a little girl and a big snake – can the arts connect us before its too late?

This post comes to you from An Arts and Ecology Notebook

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Was just reading the following quote from a book The Care of Creation (2000) and thinking about this ecopoem entry into last weeks British Talent show that has gone viral on youtube


”When the greatest beasts before whom our ancestors shrank in terror is in danger of extinction, when the very biodiversity of the planet seems to depend on the implementation of a political treaty, the only thing to be in awe of is the dizzying power of human culture…. our problem today… is that our awe has given way to an exploitative and managerial approach to nature.”

save the humansI loved Olivia’s courage to present her ‘passion, which she knows is out of fashion’ but I couldn’t help but feel though that many in audience while applauding this audacious poetic gesture fail to see the bigger crisis that extinction is pointing to, ie that extinction doesn’t only apply to snakes! (I saw the polar bear image above earlier this week and thought, yep, the polar bears have got it – a friend of mine has it as his avatar on Facebook)

Other contributors to Care of Creation printed back in 2000, from scientists to theologians state that ‘the ecocrisis is so serious that scientists and political solutions alone are unlikely to address it satisfactorily’… which some of us are beginning to realise. One of the contributors quotes an earlier writer, Hamilton in 1993, who argued, ‘it is not the ecologists, engineers, economists or earth scientists who will save spaceship earth, but the poets (even small ones), priests, artists and philosophers’.

Here’s another creative work which dovetails Olivia’s piece above, don’t you think.

[iframe http://player.vimeo.com/video/19569018?title=0&byline=0&portrait=0 500 281]

Olivia gets where science often fails and where artistic performance excels…. ‘if I say their Latin names will you listen more?’

An Arts & Ecology Notebook, by Cathy Fitzgerald, whose work exists as ongoing research and is continually inspired to create short films, photographic documentation, and writings. While she interacts with foresters, scientists, and communities, she aims to create a sense of a personal possibility, responsibility and engagement in her local environment that also connects to global environmental concerns.

Go to An Arts and Ecology Notebook

3 thoughts on “a little girl and a big snake – can the arts connect us before its too late?

  1. Hi Cathy,

    We share your concern and mission, though we have a predominently user generated site. It is amazing that Braque and Picasso understood and imaged cubism before Albert Einstein identified it.

    I am writing because we have a Citizen Science initiative in N. America (currently – though we are international), for which we want to get some attention. I am sending you some info and invite your response. Hope all is well and keep up the good work. Lisa

    We are YourGardenShow.com, a free social network connecting gardeners of all experience levels with knowledge, tools and resources to inspire sustainable green communities. More gardeners mean healthier communities. We are organized around a garden log which each gardener can chose to share. Plus, we have about 40% original content, including videos.

    This month, we unveil an initiative with the first national phenological network (USANPN.org) of Citizen Scientists to undertake the first online national bee count (they’re disappearing, causing concern for food security as well as being harbingers of environmental danger). We would like to publicize the initiative since that is what it will take to get the data collected so it can do good!

    Would you be interested in running a story on it? We have copy, blogs and press releases. Here’s a page from our site indicative of the outreach: http://www.yourgardenshow.com/citizen-science/great-sunflower-project

    We would appreciate any exposure you can give it, since the benefits depend on and accrue to everyone equally. We would, of course, link back to anything you wrote about us.


    Lisa Finerty
    Outreach Director

  2. Ian Garrett says:

    HI LIsa,

    We’d definitely want to know more. best to contact us at info@sustainablepractice.org or contact@sustainablepractice.org

  3. Hi Lisa,

    yes please send on more information to cathyart@gmail.com

    Thanks for your interest


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