CLIMATE LENS PLAYBOOK (LINK)
- Practice literalism. End the tradition of turning everything into a symbol for human life.
- Occupy science. Befriend facts and factoids. Enrich theatre with the bristly nomenclatures of the natural sciences.
- Yes to vastness, and yes also to the infinitesimal. Toggle between the Big Picture and Reality-at-Hand, however tiny. Also between Deep History and the Here and Now. Do the Scalar Slide.
- Practice Glocality: intense focus on our localities, but with global eyes in the back our heads, scanning for interrelatedness and beaming signals out to other localities–consciously, urgently.
- Loosen your epistemologies. Don’t believe everything you think.
- Flatten your ontologies. Everyone and everything invited in.
- Unflatten your geographies. What happens here doesn’t stay here. The Far Away folds right onto the Right Here. Make plays with pleated places.
- Take all animals seriously, not just human ones. Also plants, including weeds, nettles, hemlock. . . Also minerals, rocks, currents of all kinds, clouds, winds, and other atmospheric forces. Also bacteria. Especially bacteria.
- Disaggregate the human. Who drives the carbon economy? Who profits? Who suffers?
- Don’t worry about working up empathy. Sympathy’s all you need. Feeling for others is just as powerful—and less anthropocentric?—than feeling with others.
- De-Sentimentalize “Nature.” Keep the awe, lose the “Awww!!!” Forge new affective pathways to the non-human, beyond sadness, guilt, and fear. Invite in humor, anger, joy, irony, sarcasm . . .
- Stand alongside our fellow species like a breathing exercise, to open up space in our cells for epistemologies of the biosphere that our bodies currently don’t hold, or ones we need to re-ignite. Physicalize awe.
- Congregate, coalesce, flock, swarm, meet and greet. But also: disperse, disseminate, distribute, scatter and spread.
- Biology over psychology, geology over sociology, creaturely life over life style.
- Invent plans as well as plots, tell times as well as stories, write worlds as well as plays.
- Create theatres of species life; fill the stage with the Earth.
By Una Chaudhuri, with members of CLIMATE LENS:
36.5 / A Durational Performance with the Sea
The Arctic Cycle
Artists & Climate Change
Dear Climate, New York University
Fundarte / Climakaze
Lab for Global Performance & Politics, Georgetown University
Theatre Without Borders
This is Not a Theatre Company, New York University
Una Chaudhuri, New York University
Works on Water