We are excited to announce a brand new British Council funded project with a partner organisation in Kenya, ICPAC (IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre), Storying our Futures: climate resilience through indigenous knowledge.
We’re bringing storytellers from East Africa and the UK together with journalists, scientists, and climate activists to look at how storytelling can help meet the challenges of our global climate emergency. How are storytellers in countries most affected finding ways to make sense of the climate crisis? Are there ways we can augment and add to these voices through collaboration?
We will share each other’s experiences of crafting stories that have system change at their heart and documenting stories of indigenous knowledge and climate resilience. This research and development project has a number of different strands, developing relationships, exchanging knowledge and trying out new creative models. We hope to open up new channels and new conversations, and create a long term impact, through creative storytelling sessions and exchanges as well as sharing experiences of story crafting to create change.
The project is co-led by Linda Ogallo and Collison Lore from ICPAC and Catherine Heinemeyer and Hannah McDowall from the UK, with Adverse Camber producing.
More about the people co-leading the project
East Africa co-leads:
Dr Linda Ogallo is a climate change adaptation expert who has worked in several countries in the Greater Horn of Africa region, helping communities build resilience through access to climate information and various adaptation strategies. Linda coordinates ICPACs Climate Change Technical Working Group which whose aim is to strategically promote regional exchange of information and dialogue climate change in the region. Linda Ogallo holds a PhD in climate change and adaptation from the University of Nairobi. Her focus of study was on understanding the role of charcoal production in the context of a changing climate. She has extensive work experience in Project Management in the area of peace and security and governance.
Collison Lore is a Community Engagement & Accountability Specialist and a User Engagement Expert with the IGAD Climate Prediction & Application Centre (ICPAC) in Nairobi, Kenya. He puts his over ten years’ experience and communication skills acquired over 12 African countries to effective use in the context of climate. Collison’s forte is in community radio, where he has both worked with and established community radio stations at the grassroots within the region, while involving pastoralist and farming communities. Collison is a fluent speaker of Swahili and a prolific writer on matters to do with community engagement and accountability in weather and climate issues. He has undertaken training of trainers on weather and climate in community radio across the IGAD region and communication work in biodiversity focusing on key issues such as environment and gender in East and West Africa.
Cath Heinemeyer: Dr Cath Heinemeyer is a storyteller, drama facilitator and lecturer in Arts and Ecological Justice at York St John University. She is interested in the potential of storytelling to facilitate dialogue across social and generational divides, and in relation to challenging topics such as ecological crisis, migration and mental health. She has led participatory arts projects with young people and adults of all ages in numerous schools, youth theatres, mental health settings, universities and community groups. Her book, ‘Storytelling in Participatory Arts with Young People: the gaps in the story’ was published in 2020 by Palgrave Macmillan. She is also involved in coordinating performance, arts and community outreach activities for climate activist groups, and is co-facilitator of York St John University’s Ecological Justice Research Group.
Hannah McDowall: Hannah has been working as a freelance storyteller and social change project designer, facilitator and evaluator for 10 years. In 2020 she published her book, a how-to guide called ‘Performance Storytelling: How to build your career and nurture the artform’ and has run digital storyteller workshops with international participants and as part of the Storytelling lab at the School of storytelling at Emerson College in Sussex. As well as working as a Freelancer, Hannah is a co-director of Canopy a social enterprise which designs and delivers social change projects which put imagination and artistic practice at the heart of what they do.
Storying our Futures: climate resilience through indigenous knowledge is funded by the British Council’s International Collaboration Grants, which are designed to support UK and overseas organisations to collaborate on international arts projects.