Communicating Climate Change Using Photo Action and Community Theatre

By NatalieRDS | November 28th, 2011

A recent World Bank Report stated that climate change must be considered a socio-economic problem because vulnerability to climate change is socially differentiated. There exists division between the guidance for developing countries on how to improve their understanding of required programmatic responses, and the needs and realities of local communities.

As such, local communities are still left out of climate change negotiations; the COP 17 presents no exception to this trend. This is due to the absence of a platform from which communities can make themselves heard. Rural African communities, thus, lack information about the long term consequences of climate change.

The overall goal of this project is to promote the resilience of rural African communities to climate change by supporting interaction between these communities and their governments. This two phase project involves, firstly, running community workshops in five countries (South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Kenya and Ghana) and collecting stories that will inform the script for a theatre play. A theatre unit, photo action unit and website – with links to existing climate change networks – will be set up.

The second phase of the project involves the theatre pieces and photo action stories, developed by the community partners and facilitated by the theatre and photo action teams, being analysed and documented for submission to national structures. This will take place through a series of workshops. The material developed will be disseminated as widely as possible through existing climate change networks, the website, and with print media. The play will be also staged in Durban during the UNFCCC negotiations.

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