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Archive for December, 2009

The Age of Stupid

I have just watched this tremendous documentary (about climate change, seen from the perspective of a crisis survivor in 2055) on BBC i-player.  I justify including a mention of this in my storytelling blog because it tells a very complex and terrifying story in a way that enables you to look it in the eye and feel it in your heart, without making you want to shrink away.  Quite an achievement – when one of everyone’s main occupations these days is denying, over-simplifying, minimising or ignoring this thing (and I include myself in this).

Maybe one of the best proofs I have had for a long time of storytelling’s unique power to approach trauma obliquely and allow us to explore it with an open heart.  To break down our everyday defences against the truth.  The documentary sees climate change through the eyes of six or seven inhabitants of Planet Earth in our current decade, each living out their own stories and telling them eloquently.  Some are suffering the consequences of climate change, some are making matters worse, indeed most are doing both these things.  One doesn’t feel moved to judge but to act.

The question for me is then: how can I use stories to help people come to terms with climate change?  Without preaching or judging or bringing people to despair, I mean.  That’s the thought I am taking to bed tonight.

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