Video essays tell womens compelling stories

The powerful testimonies of women’s lived experience in challenging environments is being captured in a series of compelling ‘video essays’ as part of a project to re-envision nature writing.

Filipina women tell their stories of life in marginal urban and agricultural environments through two videos that provide a platform for their nature writing. These video essays are in addition to traditional forms of written literature – like poems, stories and books.

The aim of the project, entitled ‘Nature Writing for Environmental Justice’, is to see how literature can influence environmental values.

Dr Brett Matulis, Principal Investigator and lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Leicester, said: “There’s a lot of talk about the economic value of nature these days, and how it can motivate environmental protection. However, we challenge this economic approach, taking the view that instead, culture has long been more influential in shaping people’s perceptions of the environment. Historically, environmental literature has been successful at encouraging people to value the environment and take action through public policy. It can still be influential today.”

Dr Matulis’s project aims to re-envision nature writing and place it in the hands of women living in marginal urban and agricultural environments in the Philippines. Through a series of participatory workshops, two groups of women worked to creatively express the challenges they face and priorities they have towards environmental protection and land access.

The project explores the potential of nature writing to empower disadvantaged communities, restore environmental rights, and transform the global conservation agenda.

An anthology of Filipina Nature Writing is planned for 2019.

You can watch the video essays here:

Video 1, “Our Home”:

Video 2, “The Saving Tree”: