Article published in This Next Wave Magazine, Issue 1, January 2012.
By Cherise Lily Nana Asmah
Everybody’s doing it nowadays. High School students in Sydney are doing it by collecting interviews with random pedestrians on the street . Spoken word artists are creating mp3 poetry tours, or audio graffiti, hidden in the laneways of Melbourne . San Franciscans are hand-drawing interpretations of paths, loves and community spaces in their neighbourhood. I’m talking about the current resurgence in using storytelling to map out the relationships between people and place. By mapping we are trying to grasp where we are at this point in history and our place in an increasingly disjointed and globalised world.
There are many myths currently playing out that are proving to be problematic. The myth of sin and repent. The myth of endless economic growth. The myth of arbitrary borders and boundaries that are staunchly defended at any cost. The myth of man’s dominion over the land. The myth of separation from self, others and environment. It’s no wonder we need a new series of maps.
This model of separation has spurred the idea that building a sustainable future is relegated only to the disciplines of science, engineering and design. For this reason people often look a little perplexed when I speak of my passion for the connection between storytelling and ecology. The former is associated with fiction and the latter with fact or hard evidence. So then what do the arts have to do with sustainability?
Featured Image Photograph Credit | Heart Map by Shannon Rankin