I wasn't really sure what to expect from the meeting, I only knew we had about 5 hours to talk about our aims and objectives, discuss the structure of our group, assign roles, get to know each other, order lunch for 15 (a challenge) and - of course - discuss the paper chosen for the project....
After a short meet & greet, a tour around the museum and some coffee we started the workshop by watching a video about the challenge that will define our project: climate change communication:
This really helped us to start of the discussion and the reasons why each of us had joined the project. Throughout the day I particular enjoyed the discussion and differing views from from all of the participants.
|Ros, Sally and Ian in thought|
Discussing the scientific paper was quite eye opening. To me the paper communicated the issues clearly and concisely, while many of the artists agreed that in particular the graphs were completely oblique and impenetrable.
For a while we discussed how we could work together to make the paper more accessible for the followers of our project, which will be a challenge. In the end we decided to split the paper up in sections and paragraphs, each of which which will be discussed by the artist-scientist pairs on our blog.
We will form artist - scientist pairs by then end of this month, based on shared interests some of the participants had, but also through random pairing.
We spend a long time discussing that the change we are seeing world wide now is difficult to comprehend and to engage with on a personal level - this is something I find particular challenging. As a group we agreed that the best way to move forward may be through the telling stories and sharing experiences, staying at a local level initially before showing how things at smaller and larger scales are interconnected and affect all of us.
We also discussed the issues of responsibility and blame that often forms part of the usual climate change narrative.
As we departed we had found a common goal/ mission statement, which as it stands, is the following:
‘The Paper Makers are a group of artists and scientists who are actively seeking new modes of communication and expression which will encourage positive changes and fight the negative impact of climate change within the marine environment.’
From the whole of the team I believe I can say we are looking forward to work on the project and to explore new stories and narratives together, which we hope we can share with our readers.