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WANDEL LAB - Storytelling as an act of Resistance : Artistic Intervention and Impact in the Planetary Emergency

Blake Kendall
(HMKW /Green Twenties)

Elke Hautala, Hauxita Jergeschew, Melissa Blythe Knowles, Yusuf Olmez & Mamo Akefetey
Pavel Borecký
(AnthroPictures / University of Bern)
Leonard Leesch
(Green Twenties)

Carlo Udina



For the last four decades, as scientific comprehension of the Planetary Emergency has developed and become more nuanced, the role of storytelling has been an important aspect for developing a movement of resistance. But even though news coverage, films and multi-modal representations continue to be produced and circulated to audiences, what role do they actually play in the environmental movement?

In this round table discussion, we delve deep into the questions of impact of storytelling within the planetary emergency in an attempt to comprehend the most effective practices, the missing pieces and the needed innovations in developing impact for the wider movement. If reality is always trying to catch up with imagination, what role does storytelling have in building sustainable futures?

The roundtable discussion includes stimulus material, research findings, presentations and insights from a range of current and recent projects that respond to the crisis and offer an opportunity for activists and storytellers to discuss. The very structure of this roundtable is in creating a space where feedback and plans of action can be established, as well as offering opportunities for activists, practitioners and storytellers to unite on common goals.

The underlying logic of such a discussion is to declare the significance that “we need to all be in the room together”… More often than not, we see filmmakers and storytellers investing time and energy in their artistic process and distribution, whilst not hitting the key outcomes that activists are working towards. This session attempts to bridge the divide between efforts in the name of solidarity, and established how these stories can have the maximum impact.

Questions that open for discussion include : How can stories transition from awareness building into action? In an ever-changing climate, what role do storytellers need to play #NOW in transitioning into sustainable futures? How can we be more targeted with modality and distribution of stories to gain maximum impact? What do activists want from storytellers? What do storytellers want from activists? How do we establish practices and processes to unite on common goals?

We invite all activists, storytellers, filmmakers, researchers, impact producers and interested individuals to join us for this much needed discussion. And collectively, we finish the session with establishing some best-practices that can be shared beyond the session, as well as much needed partnerships in the next steps of creating sustainable futures. Do join us… united we stand!

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