The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Global Fellowship project “PANICOCENE. Reframing Climate Change-induced Mobilities” seeks to contribute to filling a persistent gap in research on framing and narratives of climate change-induced mobilities. Its aim is to investigate how the US and Italian printed and online news media have framed climate change-induced mobilities over the past 20 years, which is identified as a crucial timeframe during which discourses and narratives on climate change-induced mobilities have significantly intensified and changed, and to understand if and how news media and activists rely on researches in climate change-induced mobilities. All too often, the images conjured are of inevitable, massive, and permanent cross-border movements, contributing to apocalyptic and securitized climate imaginaries that cast mobilities as a threat to Western societies.
The overall goals of PANICOCENE are to identify and analyze the ways by which news media may lead to stereotyping climate change-induced mobilities, thus impacting perceptions of readerships, general audiences and ultimately policy-making, and to propose a space for collaboration between activists, journalists and academics. Using ‘mobility justice’ as an analytical lens, PANICOCENE would like to move beyond alarming and uncertain narratives on climate change-induced mobilities, which might increase ‘uncertainty’ in public understanding of the issue, and to find new and alternative ways to frame it and to disseminate research outside the academia in media debates.
The core idea I have developed in previous research works revolves around how climate change-induced mobilities is an increasingly salient and controversial topic, leading to the risk of sensationally positioning – including stereotyping framing – the issue. Such distortion calls for the need to challenge current narratives and discourses while offering alternative ones based on evidence rather than on preconceived notions. PANICOCENE has important implications for new scientific knowledge, media coverage, policy and action.
The research project architecture built on the underlying idea that, as climate change becomes increasingly dramatic, ensuing social change also requires to be critically analyzed. The project will go beyond the state of the art to provide important insights for understanding framing and narrative of climate change-induced mobilities and in the collaboration between researchers, journalists and activists on climate change-induced mobilities.