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Northwestern Buffett Institute for Global Affairs

Climate Crisis and Media Arts

The Climate Crisis and Media Arts group aims to influence cultural and political discourse on the climate emergency by creating new ways of depicting what it means to live and die within a changing climate, right now.
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About the Project

There is no shortage of scholarly studies and media representations that frame the ongoing climate emergency as an existential problem. These works illustrate possible environmental futures to enact real change in the present. However, people around the world are already living within a changing climate.  

Combining the expressive power of the media arts with critical frames offered by the environmental humanities and the rigor of climate science, the Climate Crisis and Media Arts Group will illuminate the everyday experiences of people living on the front lines of the climate emergency—what climate change actually looks and feels like, and how it intersects with other pressing problems, including migration and economic inequality. 

The group will convene artists, scholars, activists and students, with the goal of producing empowering, public-facing and sensorial depictions of the material effects of climate change in a range of sites in China, Central America, the US-Mexico Borderlands, Southeast Asia and beyond. 

Group Members

  • Corey Byrnes, Asian Languages & Cultures, Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences, Northwestern University*
  • Joanne Leow, English, University of Saskatchewan
  • Michael Metzger, Block Museum, Northwestern University
  • Lakshmi Padmanabhan, Radio/Television/Film, Northwestern University School of Communication
  • JP Sniadecki, Documentary Media, Northwestern University School of Communication*
  • Ines Sommer, Documentary Media, Northwestern University School of Communication
  • Brett Story, Documentary Media, Ryerson University
  • Calum Walter, Radio/Television/Film, Northwestern University School of Communication

*indicates Group leaders