Wallace Heim writes:
One of the explanations offered for why climate change is not more prominent in people’s thinking is that it’s not physically seen. It doesn’t feel ‘real’ enough.
But a different view comes out in the stories people tell about how climate change is immediately altering their everyday lives. The climate is changing how they feel about the world and their decisions about what to do.
Project ASPECT, based at University College Falmouth, is gathering people’s stories about climate change from individuals and communities in Wales, northern England, London and Cornwall. Building a digital narrative archive, they are capturing on DVD how people talk about the climate in the context of their everyday lives.
There are those who watch. Heather continues the diary her mother started, recording every day what work is done on the family farm and the weather. Duncan and Matt are surfers in Cornwall, watching the storms. There are those who work with renewable energy, or, like Hanna, find green jobs for young people. Many are changing the way they grow food and eat: Mary from Incredible Edible; Owen with his backyard in Peckham; and masked night-time Ninja guerrilla gardeners. Singers, rappers, athletes tell their stories. Spontaneous acts of community kindness sit alongside the meticulous work of digitising the weather reports from World War I ship’s logs.
In these stories of everyday life, there is a cultural reality emerging, soft-voiced, but pressing.
“ashdenizen blog and twitter are consistently among the best sources for information and reflection on developments in the field of arts and climate change in the UK” (2020 Network)
ashdenizen is edited by Robert Butler, and is the blog associated with the Ashden Directory, a website focusing on environment and performance.
The Ashden Directory is edited by Robert Butler and Wallace Heim, with associate editor Kellie Gutman. The Directory includes features, interviews, news, a timeline and a database of ecologically – themed productions since 1893 in the United Kingdom. Our own projects include ‘New Metaphors for Sustainability’, ‘Flowers Onstage’ and ‘Six ways to look at climate change and theatre’.
The Directory has been live since 2000.