Often artists aim to make a difference with their art, they want to inspire change in people, and in the world. Erin Fowler and Nick Graalman created the dance film Gaia for this purpose. The film is a powerful statement about the environment in the largest sense possible. This film takes a serious look at the transformation of our earth since human beings began modifying it for their convenience. It explores the hard questions of the universe, our place in it, our effect on it, and the idea that it will persevere towards an indefinite future. It is only up to human beings to decide whether or not we will make the decisions necessary to be around to see this future.
If we continue to destroy the earth as we have, the earth will undoubtably destroy us first. I see this film as a call for people to take action towards living in harmony with the universe instead of acting as it’s enemy, if not for the sake of our love for it, than because we are fighting a losing battle.
I had the good fortune of coming across the viewing of this film at the 2nd Joint Dance Congress in Adelaide, Australia last week. Afterwards, Fowler led the audience in a movement exploration based around the ideas in the film and shared her desire to have teachers use it as an educational tool in classrooms. As a soon to be first year 7th grade English teacher myself I am excited to use the film as a writing prompt in my own classroom and open up discussion about it’s rich contents (provided I can get my hands on a copy). I encourage everyone to take a look at the film for themselves, and if you are a teacher, use it in your classroom also! You can find a list of upcoming screenings here.
Fowler also made a proposal for a movement towards appreciating the beautiful places which surround us. She is calling this the “Gaia Movement.” To participate in the movement people would post pictures of places in nature that they love with the tag, GaiaMovement.
Here are two pictures of mine which I thought fit this criteria. The first is of my little stuffed Llama standing at the base of a tree, and was taken on my 10 day hike of the Appalachian trail in Virginia last summer. The second is me looking out at the Adelaide hills in Australia last week. These places deserve to be preserved, appreciated, and respected by all.