climate change film

The Ants and the Grasshopper trailer

One of the most important messages in my book is to listen to the people most affected by climate change, especially voices from Africa. African voices have been sidelined in the climate change conversation, despite the continent being the hardest hit by the crisis.

Vanessa Nakate’s new book, due out later this year, is one way to listen. It’s called A Bigger Picture and it’s excellent, and you should definitely pre-order it right now.

Here’s another project I’ve got my eye on. The Ants and the Grasshopper tells the story of Anita Chitaya, an activist from Malawi who travels to the US to meet farmers and tell them about climate change. It’s directed by Zak Piper and Raj Patel, the latter best known best known as the author of Stuffed and Starved or A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things. Here’s the trailer:

I haven’t seen it yet, but aside from a very promising trailer, I like what the directors say about how the film came to be. They began filming ten years ago, documenting climate change in Malawi. Chitaya more or less took over the film after suggesting that she go to America to tell people about it herself. This embodies the kind of change we need to see, where the Western media step aside and let African voices speak for themselves.

“We experienced what it was like to cede the power to shape narrative, beginning from a position of assuming that the standard ways of doing things is always right” the directors say on the website. “Our reflection, on patriarchy, privilege and power, is one that is raw, but a vital part of the transition away from a colonial world, to a decolonised one. We remain grateful that our experience in working with Anita and the SFHC community helped show us a path to decolonising film making, and point to the way we’ll all have to confront our culpability for a world undergoing catastrophic climate change.”

The Ants and the Grasshopper is out later this year, and I’ll write more about it then. (In the meantime, and also from Malawi, you’ve seen The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, right?)

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