Monday, 28 October 2019

I Dreamt I Was a Butterfly - The Conservation Edition


 
Copyright Chuck East





Bristol-based Kickstarter photo book project - for every four books pledged one book will be donated to Butterfly Conservation.




The first-ever photo book of butterflies photographed in flight is available now on Kickstarter, until the 22nd of October, and it's a Bristol-based creation. 


The campaign was created by Bristol University graduate Oliver East, to publish the 2nd book in a series of photographs by his dad, Chuck East. For every four books sold, one book will be donated to Butterfly Conservation. The donations will continue after the Kickstarter campaign is finished. 

Copyright Chuck East


Titled I Dreamt I Was a Butterfly - The Conservation Edition, the book will be available to Kickstarter backers for £40, a 20% discount off RRP at £50. 


With Extinction Rebellion and Global Climate Strikes drawing people together to demand environmental action from governments, the purity and beauty of the butterfly's flight is a powerful icon for nature conservation.


Chuck: "There are few symbols of the fragility and beauty of our world more potent than the butterfly. A butterfly’s lifespan can be just days or weeks, yet it has left its imprint on our world for millennia. In ancient Greece, a word for butterfly was psyche. In Chinese culture, two butterflies flying together are said to symbolise love. And, to Native Americans, the butterfly is a symbol of change and joy.


In each of us, there is a soulful yearning to create and sustain life. Part of that natural urge is expressed in the nurturing and healing of the earth not least so that tomorrow's children can delight in the power and beauty of Nature as we know it today. A wonderful living icon for conservation is the butterfly as a brilliant and mesmerising aviator, a dream maker and a symbol of love and health.”


And what about the relationship between butterflies and birds? Moths and butterflies are an important element of the food chain and are prey for birds, bats and other insectivorous animals. For example, in Britain and Ireland, Blue Tits eat an estimated 50 billion moth caterpillars each year. 


Copyright Chuck East


About the creators:

The photographer, Chuck East - After a 35-year film career, directing and producing documentaries, TV specials and advertisements. Chuck has returned in recent years to his first love, photography, as a more personal way to explore the world. His interest is in discovering the beauty of the ordinary aspects of life that are all around us – not just for the privileged few, but accessible to all. Most of his images are from the family garden. 

While photography is the initial medium, the final artwork is often painterly, which is simply the result of the way he exposes the image followed by simple adjustments to light, shadow and colours the choice of archival art papers for printing. 


The publisher, Oliver East - Inspired by his dad's photographs, Oliver encouraged him to collect these unique images into a photo book and share them more widely. He has a degree in Spanish and Portuguese from the University of Bristol but has recently turned his focus to sustainable building, helping to construct the first hempcrete house in the Haute Savoie, France.


Copyright Chuck East




About the Author



Young environmentalist and birder Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig 
Copyright Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig



Mya-Rose Craig is a 17-year-old young British Bangladeshi birder, naturalist, conservationist, environmentalist, race activist, writer and speaker. She is based near Bristol and writes posts about birding, nature conservation,  environmental issues and racism from around the world. 

Mya-Rose has been organising nature camps for teenagers since 2015, Camp Avalon, and nature camps for children, Camp Chew, since 2017. She has organised nine camps since then and is organising more for 2020. She also wrote to five of the biggest NGO's in 2015, after her first camp, asking them what steps they were taking to make their organisations ethnically diverse. 

Her first camp led to her organise a conference in 2016, Race Equality in Nature, aiming to increase the ethnic diversity in nature by looking at the barriers to Visual Minority Ethnic (VME) people going out into nature, what can be done to overcome these barriers and how we can create VME role models. She had speakers Bill Oddie and Kerry McCarthy MP. She also organised a second conference, Race Equality in Nature: The Next Generation 13-30 in October 2019 with Speakers Chris Packham, Bristol Deputy Mayor, Councillor Asher Craig, and RSPB CEO Beccy Speight.

She has also set up Black2Nature with the aim of working with organisations to increase the access to nature of VME people and is President. Please connect with her on LinkedIn (Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig) so that she can invite you to join the Race Equality in Nature LinkedIn Group and be part of the change. 

She was a Bristol European Green Capital Ambassador along with Kevin McCloud, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Tony Juniper, Simon King and Miranda Krestovnikoff. She has also been listed with the singer-songwriter George Ezra and actress Maisie Williams from Game of Thrones as one of Bristol's most influential young people

She has been involved in the UK organisation of the Youth Strikes encouraging young people from around the world to not go to school once a month and protest instead demanding immediate action to prevent climate breakdown.   She is involved with Extinction Rebellion, setting up a local group. This is an interview in New Statesman. She has written articles for Resurgence & Ecologist Magazine, New Internationalist, The Big Issue and was listed as a local hero in The Guardian.


She has given over 50 talks, speaking at conferences such as being on a panel with George Monbiot and Caroline Lucas on Sustainability and the Future of Cities. She is a Minister in Chris Packham's Manifesto for Nature in 2018 and spoke in front of 10,000 people at the Walk for Nature. She has also appeared on TV and radio and is particularly proud of being in Silent Roars, a short film which was part of Listen to Britain 2017 https://player.bfi.org.uk/free/film/watch-the-silent-roars-2017-online. She has also appeared on Channel 4 News, local BBC News and BBC2's Hugh's Wild West.




She has been awarded the Bath and West Show Environmental Youth Award 2017 for Bristol for her Black2Nature work EYA 2017. She was also listed as one of Bristol's BME top 100 powerlist and was nominated in the Birders' Choice Awards 2019 as Conservation Hero of the Year with Sir David Attenborough, Greta Thunberg and George Monbiot.


She loved seeing Mountain Gorillas in East Africa and Penguins in Antarctica over Christmas 2015, her 7th continent. She became the youngest person to see half the birds of the world, 5369 birds in Brazil in August  2019 age 17. Please also like her Birdgirl Facebook Page and follow her on Birdgirl Twitter. If you would like to contact Mya-Rose about her work, please e-mail helenabcraig@hotmail.co.uk.







Thursday, 24 October 2019

My Article in Resurgence and Ecologist Magazine

This is an article I have written for Resurgence and Ecologist Magazine, about the racism within the nature conservation and environmental sector and the need for the sectors to become ethnically diverse.




"If the environmental sector fails to become ethnically diverse, it fails to bring on board an increasingly large section of our society. It will not have the widespread support it needs to stop climate breakdown, create sustainable cities or save the million species that are predicted to become extinct. We have to engage everyone in our society if we are to succeed in turning the tide of the environmental crisis."



The photograph was taken by Oliver Edwards for Scouts Magazine


A selection of articles (and accompanying images) from each issue from Resurgence and Ecologist are available as ‘free to read’ online and help to generate greater awareness about ecological issues and share new ideas, analysis and inspiration with both new and existing readers. You can find my article in the November/December 2019 Magazine.


About the Author



Young environmentalist and birder Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig 
Copyright Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig



Mya-Rose Craig is a 17-year-old young British Bangladeshi birder, naturalist, conservationist, environmentalist, race activist, writer and speaker. She is based near Bristol and writes posts about birding, nature conservation,  environmental issues and racism from around the world. 

Mya-Rose has been organising nature camps for teenagers since 2015, Camp Avalon, and nature camps for children, Camp Chew, since 2017. She has organised nine camps since then and is organising more for 2020. She also wrote to five of the biggest NGO's in 2015, after her first camp, asking them what steps they were taking to make their organisations ethnically diverse. 

Her first camp led to her organise a conference in 2016, Race Equality in Nature, aiming to increase the ethnic diversity in nature by looking at the barriers to Visual Minority Ethnic (VME) people going out into nature, what can be done to overcome these barriers and how we can create VME role models. She had speakers Bill Oddie and Kerry McCarthy MP. She also organised a second conference, Race Equality in Nature: The Next Generation 13-30 in October 2019 with Speakers Chris Packham, Bristol Deputy Mayor, Councillor Asher Craig, and RSPB CEO Beccy Speight.

She has also set up Black2Nature with the aim of working with organisations to increase the access to nature of VME people and is President. Please connect with her on LinkedIn (Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig) so that she can invite you to join the Race Equality in Nature LinkedIn Group and be part of the change. 

She was a Bristol European Green Capital Ambassador along with Kevin McCloud, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Tony Juniper, Simon King and Miranda Krestovnikoff. She has also been listed with the singer-songwriter George Ezra and actress Maisie Williams from Game of Thrones as one of Bristol's most influential young people

She has been involved in the UK organisation of the Youth Strikes encouraging young people from around the world to not go to school once a month and protest instead demanding immediate action to prevent climate breakdown.   She is involved with Extinction Rebellion, setting up a local group. This is an interview in New Statesman. She has written articles for Resurgence & Ecologist Magazine, New Internationalist, The Big Issue and was listed as a local hero in The Guardian.


She has given over 50 talks, speaking at conferences such as being on a panel with George Monbiot and Caroline Lucas on Sustainability and the Future of Cities. She is a Minister in Chris Packham's Manifesto for Nature in 2018 and spoke in front of 10,000 people at the Walk for Nature. She has also appeared on TV and radio and is particularly proud of being in Silent Roars, a short film which was part of Listen to Britain 2017 https://player.bfi.org.uk/free/film/watch-the-silent-roars-2017-online. She has also appeared on Channel 4 News, local BBC News and BBC2's Hugh's Wild West.




She has been awarded the Bath and West Show Environmental Youth Award 2017 for Bristol for her Black2Nature work EYA 2017. She was also listed as one of Bristol's BME top 100 powerlist and was nominated in the Birders' Choice Awards 2019 as Conservation Hero of the Year with Sir David Attenborough, Greta Thunberg and George Monbiot.


She loved seeing Mountain Gorillas in East Africa and Penguins in Antarctica over Christmas 2015, her 7th continent. She became the youngest person to see half the birds of the world, 5369 birds in Brazil in August  2019 age 17. Please also like her Birdgirl Facebook Page and follow her on Birdgirl Twitter. If you would like to contact Mya-Rose about her work, please e-mail helenabcraig@hotmail.co.uk.