Dweepa (The Island): A Play with Beginnings in the Questions of Climate Change

This article was originally published on HowlRound, a knowledge commons by and for the theatre community, on April 19, 2016. In 2014, the subject of ecological philosophy made its way from a bookshelf to my study table. Having been a student of environmental economics earlier, the various scientific, social, and eco-political debates were not new to me, but despite the urgency of the situation, I had never wanted to make theatre about this subject. It was eco-philosophy that made me wonder about addressing our ecological crisis in the theatre. My enquiry was framed by a simple question: “Why are we causing harm to the planet when we are absolutely certain that it is unfailingly counter-intuitive to rock the boat one is sailing in?” Of course there are some common answers to this question that include words such as development and short–sightedness, but I had never found these answers satisfactory since they suspiciously point more towards the symptoms than the real issue. They

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Why Artists Need to Know About Global Warming’s “Six Americas” and the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication

In preparing for a submission to an international art competition on climate change, I came across The Yale Program on Climate Change Communication (YPCCC), a dedicated program within Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Fascinated by their research on public climate change attitudes, behaviors, knowledge, and policy preferences, I reached out to Associate Director, Lisa Fernandez, whose insights guided my application. What I learned from her and from studying the program’s data convinced me that the work of YPCCC is critical to artists of all disciplines whose art is focused on stimulating awareness of, and action against, man-made climate change. Specifically, Lisa called my attention to Global Warming’s “Six Americas.” I have been as guilty as other artists who may assume that their creative expressions against an alarming global threat will be endorsed by an audience of like-thinkers and will convert those who think otherwise. But, in fact, the research conducted by YPCCC indicates that it is not

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