Date of Award
sustainability, climate change, paradigm shift, ecological identity, storytelling, multi-media art
Climate experts state that today we are witnessing the unfolding of an anthropogenic global ecological crisis, and that to ensure a sustainable future on Earth, we must take fast action to mitigate the effects of this crisis and to adapt accordingly. Pragmatic strategies such as renewable energy technologies, “green” consumer goods, and carbon offsets may be a part of the solution, but another important component lies within a global paradigm shift that disposes of the consumer culture and expansionist worldview that are embedded in our society today, and revitalizes the understanding that we, humans, are an integrated part of nature; not owners of it. Through the context of Israel-Palestine, ‘On Being Earthlings’ utilizes audio-recorded interviews and portrait photography to capture personal experiences, thoughts, and feelings about environment, people, society, etc. of ten individuals from diverse cultural, religious, and ethnic backgrounds. The project culminated in a week-long solo art exhibit in the Dudley H. Davis Center at the University of Vermont, where each black-and-white portrait was displayed with a phone number and extension, which the viewers could call to listen to the corresponding audio narrative. Through audio-visual storytelling, gallery attendees were stimulated to reflect on their own relationship to the Earth and how they might personally contribute to the paradigm shift of caretaking, rather than depleting the planet’s natural resources. In this way, ‘On Being Earthlings’ encouraged individuals to establish a personal connection to the Earth in order to instill values for a more peaceful and sustainable future on Earth.
Borax, Blair R. Ms., "On Being Earthlings: Photographic Portraits and Audio Narratives on Human-Earth Connection in Israel-Palestine" (2014). Environmental Studies Electronic Thesis Collection. 27.