The Observer Article about the need for diversity in nature writing By Stephen Moss

The Observer Article about the need for diversity in nature writing By Stephen Moss

Last month, broadcaster and author Stephen Moss interviewed me about the lack of diversity in nature writing. I also referred him to Zakiya Mackenzie a brilliant VME nature writer. This the piece that went into The Observer/The Guardian as an online article. https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/dec/28/new-nature-writing-gender-race-climate It is really important that VME people are given the opportunity to write authentically and honestly, allowing them to have a true voice.

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Equality in Nature: Making Wildlife Films Relevant to everyone

Equality in Nature: Making Wildlife Films Relevant to everyone

 


The environmental & wildlife TV sector has extremely low numbers of Visible Minority Ethnic (VME) people when looking in front of and behind the camera. It employs a huge number of people around the country including many in Bristol, which has the BBC Natural History Unit as well as 60 production companies. The sector is also poor on diversity generally. I and Black2Nature have been campaigning for almost 5 years to make the sector ethnically diverse so that our communities have role models and make VME people feel that nature and the environment are something they should be interested in. The aim is to come up with practical ways to make wildlife films relevant to VME communities so that VME audiences gain an interest in watching programmes from this sector. This is to follow on from the conferences I organised in June 2016 and October 2019.  This conference is being held in conjunction with Wildscreen Festival & University of Bristol at The Wills Memorial Building, Queens Road, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 1RJ. The cost will be fixed soon but there will be free tickets available for those who can not afford to pay including young people, students, community organisations, small film-making organisations, freelance people and staff from the secondary and higher education). To book: Eventbrite will be available once speakers confirmed

What we will cover

We will have a panel discussion on quality, diversity and inclusion within the sector in terms of those working within the sector and the stories being told and to whom.

We will also consider in a panel what and who are the barriers or potential barriers to wildlife films being made that are relevant or of interest to VME people, such as by location, species or other kinds of content.  In particular, we will consider whether it is possible to make programmes that are more accessible to those who are not already engaging with nature.

We will have two masterclasses, to choose from. One for sector leaders in covering overall policies and successfully implementing them and one for anyone working in the sector to consider the barriers and overcoming them.

Speakers

TBC but will include names you know from the sector.

Why is this relevant you?

The lack of engagement with nature has a dramatic impact on:  Physical and mental health – so a crucial issue for anyone working in VME health; and  Educational attainment for our children and young people – so critical for anyone working in education.

Unless the sector can start making wildlife programmes that are relevant to VME people, they will continue without nature role models who can harness interest in nature and environmental issues.

Programme – 13.30 – 19.00

13.30 – 14.00   Registration & refreshments 14.00 – 14.05   Rich Pancost – Welcome from UWE & housekeeping (provisional) 14.05 – 14.15   Mya-Rose Craig – Welcome & making wildlife film-making relevant 14.15 – 15.15 Panel Discussion 1

15.15 – 16.15 Panel Discussion 2

16.15 – 16.35 Key Note Speaker 16.35 – 17.20 Masterclasses, best practice & toolkits – choose 1 1 – Practical steps for wildlife film-makers  2 – Masterclass for Sector Leaders and commissioners 17.20 – 17.30 Mya-Rose Craig, Closing notes
17.30 – 19.00 Refreshments & networking

Sponsors

Thank you to Wildscreen Festival for partnering with us, the University of Bristol for providing a venue and Icon Films and Plimsoll Productions for sponsoring the event.

Please let me know if you can sponsor this event. Thank you.

Who should attend

It is intended that attendees will include (but not limited to) leaders from wildlife, nature and environmental film-making, programme commissioners, those working in this sector and in nature media and universities offering biological science, ecology, wildlife, nature conservation or similar courses, Visible Minority Ethnic (VME) naturalists, groups working with VME and Faith communities, Bristol City Council leaders, as well as other interested organisations.

Social Media

We will be posting through the day. It would be fantastic if you could also share the day using the hashtag #raceequalityinnature. Please, can you follow and tag Mya-Rose Craig; Twitter @BirdgirlUK, FB myarosebirdgirlcraig, Instagram @birdgirluk and LinkedIn Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig



 

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