.. for the
Down the line, I would love to offer more than a website and blogs. I think these stories deserve more. A regular column would be a great start. I've always been honest in that I am still exploring where this could take me and those who take part. At this moment of time, I am envisioning an art exhibition of some kind. Featuring the poems I write after each interview - capturing the essence of that particular person - and linking it with their stories and the beauty of Jersey. It might be photographs, it might be paintings. My own or those of people I will encounter on the way. Pulling it all together in an 'exhibition of hope' would be a tangible bridge to those 'outside' of conservation. Part of why I started this project in the first place.
Similar to the Jersey Project, I had bigger ideas in the back of my head for the original project. Something along the lines of a documentary or a short movie. These days it might turn into book of hope - a collection of stories from around the world.
Simple interviews allowed me to start small, and allowed me to explore. The first people I interviewed were pretty safe places as I knew who I was speaking to, and they knew me. There is still a long list of people I would like to include, and will. And the list keeps growing. It just so happened that Conservation Optimism in the UK were looking for blog writers, and my philosophies struck a chord with one of their staff, Imran. Imran has my gratitude, having edited and guided me through the first stages of writing and encouraging me to pursue this idea. Thanks to him, my Introduction Blog got published on their site.
A few months later, with every new contact and interview, more ideas spring to life - and I sincerely hope I will get to bring some of them to life. Doing this project feels right to me - as though I found my way to contribute in this time of my life. Ideally with a community.
Ideas of mine revolve around increasing positive storytelling - highlighting what is possible, rather than what goes wrong. Exposing children, students and adults alike - in and outside of conservation and sustainability to a new sentiment. We see lethargy with students in conservation-related fields even. I would love nothing more than instilling hope in them. By bringing them back to themselves, and to why they started in the first place. Creating a space to optimistically explore where and how they could apply themselves in way that contributes to their own sense of being as much as to a cause bigger than themselves. It is also about creating opportunities and spaces for adults and children to simply revel in the beauty of nature. Walls of protection and cynicism come tumbling down when someone is experiencing joy in the purest sense.
And then there is a very different cluster of ideas directed at the sustainability and conservation sector itself- as I believe there is much yet to learn. How to take care of your 'eco-warriors' better, how to collaborate and open doors for one another, how to reframe the telling of the conservation story away from doom & gloom, away from shock and fear.
There is much more, and if you feel like having a chat about any of these above, I would love to hear from you.