Videos highlighting women's compelling stories shortlisted for AHRC film awards

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

The films, created by Dr Brett Matulis from our School of Geography, Geology and the Environment, have now been shortlisted by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) for its 2018 Research in Film Awards.

‘The Saving Tree’ (Shortlisted category:  Early Career Film) and ‘Our Home’ (Shortlisted category: Social Media Short Award) explore the stories of Filipina women and their lives in marginal urban and agricultural environments.

The winner of the awards will be announced at a special awards ceremony (#RIFA2018) on Thursday 8 November.

The aim of the project, entitled ‘Nature Writing for Environmental Justice’, is to explore the influence of literature and culture over environmental values. The video essays were supported by the University of Leicester, the Arts and Humanities Research Council, and De La Salle University. Local partner organisations included National Rural Women’s Coalition, GABRIELA Philippines, and Center for Environmental Concerns.

Dr Brett Matulis, Principal Investigator and lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Leicester, said: “These films were written by two groups of women living at the margins of Philippine society. I'm really pleased that being shortlisted for these awards will mean more people will hear their voices and the stories they want to tell.”

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.

You can watch the video essays here:

An anthology of Filipina Nature Writing is planned for 2019.