Past event

Communicating Climate through Arts STACEES Research Seminar - 'The act of Musicalizing in Tanzania' & 'Film Poetry as a Tool for Ecological Empathy'

Claudia Lubao (PhD candidate, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences) will present ‘The act of Musicalizing in Tanzania', which focuses on how popular music can be used as one of the strategies to change, mitigate and raise awareness on the impacts of climate change.

Claudia will share some basic and well-documented insights from music psychology as to how the brain processes text and speech differently when it is set to music and how, as a result, information communicated through music can be remembered more easily and have a greater effect on the listener. Claudia's talk will also highlight two specific issues: the adaptation of new approaches among academics and researchers in communicating their findings and how popular music (particularly Bongo Fleva — the main style of popular music in Tanzania) is used and can continue to be used in communicating and perceptualising climate issues. The talk develops Claudia's previous work, ‘Musicalizing Heritage and Heritagizing Music', in which she wrote music about aspects of archaeology and heritage.

Olivia Booker (PhD candidate, Department of Film Studies) will present ‘Film Poetry as a Tool for Ecological Empathy'. We are all familiar with commercial nature documentaries: crisp and colourful images of the deep sea with dramatic music playing as a soothing voice tells us about the plight of a mother whale and her injured calf. While these types of films undeniably have great potential to spark an interest in the natural world and provide a vast platform for communication about climate justice, the commercial aspect brings along with it many limitations, ones that films of a smaller scale can circumvent more easily.

This talk will focus on another type of ecocinema: one of poetry. Specifically, Olivia will discuss the need for poetry in the climate conversation, and the potential for film to provide this link between poetic thinking and science communication. Olivia will discuss the premise of her practice-led research and discuss the different approaches that she has taken to work through questions about form and method in communicating climate through film. By approaching ecocinema in an experimental way, Olivia's project leaves space for forms of communication beyond those that are specifically narratively driven.

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