We need creatives and storytellers of all kinds. We need to listen to our hearts and the hearts of others. We need to remind each other how to feel things again and reinstate a culture of care.
Tracks We Share: Aboriginal Artists Speak Out (link below)
We seem to have normalised a “culture of uncare” that has accelerated during the rapid period of globalisation. As British psychologist has written extensively about, our culture of mindless consumerism and entitlement is driven by a selfish belief that the Earth is here solely to provide endlessly for us and absorb our waste. In the 1960s, economist Garret Hardin termed this the “tragedy of the commons”, where self-interest drives individuals to exploit collective resources in the short term, even to their long-term detriment. He went on to write in 1968 that caring for humanity’s shared future required a “fundamental extension in morality”.
As a species, we need to find better ways of telling stories about climate science; stories that capture its complexity and urgency but hold off from bamboozlement or blame. Now is not the time to start eulogising our planet or to accept a forgone conclusion of an apocalyptic future. Giving up at this moment would mean giving up to the paralysis of cynicism and despair. We must resist the urge to declare that it’s all too hard, or to wait for someone else to figure this out.
We are not powerless, but we need to understand that the time for complacency has long passed. We are facing a planetary emergency, which transcends national boundaries and calls for humanity to come together as a global community. Empathy has always been the antidote for a desensitised world. One way of connecting our hearts and minds is through art. To do this, we need creatives and storytellers of all kinds. We need to listen to our hearts and the hearts of others. We need to remind each other how to feel things again and reinstate a culture of care.
There are many wonderful books out there which can help us achieve just that. There is also a thriving climate art movement worth exploring. Here are a few suggestions:
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We need to listen to our hearts and the hearts of others, to remind each other how to feel things again and reinstate a culture of care.
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