APRIL PSN: Storytelling the Environment: How can we use stories to help understand and protect the natural world?

Eventbrite - Storytelling the Environment: How can we use stories to help understand and protect the natural world?

Friday, April 1, 2016
12:00PM - 1:15PM EST

April's PSN Video Chat aims to develop strategies for utilizing storytelling to affect positive change in the natural world and to emphasize the human race's responsibility to our planet. This chat will examine the various roles narrative can play in environmental activism, from how storytellers can convey complex scientific knowledge to the general public to how personal storytelling can be used to affect public policy. This chat will be an open discussion that will be guided by its participants' interests. When signing up, please explain what you're most interested in exploring during the chat. The topics of discussion can include (but are not limited to):

  • Is there such a thing as environmentalist storytelling? If so, what are its parameters?
  • How can storytellers ally with environmental activists to help save the planet?
  • How can social activist storytellers incorporate environmentalism into the stories they tell?
  • How can narrative be used to tell the story of the environment and our relationship with it?
  • What are important environmental stories to tell? Who should tell them, and how should they be told? 
  • What is the role of oral historians within the environmental crisis and movement?
  • How can storytelling highlight the intersectionality of issues such as labor, human rights, and the environment? How can storytellers and oral historians best ally their work within these issues?

Maggie Lemere and Cindy Choung are independent oral historians. Their current work includes conducting oral histories for the Smithsonian's Natural Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC, and climate movement organization 350.org. Their personal project, Wild Women: Oral Histories from Women on the Forefront of Wildlife Conservation weaves the personal stories of women conservationists from around the world together with the science of the wildlife they work to protect.

Erica Fugger is a New York-based oral historian whose focus lies in examining the personal narratives underpinning revolutions and social movements. She currently serves as the Project Coordinator of theOral History M.A. program at Columbia University, of which she is a recent graduate. As an Atlantic Philanthropies Research Fellow at INCITE, Erica coordinates the Wake Up Oral History Project, which uses oral history as a form of community and capacity building for a transnational Buddhist youth movement in the tradition of Vietnamese Zen Master Thích Nhất Hạnh. She engages with environmental storytelling through these interviews, exploring the practices of Earth Holding, veganism, and permaculture as an individual and collective responsibility for sustaining the planet.