“We're just a group of creatives and curators and connectors from all across the world. And honestly, we just care about our planet. And so we just want to, you know, slowly, slowly step by step to help protect.”
Climate Culture is an organisation aiming to promote a culture that is diverse, interconnected, regenerative, collaborative and circular.
They are a collective of artists, curators, and connectors who utilise events, digital experiences, material, and films to motivate people to take action on climate change. Its multidisciplinary approach offers a systemic, and practical impact storytelling.
Isabella Martin, relationship director and co-founder of Climate Culture, was drawn into the organisation after meeting the other two co-founders at a climate leadership training. She began talking to them and found herself wanting to help.
“I loved the idea of communicating the climate crisis through film, and so I wanted to help out. I started helping out and then eventually that led to me jumping on board for them as a relationship director, which means raising money and sort of creating partnerships, but also just general stuff for the Film Festival,” Isabella says noting it has been three years since her journey with Climate Culture. And in those years changes have been seen in the organisation, from expanding film festivals to rebranding the entire organisation. The origination was originally called Climate Crises, created in a time the time where the language surrounding climate change was around the crises aspect of climate change. Now the language has changed and the organisation has rebranded to change with it, now being called Climate Culture.
“Last year we decided to rebrand to climate culture. And we rebranded because we realised that when Susanna and Simon started the first Film Festival, in 2019, the language around climate was very much still on the climate crisis so trying to educate people as to the crisis before us. But we know that the climate movement has moved on a lot since then. And it's become more mainstream. So last year we decided that the language climate crisis, we didn't believe in that language anymore because we see that this sort of doom and gloom the world is ending, sort of narrative doesn't motivate people, and we're seeing a lot of cognitive dissonance. So we decided, as the climate movement had moved on to being more solutions and action-oriented, we wanted to also move on. And so we decided to found this creative agency, which we call a creative agency for the planet and it is centred around climate action and we do that through events. For example, for corporate film nights, we do programs for other film festivals. We do what we call digital experiences, so we can also design and develop websites. We develop content, we do some exhibitions. And we do all of this because we believe in this notion of storytelling, and so all of our storytelling is very human-centred.”
Human-centred stories around climate change have the power to communicate the issue on hand on a more emotional level. Climate change is a complex and often abstract issue. Human-centred films help to personalise the impacts of climate change by focusing on individual stories, struggles, and emotions. This emotional connection can resonate deeply with audiences and motivate them to care more about the issue.
“What we believe is that humans are motivated by other human stories, the way to communicate to someone the impact of certain events, or the way to show people what it's like in certain parts of the world we've founded by having a lot of our films have central protagonists and it makes it easier for people to try to, I guess, empathise, or try to try to realise what it's actually like in different countries in the world, or what the situation is actually like on the ground,” Isabella states seeing the power in empathy. Personal stories have a way of capturing people's attention and evoking empathy.
When viewers can relate to the experiences of individuals affected by climate change, they are more likely to understand the urgency of the issue. Isabella thinks that the power of human stories can make the idea of climate change easier to understand. “I think when we're at home we're just seeing news headlines and it's wildfires here and floods there. It's very easy to just kind of put that in a box of Ohh that's just something happening over there, but actually it is happening to humans and so it is happening to your fellow human.
And because we believe that essentially, underneath it all, we're all connected we found that people resonate more with human stories and it makes people more, we believe our sort of theory of change is that makes people more motivated to act on climate. And you can see this, I mean, I mean, climate psychologists are saying this a lot lately, which is that until something happens to you or your family or in your country, it's very hard for people to conceptualise what the climate crisis even means.”
Human-centred films can educate the public about the various dimensions of climate change, including its social, economic, and health impacts. These films can provide insights into how communities and individuals are already being affected, making the issue more tangible and understandable. This learning aspect is something that Climate Culture has wanted to expand on.
“In the last edition, we added action packs because what we saw was that we're getting this feedback from people that, OK, so they watched the films and they felt moved to act. But then what do I do now?
There was a total disconnect between knowing about the problem and acting on it. So what we've tried to do is we try to close that gap. And that's why for all of our film nights or bespoke film festivals, we always provide action packs now. We just did one for a corporate client. The theme was radical imagination. So then we made an action pack all centred on radical imagination. So that's learning and we provide links to learn more about it, the ways you can support different organisations working in the space. And sort of things that you can do with your community. So we always try to do that now because films are motivating, but there's no use providing a film when no one knows what to do after.”
They take it a step further by providing a climate directory. The aim is to connect people with organisations that align with their interests and values, particularly at the intersection of different topics. This approach acknowledges the interconnectedness of various social and environmental issues and provides a space for individuals to find and support organisations that address multiple aspects of their concerns.
“We have this directory on our website where you can pick what you're interested in. We try to put together a place where you could potentially go search for that. And then find an organisation that represents both those things. So for example, if you're interested in indigenous rights. So you say I'm passionate about indigenous rights and indigenous learning. Ohh, and I also care about the climate. OK, cool, there is an organisation that meets both my interests.”
The people behind Climate Culture are passionate about the planet and committed to making a positive impact reflecting a solution-driven approach to addressing climate change. By fostering connections and facilitating engagement, they are working towards protecting the planet through collective efforts and gradual change.
Climate culture offers a variety of routes for people to take if they have an interest in climate change. From watching films to understand what climate change is doing to different parts of the world to action packs to know how one can help and a directory connecting people with hundreds of organisations all focusing on climate change.