnston‘s remarkable essay Loving a vanishing world, published last week following the release of the UN’s landmark biodiversity/extinction report:

We cannot undo what we’ve done simply by being nice and Earth-friendly people  – or by killing ourselves, for that matter. And we can’t leave this world better than we found it  –  it will be lesser for a long time. But we can change the path that it’s on now, and we know how to start making up for what we’ve done. We have beautiful work to do before we die.

I am reminded of a similar quote by Paola Antonelli, curator of the 22nd edition of the Milan Triennale: “Our only chance at survival is to design our own beautiful extinction.” This was the shocking opening sentence of a fascinating interview with Antonelli about Broken Nature, the title of the 2019 triennale that explores restorative design in the Anthropocene.

According to Antonelli, who is Senior Curator of the Department of Architecture & Design at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City,

What’s broken cannot go back, but forward into something new. So it’s not at all final. The only thing that I consider final is our own extinction. We have, however, the power to postpone it a bit, and make it better.

The poet Johnston explains in a short essay why “making space for hope” rather than “giving people hope” should be our main objective. “We know that things will get worse… but if we dedicate ourselves to the task, we can make sure that the arc of our physical universe bends towards life, and not destruction.”

photo, Joan Sullivan, geese, Saint Lawrence, fleuve, river, Quebec, Canada

Johnston continues:

That’s why I say that we are more powerful than humans have ever been: we know now that if we simply continue on the existing path, then there is little chance for humanity, and much or most of all animal life will be wiped out too  – yet it is still within our grasp to change this, to be the people who decided not to let the fossil fuel industry kill the world. And because we can, we must. Our moral choices are stark: we are either among those who rise to this occasion, and do all we can do to love this world and right the wrongs that we have unwittingly inflicted on it, or we are among those willing to allow the world to end because we feel overwhelmed, or powerless.

And because we can, we must.

Emily Johnston

So I turn, as I often do in existential moments like this, to another woman writer for a jolt of caffeine. Solitaire Townsend‘s 2018 Forbes article, “The Epic Story of Solving Climate Change,” never fails to get me back on my feet.

Townsend explains why climate fatalism is the enemy of action. According to her,

The climate-Frankenstein story is creeping into people’s psyche, sucking the will to act from them. Today’s tragedy of climate change, with the moral that man is the real monster, is so narratively satisfying it’s become dangerously believable. For many environmentalists, giving up this story would be a wrench. Even those who understand the dangerous psychology of fatalism struggle with their own addiction to the ‘it’s all our own fault, and we deserve what’s coming’ narrative.

So how do we change the dominant climate narrative? Townsend’s answer is simple: “Only a story can beat a story.”

She explains:

Every 8-year-old knows how to kill a monster. Harry Potter knows it, Dorothy in Oz knows it, Beowulf knows it, James Bond and Sam of the Shire know it. It’s the story that killed Dracula and blew up the Death Star. At its most simple – it’s the hero’s journey.

This “overcoming the monster” story often works best when a new generation, the youth, rally against the threat created (or allowed) by the old. You have told, read and watched this story all your life. The small against the big. The downtrodden against the overlord. Plucky humanity against the growing darkness.

Here’s where Townsend gets specific:

The magic elixir of the heroic story has always been guile. Tricking the monster, inventing a solution, spotting a fatal flaw and exploiting it. From Indiana Jones feigning zombiedom in the Temple of Doom, John McClane taping a gun to his back, or Eowyn revealing her gender on the battlefields of Gondor, heroes invent and misdirect their way around insurmountable odds. This is the most crucial part of our new climate story – and we’ve already found that magical way to trick ourselves out of the jaws of doom. Electric cars, solar panels and wind turbines are just the start of the innovation explosion coming from carbon constraint. Renewable energy is the ultimate cheat of the climate monsters’ plans.

How I love this quote!

Renewable energy is the ultimate cheat of the climate monsters’ plans.

Solitaire Townsend

According to Townsend,

We must teach our children this new “heroes’ journey” story of climate change. And it’s not a small story, nor a short one. This is an epic. We face a gargantuan, enormous and near impossible task. We need our Henry V before the battle of Agincourt declaiming, “We few, we happy few”, Frodo holding the ring and nervously offering, “I will take it, though I do not know the way” and Ripley rising in her rig and shouting, “Get away from her, you bitch!”.

Townsend concludes with possibly the most quotable quote of the Anthropocene, guaranteed to inspire generations of artivists and activists:

We need swashbuckling daring, bravery and courage, guile and desperate invention, unlikely friendships and alliances forged in fire. So that solving climate change becomes the greatest story of the 21st century.

Amen.

And Amen to all the women scribes with the grit, courage and guile who dare to shine a light in the darkness. Homo sapiens needs more women who climate.

(All photos by Joan Sullivan)

This article is part of the Renewable Energy series.

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Joan Sullivan is a Canadian renewable energy photographer. Since 2009, Joan has found her artistic voice on the construction sites of utility-scale wind and solar projects. Her goal is to keep our eyes on the prize – a 100% clean energy economy in our lifetimes. Joan is currently working on a documentary film and book project about Canada’s energy transition. Her renewable energy photographs have been exhibited in group and solo shows in Canada, the UK and Italy. You can find Joan on ElloTwitter and Visura.

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Artists and Climate Change is a blog that tracks artistic responses from all disciplines to the problem of climate change. It is both a study about what is being done, and a resource for anyone interested in the subject. Art has the power to reframe the conversation about our environmental crisis so it is inclusive, constructive, and conducive to action. Art can, and should, shape our values and behavior so we are better equipped to face the formidable challenge in front of us.

Go to the Artists and Climate Change Blog

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Upcoming Exhibition – ART IN FLUX at Event Two

12th – 17th July 2019

Royal College of Art, Kensington, London, SW7 2EUImage: Current Climate, 2019.

Image by Claudia Agati

I am delighted to invite you to ART IN FLUX at Event Two, an exhibition I have co-curated and will be exhibiting a number of works in. Event Two at the Royal College of Art is an exhibition of historical and contemporary digital art and a program of events marking the 50th anniversary of the landmark Computer Arts SocietyEvent One exhibition at the college in 1969. The exhibition includes work from The CAS50 Collection of computer art, dating from the 1960s to the present day, together with contemporary media art curated by artist platform FLUX Events, London’s preeminent forum for media artists. 

More information here. Event Two website here.

Radical Ecology: THANK YOU

A huge thank you to all who came to my FLUX: Radical Ecology exhibition and talks event last month. The event went brilliantly – see more info and video of the event here.

I would also like to thank Ugly Duck for hosting us that evening. They are a fantastic team, always supportive of the media arts and really helped to make the event possible. And of course thanks go to the chair Laura Pando and speakers, Oskar Krajewski, Becky Lyon and Tilly Hogrebe.Images by Sophie le Roux.

Climate Change Theatre is LIT: A Study on the Performing Arts and Climate Change Engagement

by Carolyn Reeves

Like many of us, I’ve spent a lot of time feeling disturbed, depressed, and defeated as the climate crisis grows. I’ve done a lot of soul searching to understand how I can transform my despair into something meaningful. Having long been fascinated and compelled by the power of art to command attention and inspire people to care about things, I wanted to study how this power could be wielded to encourage people to care about and act upon climate change. As a graduate student, I attempted to do just that. Ironically, the most significant thing I learned is that the true power of art isn’t something that one “wields” at all.

While enrolled in the Arts in Medicine master’s program at the University of Florida, I developed a keen interest in the arts in public health—an emerging field that promotes arts-based health communication strategies as a way to enhance health behavior engagement. Here’s an example of how that works: after watching a play in which a character’s life is destroyed by drug addiction, a person may be more convinced to make relevant healthy choices than if they’d attended a non-artistic lecture about substance abuse.

What about the arts leads to this kind of impact?

The answer may seem intuitively obvious, but I wanted to explore the concept through scientific inquiry. I chose to focus on the performing arts, with an emphasis on theatre. Specifically, my inquiry would address climate change—an issue that poses a public health crisis. I conducted my research in two ways: by reviewing academic literature and by interviewing professionals who work in theatre with climate change content. Gathering data from the field was incredibly valuable to my research, as the body of published work on climate change and the performing arts is small (but growing!).

Climate Change Theatre Action performance at the University of Colorado, fall 2017. Photo by Beth Osnes.

Findings from the Literature

A substantial amount of research has been done to understand why individuals and groups aren’t motivated to care about or act upon climate change. I looked at the most common barriers to climate change engagement alongside fundamental qualities of the performing arts that may be suited to address them.

1. Climate change is perceived as a distant, impersonal threat.

Many people don’t care about climate change because they don’t perceive it as a risk to themselves or the people they know. Considering the rise of floods, fires, and other climate-related disasters around the world, it likely won’t be long before this barrier is erased completely. In the meantime, how can the erroneous low-risk perception of climate change be addressed? Emotionplays a major role in the development of risk perception about climate change, and theatrical content about the issue can bring it to life in an emotionally evocative way. If theatregoers feel the risks and implications of climate change by becoming engrossed in a gripping narrative or experiencing empathy for a relatable character, they may develop a higher risk perception and become more engaged overall.

2. Climate change information is too abstract/complex to easily comprehend.

The causes, effects, and recommended responses to climate change can be confusing and difficult to grasp. People are unlikely to become engaged with issues they don’t understand. Due to their universal nature, the arts have a marvelous capacity to simplify complex information and overcome education and literacy barriers. In the theatre, audiences can relate to scenes of climate change and its implications via their own humanity, circumventing the need for the ability to grasp complex scientific concepts.

3. The issue of climate change is presented through a frame that is perceived as dissonant with an individual’s identity.

A person’s perception of climate change is influenced by their culture, attitudes, values, and beliefs. Information about the issue is unlikely to have an impact if it comes through a channel that misaligns with a person’s political, religious, or cultural identity. The most effective communication about climate change happens when the message is tailored to a target audience, and the arts offer a unique opportunity to do just that. With its rich use of cultural symbolism, theatre can channel climate change content through frames that resonate with specific audiences. The result can be a disarming of identity-based resistance to the issue and a greater potential for engagement.

4. Climate change engagement is not supported by social norms.

Social learning theory tells us that individuals come to adopt new beliefs and behaviors through observing and imitating others within their society. Throughout the world, behavioral engagement with climate change is not modeled as a social norm. In fact, most people don’t even talk about it! In the United States, the primary way people learn about climate change is through conversations with friends and family. However, over half of the Americans who consider climate change to be important rarely or never talk about itwith friends or family.

Theatre, on the other hand, sparks dialogue. Theatre with climate change content may therefore encourage conversations about climate change that would not otherwise happen. Additionally, by modeling examples of adaptive and mitigative responses to climate change, theatre can help to establish the social norms that are so sorely lacking in today’s society. Art has a rich history of reflecting and influencing the early stages of social change.

Julie Jesneck performs Whale Song by Chantal Bilodeau at the UArctic Congress in Helsinki, Finland, 2017. Photo by Veikko Somerpuro.

Findings from the Interviews

I interviewed pioneering professionals who create and/or produce theatre with climate change content, including: Chantal Bilodeau of the Arctic Cycle; Beth Osnes of Inside the Greenhouse and Shine; Jeremy Pickard of Superhero Clubhouse; and Peterson Toscano, a playwright, performer, and host of Citizens Climate Radio. The objective of the interviews was to gather information about the participants’ perspectives on why the performing arts may or may not be well suited to promoting climate change engagement, based on their unique experiences in the field. My analysis of the interview data suggests that there are three qualities of the performing arts that might lead to them promoting climate change engagement: that they are live, interpretive, and transformative. In other words, the performing arts are LIT. (I love saying that.)

Live

All participants spoke to the power of live performance to promote engagement with climate change, primarily due to the increased likelihood of emotional connection with content and empathy/identification with characters. One participant put it this way: “You’re literally watching physical bodies in play coming up against these challenges, solutions, ideas, disasters, whatever. So, you live the experience vicariously through the character.”

Some participants noted that live performance creates a shared experience for audience members, and that emotional engagement is amplified when it is experienced collectively.

Interpretive

According to the interview participants, in order for theatre to have the greatest possible impact in terms of promoting climate change engagement, it must remain interpretive and avoid being prescriptive. Audiences are resistant to content that urges them to think, feel, or behave in a specific way. There were several protests when I asked participants about the “message” they hoped that climate change theatre would impart to audiences.

One person said: “We do not try to convey messages, because that will not get you art. That gets you an advertising campaign.” Another said: “I don’t think anybody wants to go to a play where you’re going to be told how you need to feel. For one thing, it’s insulting because it assumes that you’re not thinking the right thing to start.”

Most participants didn’t want to define objectives for their work other than to inspire some form of critical thinking in audiences. It was mentioned that “using” theatre as a tool for behavior change is antithetical to the fundamental essence of art. Attempts to engineer the audience’s interpretation of artistic content can present an interference that diminishes pleasure, discourages critical thinking, and minimizes the very power that makes theatre engaging to begin with. When I asked about measuring and evaluating the impact that a piece of theatre has on an audience, one participant responded: “That would be like making out and being asked to take a survey afterwards.”

Yeah. I guess it kind of kills the magic. And, according to these pioneers in the field of climate change theatre, it’s that intangible, uncontrollable, and unpredictable magic that will bring about the miracles.

Transformative

About those miracles: although the participants were clear that they, as artists and producers, do not intend to prescribe ideas or behavior through their work, they heartily acknowledged the power of live theatre to have a transformative effect in the way that people perceive, think, and feel about climate change. One of the ways this can happen is when audiences experience a visceral encounter with previously abstract concepts. According to one participant: “Theatre can transport you to a different place—it can help you to imagine situations that you’ve never actually experienced yourself, or a future that doesn’t yet exist. Both dystopias and utopias.”

By making climate change and its implications real (or at least less abstract), theatre may provoke novel understandings and convictions, perhaps leading to increased engagement with the issue.

Participants spoke to how the performing arts can uniquely challenge and transform a person’s deeply seated values and beliefs by presenting ideas in a way that doesn’t trigger typical resistances. One person said:

The arts can communicate about climate in a way that’s more engaging—in a way that’s going to find unlikely inroads that hopefully won’t put people’s backs up against the wall in these kinds of normally identifying ways that put people in a binary of [either] pro or against.

Transformations in feelings, thoughts, and beliefs act as precursors to behavior change. So, while none of the participants work with the explicit goal of changing the behavior of their audiences, they acknowledge the unique power of the performing arts to promote the process of behavioral engagement with climate change.

JUPITER (a play about power). Created by Superhero Clubhouse. Produced by Superhero Clubhouse & Kaimera Productions.  Presented at La Mama, 2016.  Pictured (L-R): Jonathan Camuzeaux, Sarah Ellen Stephens, Jeremy Pickard. Photo by Theo Cote.

The Surprising Finding

Coming from an arts-in-public-health perspective, I figured my research would help define best practices for using the performing arts in climate change communication strategies. It’s true that the majority of my findings can be applied to the strategic or instrumental use of performing arts—except perhaps for one. The “interpretive” theme represents a resistance among artists and producers to use theatre as a medium for strategic communication. This distinguishes the work of those I interviewed from various forms of applied theatre that are specifically crafted in service of educational or behavioral objectives.

While I am still enthusiastic about the benefits of applying performing arts approaches to communication strategies, my findings suggest that it may be the absence of outcome objectives that gives theatre its greatest power to promote climate change engagement. There is a beautiful mystery to this power, and intentions to analyze it may be doomed from the start.

However, in the face of the climate crisis, we can’t afford to ignore powerful agents of change just because we can’t dissect their mechanisms. I hope my research makes a compelling argument that theatre has the potential to motivate people to care about and act upon climate change. Further research might explore how to maximize this valuable potential. Yes, climate change communication strategists should absolutely recognize that the performing arts can enhance their engagement strategies, and they should craft their efforts accordingly. And perhaps there is a need for innovative alliances between theatre artists and climate change engagement strategists. For example, strategists might support and promote the proliferation and accessibility of climate change theatre rather than dictate what it should convey and achieve. Maybe the key to maximizing the engaging power of the arts is to trust the artists and the art itself. It would seem that doing so gives us the best chance for the miracles we so desperately need.

(Top image: Flying Ace and the Storm of the Century! Created and Produced by Superhero Clubhouse, 2013. Pictured: Jeremy Pickard. Photo by Marina McClure.)

This article was originally published on HowlRound, a knowledge commons by and for the theatre community, on March 27, 2019.

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Carolyn Reeves holds an M.A. in Arts in Medicine, with a focus on Arts in Public Health. Her work includes: “Truth Comes Out”, a storytelling event for LGBTQ health equity; “Passionate Waters”, a performing and visual art show in celebration of World Water Day; and “Sunday Morning Soul”, a weekly dance event to promote individual and community health. Along with her academic and administrative affiliations with the arts, Carolyn is an actor and a singer/ songwriter. She lives in New Haven, CT.

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Artists and Climate Change is a blog that tracks artistic responses from all disciplines to the problem of climate change. It is both a study about what is being done, and a resource for anyone interested in the subject. Art has the power to reframe the conversation about our environmental crisis so it is inclusive, constructive, and conducive to action. Art can, and should, shape our values and behavior so we are better equipped to face the formidable challenge in front of us.

Go to the Artists and Climate Change Blog

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Wild Authors: Jaimee Wriston Colbert

by Mary Woodbury

Jaimee Wriston Colbert is the author of six books of fiction: Vanishing Acts, her new novel; Wild Things, linked stories, winner of the CNY 2017 Book Award in Fiction, finalist for the AmericanBookFest Best Books of 2017, and longlisted for the Chautauqua Prize; the novel Shark Girls, finalist for the USABookNews Best Books of 2010 and ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year; Dream Lives of Butterflies, winner of the IPPY Gold Medal Award for story collections; Climbing the God Tree, winner of the Willa Cather Fiction Prize, and Sex, Salvation, and the Automobile, winner of the Zephyr Prize. Her work has appeared in numerous journals, including The Gettysburg Review, New Letters, and Prairie Schooner, and broadcast on “Selected Shorts.” She was the 2012 recipient of the Ian MacMillan Fiction Prize for “Things Blow Up,” a story in Wild Things. Other stories won the Jane’s Stories Award and the Isotope Editor’s Fiction Prize. She is Professor of Creative Writing at SUNY, Binghamton University in the United States.

interviewed Jaimee in 2016 when her book Wild Things was published. In our interview, we discussed the nature of Wild Things – a literary exploration of extinction and remnants of the wild things left on our planet. Reviewer Pam Houston had said of the novel (a collection of related tales):

Jaimee Wriston Colbert has written a book of deeply affecting elegies to the scattered remnants of wilderness, the some few wild things we still live among: blackbird, brown trout, reef shark, teenage girl.

Jaimee and I discussed how to live within this eulogy/elegy – and how writers chronicle our times. Her newest book, Vanishing Acts (March 1, 2018, Fomite Press), is the story of three generations of a troubled family, in the shadow of the Vietnam War to the 21st century perils of climate change, set in a Hawaii that is both fantastical and gritty in its portrayal of life down under the tropical dream. There was a time when sixteen-year-old Buddy’s life felt normal. Then an affair derails his parents’ marriage and his mother, with Buddy in tow, uproots their life in Maine to return to her childhood home in Volcano, Hawai’i, and care for her aging mother.

Madge, a former go-go dancer, is losing her grip on reality, as is Gwen, Buddy’s mother, who indulges in a steady cocktail of wine, Xanax, and Jesus. Meanwhile Buddy has become obsessed with one of his classmates, Marnie, whose fervent dream is to escape her broken family (and a damaging secret) to pursue a modeling career. She convinces Buddy to run away with her to Honolulu and live with her drug-dealer uncle. To find her son, Gwen grapples with the ghosts of her past and present, including her father, whose love of surfing and obsession with Houdini allowed him to become the ultimate escape artist.

See an excerpt of Chapter 20 at Dragonfly Library.

The author “had me” at Hawai’i, an area where I have hiked through old botany-rich volcanoes and snorkeled and swam and bathed in the warm waves for hours on end beneath golden skies. I talked with Jaimee, who spoke of the beauty of this land, in terms of its mountains and deeply hued, sparkling seas, and a temperate climate that attracts visitors year round. Jaimee lived in Hawai’i years ago and has noticed the changing climate when she visits. It is getting hotter each year, with some areas now experiencing a persistent drought, and there are also warmer seas and dying coral. I recall snorkeling at Hanauma Bay, a nature preserve on Oahu. Before hitting the beach, everyone had to watch a short documentary about preserving coral. We were surprised to discover that much of the coral had already bleached and some was dead. According to Jaimee:

Hawai’i is known as “the extinction capital of the world,” because it is home to a vast diversity of flora and fauna that appear nowhere else on our planet, and more native species of plants and animals disappear there daily than any other place. Much of this is due to the ongoing threats of invasive species, but the higher temperatures and sea-level rise have subjected many native species to huge amounts of stress.

She describes this fragile world as home to her novel, and one that parallels the delicate world of her characters. The physical environment is a palpable part of their world, not just a backdrop, and as Jamiee says, “It is as essential to their stories as the air they breathe.”  Not only does water dry up but so do, sometimes, the spirits of her generational characters. This is a story of ordinary people going through loss and change, much like the planet does, and within this evolution are fractures and vanishment, illusion, freedom, and transformation. The evocation of hummingbirds and butterflies is not lost. The nod to earwigs, cockroaches, lice, empidids, even, is something to consider.

Jaimee notes:

As humans our own stories are inevitably part of the immediate world we are living in, and so too as a writer setting is never just a backdrop to my character’s lives – it is as essential to their stories as the air they breathe. Thus, in the excerpt [at Dragonfly Library], drought has left the lush Volcanic rainforest, “normally pungent and dripping with moisture, beads of it like sweat in the fronds of ferns… shrinking, turning in on itself in the strange Hawaiian winter heat.” The excerpt further reveals that Madge, one of the characters battling both dementia and a strong desire to be free, has escaped into the night and turned on the spigot to the water tank that serves their home (this area of Hawai’i island is on rainwater catchment), leaving it dry. Gwen, Madge’s daughter, had earlier described the affair that ended her marriage, marooning her and Buddy, her reluctant son, back in Hawai’i, inviting comparisons to the dried-up land.

The author tells me:

Freedom and transformation in parallel to the environment is shown in the on-going metaphor of the Monarch butterfly’s metamorphosis. We see this motif in the first chapter and it continues through Madge’s chapters, her memories of her husband’s quest to find a way to transform a life of regrets into something greater, and how he looked to the metamorphosis of the Monarch as “perfection.” Madge, who as a child collected Monarch caterpillars to watch them cocoon and transform into a butterfly, is haunted by how she brought her jar to her mom one day to show her this magic, and found her mom dead from a possible poisoning, from the milk of the crown flower bushes that Monarchs in Hawai’i feed off of. Ultimately, the Monarch butterfly itself is imperiled, its habitat disappearing, pesticides killing the milkweed it needs to complete its life cycle. Buddy, who besides his longing to have sex with his girlfriend, immerses himself in entomology and points this out to his mom in several crucial scenes in the novel.

A land where the long-erupting volcano contributes wonder and wildness, a culturally-rich mythology and unpredictability, along with the poisonous sulphuric vog that blows across the island, killing parts of the native kipuka forests, the setting of Vanishing Acts is a reminder of both the power and beauty of our world, and its deeply imperiled plight under the stresses of climate change.

Vanishing Acts is a very good example of a modern literary novel that arouses the reader’s mindfulness to global warming, extinction, and the loss of biodiversity, meanwhile mirroring the planet’s demise in our personal relationships and downfalls. In both planet and person are beautiful and complicated systems, strength, failure, and intricate but fragile relationships. The novel is a brilliant journey in an exotic land, with flavorful characters and prose as lush and verdant as the volcanic rainforest’s.

The novel’s use of metaphor draws highly from the natural world, and it’s refreshing to see the infusion of literary eco-fiction in modern storytelling, where a tale does not forget our connection to, or parallels with, the landscape and ecosystems and climate crises surrounding us. In fact, the natural world doesn’t just shadow the characters, it looms around the story, alive and imaginative.

There’s something else going on in this story, too, beyond the scope of the beautiful Hawai’i-scape and page-turning drama of the characters. The underlying concept of illusion haunts the prose. Not everything we see is what we get. And what we get doesn’t always last. I love the idea of a surfer disappearing into a curling wave and though the surfer may still be there, traveling the tube, the surfer may not be present to our eye. These kinds of illusions shadow the story and provide literary commentary about our world – whether about the way it’s vanishing before our eyes or about the awkward ideations underlying deception. And it’s a story about love too, which guides relationships and transforms us.

(Top photo downloaded from pressconnects.)

This article is part of our Wild Authors series. It was originally published on Dragonfly.eco.

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Mary Woodbury, a graduate of Purdue University, runs Dragonfly.eco, a site that explores ecology in literature, including works about climate change. She writes fiction under pen name Clara Hume. Her novel Back to the Garden has been discussed in Dissent Magazine, Ethnobiology for the Future: Linking Cultural and Ecological Diversity (University of Arizona Press), and Uncertainty and the Philosophy of Climate Change (Routledge). Mary lives in the lower mainland of British Columbia and enjoys hiking, writing, and reading.

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Artists and Climate Change is a blog that tracks artistic responses from all disciplines to the problem of climate change. It is both a study about what is being done, and a resource for anyone interested in the subject. Art has the power to reframe the conversation about our environmental crisis so it is inclusive, constructive, and conducive to action. Art can, and should, shape our values and behavior so we are better equipped to face the formidable challenge in front of us.

Go to the Artists and Climate Change Blog

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Opportunity: Commission to create recycling themed art installation

Environmental charity seeking artists to create a bold installation for a recycling campaign.

The environmental charity Hubbub UK is looking for Scotland-based artists/designers/makers to create an eye-catching, bold installation for a recycling-on-the-go campaign. This will be a really great opportunity for a local artist to take part in a high-profile behaviour change campaign, as well as having their work showcased in Edinburgh city centre! Any interested parties should email ellie@hubbub.org.uk to receive a full design brief. Please include a copy of your portfolio.

Expression of interest: TUESDAY 16TH JULY 2019.

Budget up to 8k.

See the website and attached photos for reference and an understanding of Hubbub’s work: https://www.leedsbyexample.co.uk.

The post Opportunity: Commission to create recycling themed art installation appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.

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Creative Carbon Scotland is a partnership of arts organisations working to put culture at the heart of a sustainable Scotland. We believe cultural and creative organisations have a significant influencing power to help shape a sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.

In 2011 we worked with partners Festivals Edinburgh, the Federation of Scottish Threatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network to support over thirty arts organisations to operate more sustainably.

We are now building on these achievements and working with over 70 cultural organisations across Scotland in various key areas including carbon management, behavioural change and advocacy for sustainable practice in the arts.

Our work with cultural organisations is the first step towards a wider change. Cultural organisations can influence public behaviour and attitudes about climate change through:

Changing their own behaviour;
Communicating with their audiences;
Engaging the public’s emotions, values and ideas.

Go to Creative Carbon Scotland

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