The multidisciplinary research team of the University of Bologna adopted, among other quantitative and qualitative tools, visual methods as a means to try and challenge stigmatized representations of the climate crisis and so-called climate migrants as victims or threat. An innovative ‘climate diaries’ methodology (Giacomelli & Walker, 2021) was adopted by asking participants in each case study country to share photos and perceptions of the climate crisis over a four-week period through a WhatsApp group. In this way, visualizing the impact on the lives and livelihoods of those on the front lines of the climate crisis.
30 people participated in each group and every week would receive a question to answer visually with one to five photos and a short explanation. Participants chose which questions to answer and which not. The question on mobility was the hardest for people to answer; many chose not to. The idea was to provide personal stories, co-constructed by participants themselves, to evidence the diversity of experiences and understandings of the climate crisis and its complex connection with migration.
What emerged powerfully from the images shared is how the climate crisis is not a future threat for participants, but a devastating force in the here and now of their everyday lives. Yet a force that is not purely ‘natural’, but instead intertwined with structural political, economic and cultural factors that worsen the impacts of the climate crisis upon everyday lives. Here are a selection of responses from participants, whom we thank for their precious time.Link al progetto: https://climateofchange.info/diaries/
Who are you?
I am nature, I am curious and perpetually in love with life on and in planet Earth.
What is climate change to you?
The clear response of existing ecosystems across the globe to the illusion of the human population that it can grow without limit and infinitely exploit the resources that the earth offers man himself for his existence. And man’s opportunity to stop and change course to preserve his own existence. The collective existence of mankind but increasingly also the individual existence of each of us.
Imagine the places in your city/town that have changed in the last 10 years due to climate change.
The lower frequency of cold spells in the Netherlands (where I have lived for the past 2 years). The photo shows the Rhine River expansion tanks frozen during a week of cold weather in February 2021 after 11 years of no such event. It also depicts Dutch families finally using their hundreds of sleds that had been in the attic for more than a decade.
How do you deal with the changes in the environment?
Adapting my consumption habits, food and non-food.
Avoiding non-essential air travel. Trying with my studies in agriculture and soil biology to push toward a transition to regenerative agriculture and sustainable land management.
What is migration for you?
For me, human migration consists of the necessity in which some humans find themselves to leave their homes in order to seek a better life elsewhere or sometimes simply to be able to continue living.