Creative practice as a tool to build resilience to natural hazards in the Global South

Anne F. Van Loon, Imogen Lester-Moseley, Melanie Rohse, Phil Jones, Rosie Day
2020 Geoscience Communication  
Abstract. Global South communities are increasingly exposed and vulnerable to natural hazards such as floods and droughts. Preparing for future hazards requires developing an idea of an uncertain future, thinking out of the box for possible solutions, enhancing communication between diverse groups, and instigating organisational and behavioural change. In this study, we explore whether art and creativity could support this process by presenting the results of a literature-mapping exercise and a
more » ... ping exercise and a case study. Our search for journal articles, focusing on Global South communities and topics like environmental issues, hazards, and health, yielded 267 papers published between 2000 and 2018. These used a diversity of art forms, including photography and other forms of visual art, music and song, and drama and storytelling. We found that papers on the topic of climate change generally had lower co-creation (62 % medium to high) than those on health (90 % medium to high). A subset of seven papers focusing on drought and flooding fell into the following two categories: those aiming to raise the general public's awareness of these hazards and those aiming to instigate adaptation action by the participants. In our case study, we explored the middle ground between these categories. In a pilot project in South Africa, we designed storytelling workshops in which community members explored scientific data on future droughts, exchanged ideas between groups, and developed narratives about the impacts of and preparedness for future drought. These narratives were filmed and edited and shared both with the community and with governance actors. We found that this approach allowed participants to imagine future droughts, opened up conversations about potential adaptation measures, encouraged intergenerational exchange, and increased awareness of local issues for policy makers. Both in the wider literature and in our case study, the long-term effects of creative interventions are rarely evaluated. Feedback from participants, however, indicates a number of short-term benefits, which shows the potential of combining creative practice approaches and more conventional approaches into a more holistic preparation for future natural hazards.
doi:10.5194/gc-3-453-2020 fatcat:xgjr7ygq5zdm3jnmhmefyi3toa