Keele research on environmental storytelling and air pollution showcased at national festival

Keele University research on environmental storytelling as an approach to tackle urban air pollution is being showcased as part of the British Academy’s Being Human Festival 2021.

The British Academy-funded research project, led by Dr Pawas Bisht, is being featured as part of this year’s festival with a screening on Saturday 13 November at Stoke-based B-Arts. The event will take place between 1pm and 2:30pm and booking is required.

The screening and discussion event will showcase films produced by young people from Stoke-on-Trent and New Delhi exploring the problem of urban air pollution which affects both these cities.

Film on urban air pollution being produced

The screening will enable attendees to experience and discuss new ways of telling stories about air pollution, as well as exploring strategies for crafting stories that are emotionally engaging, empowering for affected communities, and which generate global solidarities and interconnections.

Urban air pollution is one of the most urgent environmental problems confronting communities across the world. It is also a problem that is often invisible, hard to pin down, and difficult to communicate powerfully in mainstream media.

Being Human is the UK’s only national festival of the Humanities and brings together universities, museums, galleries, archives, independent research organisations, community and commercial partners to make research in the Humanities accessible, and demonstrate its relevance to our everyday lives. The festival is sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, British Academy, and School of Advanced Study.

Dr Bisht said: "It's been fantastic to work with young people in Stoke-on-Trent on the issue of air pollution. It's been energising and inspiring to see them engage with the problem in the local context and find creative ways of communicating their perspectives.

“The festival event also gives us an excellent opportunity to showcase stories from the UK and India side-by-side and generate transnational connections, dialogue, understanding and action on this urgent problem."

Natalie Willatt from B-Arts, said: “Working with artists on subject matter that is scientific in nature has been incredibly interesting and thought provoking. Each participant has, in their own way, sought to challenge the status quo of how we tell stories about air pollution which has resulted in some incredibly intriguing and innovative work being made.

“These creative and original films being made will no doubt bring new audiences to the issue, which is imperative in the current climate.”