Perhaps we used to think of climate change as something that happens in far-flung places, and in the distant future. We might also have a tendency to think of 'the environment' or its challenges as somehow separate to ourselves and our social or cultural lives. Rapid environmental change can be very disorientating for our own sense of who- or even where- we are. It affects our feelings about the future, and the places that we are attached to. How do we navigate between unrealistic hope and crippling fear?
In 2015, the BBC commissioned ‘The Rest Test’, a large-scale online survey which asked the public what activities they find the most restful. 'Being in the natural environment' came out as the second most restful activity, but in the context of environmental crisis and climate change, is it still possible for people who care about nature to be soothed by it? Dr Samantha Walton, Lecturer in English Literature: Writing and Environment, examines what hopes, and what fears, are spurred by being in the natural world
Please join us for film screenings and conversations at Burdall's Yard. Environmental Humanities Professors Kate Rigby and Owain Jones will also share emerging ideas from their cutting-edge research in the UK, Micronesia and beyond, about how people cope with change in distinctly local ways.
There will be some light refreshment provided.
Film details: TIMELINE (30mins) by filmmaker Sara Penrhyn Jones explores some of these ideas in a personal voice. Travelling through Greenland's melting landscapes, the UK's eroding coastlines, and the low-lying island nation Kiribati, it is clear that, in the words of scientist Arwyn Edwards: 'Bad things are coming'. Can this journey through the darkest themes be poetic too, offering hope, beauty, and a renewed appreciation of community? Sara will be happy to answer any questions about the film.
This event is part of the Being Human festival, the UK’s only national festival of the humanities, taking place 17–25 November. Led by the School of Advanced Study, University of London, in partnership with the Arts & Humanities Research Council and the British Academy. For further information please see www.beinghumanfestival.org/ @BeingHumanFest. We also gratefull acknowledge support by the British Academy.