I had a great experience creating my short film, SOW. This is a short fictional film that works as an allegory for humanity’s poor relationship with the environment. The father in my film represents humanity, while the mother represents the Earth. The child in my film symbolizes the future generations who are threatened by this poor relationship. Humanity is not supposed to be portrayed as a consciously malevolent figure, but rather as one that obliviously harms the environment. It was a challenge to illustrate this relationship in an effective, yet subtle manner, and so I was very lucky to have my script workshopped by such an intelligent group of CNP fellows. My hope is that this film presents our relationship with the environment in a way that allows us to better understand the negative implications of our actions. If we want our current and future generations to be healthy, then we must found our relationship with the Earth not on dominance and exploitation, but rather on respect and compassion.
My final CNP project encompassed writing a children’s book titled “The Story of Little Bluestem.” In an effort to discuss the role of climate change in Iowa, this story told the history of Iowa’s native tallgrass prairie from the viewpoint of one prairie grass, Little Bluestem. My book was aimed at children with the goal of encouraging kids to understand the benefits of prairie grasses in a state where virtually all the land has been groomed to promote the monoculture of corn grass. Iowans may not see the immediate impacts of climate change but our land management is tied to climatic change in numerous ways. There are a few villains throughout the story, the Unsettlers, a green Deere, and industrialized agriculture. However, the story finishes with a hopeful perspective from the Restorers fighting to save the tallgrass prairie. All of the imagery featured in the book was taken travelling around much of the state to capture the heart of Iowa. If possible, I may pursue publishing this book since I was unable to find any children’s books about Iowa’s prairie grasses and its important role in the history of Iowa. I thoroughly enjoyed participating in the Spring 2016 CNP class and this experience was very eye opening on how to better tell the message of climate change to encourage forward-thinking action.