This film documents an oral history project completed in fall 2020 about people’s personal thoughts and opinions regarding climate change. Interviewees speak about their concern for the future, food security, and climate refugees, as well as hopefulness in everyday actions and the passion of young people to affect positive change.
Documenting people’s personal thoughts and reactions about climate change in 2020 was an incredibly meaningful project for me, as I think it was for the narrators as well. At first many of the narrators questioned whether they “knew” anything about climate change and whether they could contribute to the project. I tried to approach the interviews as if I were talking to a friend rather than engaging in academic research and for the most part I think this technique worked. As each interview progressed the narrators became more comfortable conversing about climate issues.
As a future archivist, I am aware of the historical significance of these oral histories and I tried to approach the project from the perspective of potential future listeners. At the end of the interviews I asked each narrator the following question: “If you could talk to whoever is listening to this audio recording thirty or forty years from now, what would you tell them? What would you want them to know about climate change in 2020?” Each and every time I asked this question I got goosebumps upon hearing people’s answers. There was such pain and honesty, and yet so much hope in the responses.
As the narrators engaged in climate change conversations with me (some of them for the first time!) several common themes of concern and realization began to emerge. Producing a short film about the interviews allowed me to synthesize some of these thematic similarities into a creative and informative package that highlights the work of climate storytelling. I hope too that the narrators came away from our conversations feeling more comfortable about talking with others about the climate crisis. Though it may not seem like much, I think that communication is really a foundational step toward addressing the global climate crisis.
It’s an effective piece overall. Some of the images feel manipulative toward a purely emotional response (the music as well). This is not necessarily a bad thing, but is less critical.
Interesting mix of interviews. Bit rough around the edges but it works!