The causes and impacts of climate change manifest themselves at a local level, and understanding the specific problems faced by communities at a local level can lead to more informed decisions. Moreover, adopting a locally focussed approach and hearing the stories of local communities can help us to use local knowledge and come up with innovative solutions to global problems.
To this end, we encourage you to look at the climate change through a more ‘local lens’ in your writing. Here are some ideas to get you started:
Specific challenges faced by your community: As we mentioned before, the impacts of this global crisis are often evident at the local level. In your writing, explore the specific challenges and effects of the climate crisis on your local environment and community. Be as specific as you can and try to capture the local nature of these challenges in your work.
Adaptation and community resilience: How has your community adapted or is learning to adapt to the socio-cultural, physical, and emotional stresses of climate change?
You may also want to use this space to call out actions taken or decisions made by your local representatives or community that are detrimental to the planet. For example, the local government may have authorised the felling of trees to make more space for industrial zones. Use writing to describe these actions, their repercussions, and how you feel about them. You may also suggest solutions, alternative measures, and remedies.
Local Mythology and Folklore:
Retell a local myth, folktale or story in response to climate change. Read on for tips and ideas:
Setting: How would the setting of the tale be affected by climate change?
Theme and Message: Folklore and mythology throw light on the traditions and values of society and often teach morals to the audience. Are there certain themes, symbols, or motifs underlying the myths told in your community that can be applied to the status quo and help us deal with this global crisis?
Character: How would the characters in the tale respond to climate change?
For inspiration, take a look at this poem by Helen Moore. The poet draws on Russian folktales to describe the melting of ice caps. Can you mythologise an important climate event?
Music: Use folk songs or local songs as inspiration for your writing. Read this to explore how Amal Dunqul, an eminent Egyptian poet, used folk songs in his poetry.
Local solutions and traditional knowledge:
Are there any unique solutions or innovations that have emerged in your community to tackle climate change?
Share collective knowledge or traditional know-how possessed by your community about the natural cycles and crisis adaptation and preparedness that can help us deal with this crisis today.
Local change makers
Throw light on local activists and change makers in your community who have made an impact. Remember, these stories don’t have to be particularly grand or impressive. Even the smallest of efforts count. For example, you may choose to write about the old woman next door who makes art to raise awareness about the climate crisis, or the little kids in your neighbourhood who always make sure to save electricity.
You can even create your own local climate superheroes who actively take steps to counter climate-related challenges in your community! Use this character to write a story. You may also wanted to simply submit a brief description of this character and the unique ‘superpowers’ he or she possesses. Focus on how your local superhero embodies the values and characteristics of your community and culture.
Sources and Further Reading:
Feeling inspired by this resource? Craft your piece and send it to us at email@example.com by 30th September, 2022 as part of our #YourClimateStory project. Please make sure to read the detailed instructions here first.
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