Today, mainstream media focuses on covering climate disasters in a way which brings disproportionate attention to “heroic” characters who can allegedly lead us out of our climate crisis.
To counter this narrative, FRIDA launched the Climate & Environmental Justice Media Fellowship in partnership with the international human rights media platform OpenGlobalRights (OGR). The Fellowship, which took place in 2019, aimed to create space for alternative perspectives to the climate and ecological crisis; geared towards feminist solutions and community-based organizing.
FRIDA is honoured to share with you, a summary and key results of this fellowship.
Over 8 months, the Fellowship focused on supporting four young feminist climate and environmental advocates through a process of writing investigative journalism pieces. We provided a close editorial mentorship structure, a series of virtual skills-sharing sessions and a rooted practice of collective care within the group. An important moment for the Fellowship was gathering at the UN Climate Change Negotiations in Madrid, Spain in December, 2019, which gave the fellows the chance to collaborate with a diverse group of feminist climate activists.
Who were the fellows and what did they write about?
The four fellows brought their creative, sharp, exploratory and sensitive selves to uplift grassroots stories. Their articles are published in OGR’s website with translations to English, Spanish and relevant languages like Punjabi, Portuguese, and Tagalog.
- Beatrice, a field organizer and climate storyteller from the Philippines, showed the insistence of youth activists in Thailand and the Philippines to push their governments to declare climate emergency is a political step to redefine a fair and equitable future for all.
- Tarini, a young feminist filmmaker from India, featured a successful battle on communal land rights won over by Dalit women in northern India.
- Vanessa, a lawyer from Colombia, picked on the different legal strategies towards climate action led by a youth group in her country. Her other piece sheds a light into the legal and successful battle of Waorani indigenous women in the Ecuadorian Amazon to protect their ecosystem from further corporate exploitation.
- Wangüi, a dancer and facilitator from Kenya, showed the resilience and wisdom of indigenous seed saving practices in her country and how community resistance is lived in an oil district of Uganda.
FRIDA increasingly realizes the importance of focusing on the climate crisis and environmental degradation as a key issue that affects and will determine the future of younger generations.
The Climate and Environmental Justice Media Fellowship builds on other Young Media Fellowships trialed by FRIDA as a way to support independent media in a context of corporatisation and funding crisis for journalism; where it is key to amplify young feminist perspectives and the transformational work that they’re doing. We hope to continue creating spaces in media and activism for diverse young feminists to build transnational feminist solidarity and counter the dominant narratives of the climate and environmental crisis.
This Fellowship was made possible thanks to the collaboration between FRIDA’s staff and OpenGlobalRights’ editors, with the support from Mama Cash, Sierra Club, the four fantastic fellows, and lots of really cool feminists and organisers who joined us in the way. We are very appreciative of everyone’s trust and energy in this process.