For the Catalyst Workshop, we had to present what's called a Pecha Kucha, a short presentation about a particular subject. For most of us, it was our first time doing something like this, so the Catalyst leaders gave us some suggestions. I chose to talk about storytelling, my story and how it relates to ocean conservation. Contrary to what you might think, I prefer to hide behind the scenes instead of being a public speaker. So after scripting and presenting, I thought I might share my Pecha Kucha with all of you. Enjoy!
What’s my story? I am a spiritual being here on earth having a human experience. My story began right here, and since then, I’ve made 44 revolutions around the Sun and I still call 37 degrees North, 122 degrees West home.
This photo I call The Sun, the Earth, the Moon and the Stars. I took it in Golden Gate Park one morning. Capturing small moments like this makes me love the planet we live on more and more.
And what we love, we must protect! Because I am a filmmaker, I feel deeply that my films must represent my passions and worldview and that we must practice what we preach.
I chose filmmaking because I wanted to express my passions through sight, sound, color and rhythm. But even though I love my creative endeavors, I often have to work on projects that don’t match my value system.
I understand that we humans are part of nature and we need to forge a new relationship with it. And I also understand that we need to reach new audiences in a way that catalyzes systemic and behavioral change. But how do we reach new audiences? How do we engage them in a new story about our relationship with nature?
The earth’s surface is 71% water and the oceans hold 96.5% of that water. But water also exists in the air, in lakes, rivers, glaciers and in the soil. Even our bodies are 60% water. Our brain and heart are 73% water. Our lungs are 83% water. Our skin 64%.
So we humans are water! We evolved out of the oceans. This is Yemenja, the goddess of the sea, portrayed here in human form, or mermaid form. Let’s say she is the hero of our new story. If she is the hero, is humanity the villain?
Or maybe Yemenja is like Yoda, like a bodhisattva whispering to us as we gaze at the seashore, telling us what we already know. That we are all connected, and that we humans have a certain responsibility to protect the planet we call home and the other species we share it with.
In order to protect the earth, we need to change. If we are to envision the complete shift that the human race needs to make to ensure a livable planet for future generations of all species, what does that shift look like? Where are we headed? What's in store for us? What's at stake?
Because I’m only one human, I don’t know what the conclusion of this story is. Maybe it’s a never ending story. Just like the earth, the story is always evolving. And what we think might be the end is just a new beginning.
I just got back from New Hampshire where I attended the inaugural Conservation Media Group Catalyst Workshop. It's a lot to process, and I have a feeling that I'll continue to reap the benefits over the course of the next few weeks, months, etc. I can say that my outlook has shifted. I think there are enough caring people in the world to make a difference. We just have to accept the responsibility to do it, and than accept that we must work together. More later. But I'll leave you with this photo/wise quote from the retreat center for your own inspiration.